Written by Leonard Wamalwa
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A section of civic leaders from Turkana County speaking to journalists in Kitale led by their chairman Eliud Kerio.[Photo/Leonard Wamalwa/West Fm]
Civic leaders from Turkana County council have called upon the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to shelve the move to transfer six wards from Turkana County to West Pokot County.
Led by Turkana county council chairman Eliud Kerio, the leaders said that the move will divide the community and they wondered why the sudden move as the areas have been in Turkana since colonial era.
"The six wards which include Kabelo,Lobokat,Kochodin,Kaplin,Kaini and Koitaruk Lobei have been and will remain in Turkana despite any move by the neighbouring community," said the chairman.
The leaders who were addressing journalists in Kitale disputed the move claiming that since oil was discovered at Katilu and gold in Longin, there has been external pressure from the people of neighbouring Pokot community who are claiming parts of the County citing Kainuku and Longin which they said is highly causing tension between the two communities.
The civic leaders noted that the neighbouring Pokots developed sudden interest in some parts of the County after oil was discovered there.
They called upon the locals to uphold their peace as the matter is solved amicably before it escalates.
However, the neighboring community is basing the move on grounds that the affected areas bear Pokot names saying that as they border the community it was logic that they would be named by the local dialects.
They pointed out that most of the names of electoral units within Turkana County are also reflected in neighbouring West and East Pokot which they said the neighbouring people are taking advantage to convince the IEBC that such areas belong to them.
The chairman further noted that some of the names reflected within the Pokot side were changed to suit the Pokot dialect noting that Pokots are Kalenjin while Turkanas are related to Karamojong hence there was no way the names could be similar.
They added that the residents of Turkana County are comfortable with the current boundaries of constituencies and wards in the area and thus the IEBC should not effect any alterations on the same.
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