Thousands of Lugari and Matete residents gathered in churches, mosques and public places as the world eagerly ushered in a New Year hoping for a better future.
In Matete hundreds of Christians faithful gathered at Mayoyo Salvation Army church to welcome the New Year in style.
The church priest captain Joseph Nonda called on religious leaders to use their closeness to God to pray for peace and success of the nation.
Captain Nonda said peace can only prevail in the country with support of God and people and appealed to the religious leaders to use their spiritual ability to clear all obstacles and difficulties that may stand as stumbling blocks in the peaceful co existence and smooth running of the nation.
The captain also lauded members from the Muslim community who saved lives of their Christian colleagues who were aboard the bus which was recently attacked by militia attached to outlawed Al-Shabaab group in Mandera County.
“That was a heroic example from our Muslim brothers we really appreciate their courageous move which must be emulated by each one of us and for me I salute them as 2015 heroes and heroines, said captain Nonda.
His sentiments were echoed by Lumakanda Deliverance church pastor Jahonga Omido who also appealed to Christian and Muslim religious leaders in the country to claim and adopt a spirituality which promotes reciprocity, tolerance, harmony, mutual understanding and peaceful co-existence.
Pastor Jahonga regretted the state of security in the country whereby hundreds of innocent Kenyans lost their lives in 2015 in terrorist related attacks and called upon religious leaders to unite in prayers and dedicate this nation before hands of God.
“2015 was a year of tragedies we lost our brothers and sisters in, Mandera, we lost tens of lives in the Garissa university attack, not forgetting thousands of lives lost through road accidents,” said Jahonga.
He also called on political leaders in the country to cool down their temperatures and foster dialogue as a way of solving their political differences.
On his side Sheikh Abubakar Nangalama of Maturu mosque urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to walk the talk and tame the runaway corruption witnessed in 2015 and also work on measures to improve the dwindling economy that has seen the cost of living in the country rise unexpectedly.
The Sheikh also appealed to politicians to shun divisive politics as they begin laying grounds ahead of next year’s general elections.
At the same time Sheikh Abubakar appealed to all religious leaders in the country to remain neutral and not to take sides when it comes to making decision in matters affecting the nation.
Those who didn’t go to church joined their friend relative and colleagues in various joints to usher in the New Year in their own style.
The security for the annual event was incredibly tight with police officers patrolling all over to ensure residents welcomed the New Year without any security problem.
Each and everybody hope and anticipate that 2016 will be a year of calmness, change and prosperity.