Former President John Mahama has urged the two leading presidential candidates in the Kenyan elections, Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta to accept the outcome of the elections, favourable or otherwise.
Uhuru Kenyatta’s arch rival Raila Odinga is seeking to unseat him in what will be his fourth attempt at the presidency.
The high stakes in the elections and the bloody electoral past of Kenya has raised fears among observers.
Speaking to the BBC on Tuesday however , the defeated incumbent President of Ghana noted that no blood is worth the political fortunes of either sides hence the need for peaceful elections.
“Politics is not a matter of life and death. You want to serve the people and so no blood must be shed because you want to serve people ..I have said before that the enemy of Kenyans is killing poverty and creating wealth and prosperity. It is not one’s ethnic affiliation, or religious affiliation, or political affiliation. The outcome of this election is that one person will win , another will lose. The winner must be magnanimous in victory, the loser must be gracious in defeat. Once we are able to get that together, I am sure we will be fine. The international community is watching all Kenyans. The whole world is watching BBC and CNN so the whole world’s attention is focused on Kenya and Kenyans must get it right.”
Kenyan elections 10 years ago were marred by ethnic violence following disputes in which some 1,200 people were killed and more than 500,000 fled their homes. The violence mostly involved two of Kenya’s biggest ethnic groups, the Kikuyus, and Luos.
The following election in 2013 was largely peaceful as President Uhuru Kenyatta, a Kikuyu, beat his long-standing rival Raila Odinga, a Luo.
Fears of violent clashes however abound during the polls which sees Kenyatta and Odinga vying for power again, especially after the brutal murder of the electoral commission’s IT head, Chris Msando. He had been severely tortured and strangled to death.
Chris Msando had promised to deliver a credible election after allegations of rigging marred previous elections.
Since then, Nairobi and other urban centres have witnessed a mass exodus of people to their ethnic strongholds.
Mr. Mahama subsequently called for a thorough investigation into the death of Chris Msando.
By: Marian Ansah & Caleb Kudah/citifmonline.com/Ghana
Published on 9 August 2017 | 12:09 pm at Source