True leadership is a tough calling. It requires a character that can withstand storms, real and imagined. It calls for men and women capable to living in harmony even with the worst of their adversaries. It needs wisdom. Turkana County is thirsty and hungry for true leadership.
In 2015, some of the people’s representatives from Turkana chose a path of war, and belligerence to the current county leadership. They skipped the colourful Turkana Cultural festival that was held in Lodwar in August 2015. They boycotted the first ever Turkana Trade Fair and Investment Conference. They even boast of having convinced President Uhuru Kenyatta to skip the November event which assembled hundreds of local and international investors keen on exploring the great economic opportunities that the New Turkana presents.
Turkana County may be rich in newly found oil, gas, water and minerals, however, due to historical injustices against its people, they remain one of the poorest and least educated in Kenya today. The county more than ever before, needs leaders to unite and seek joint solutions to empowering their people and seeing the youth as bundles of human potential just waiting to be unleashed for a worthy purpose.
The seven Turkana leaders, led by Senator John Munyes, seem to have chosen the bellicose path. Munyes, Women Representative Joyce Emanikor, Turkana North MP Christopher Nakuleu, Turkana South MP James Lomenen, Turkana East MP Nicholas Ng’ikor, Loima MP Protus Akuja and Turkana West MP Daniel Nanok do not hide their contempt for Governor Josephat Nanok.
We at the Turkana Guardian sympathise with whatever anger and frustration they might have against the governor but we urge them to tame their egos and jointly serve the people of Turkana. When investors come to Turkana, they do not care which side of the political divide the leadership sits. Neither does their money emit the pungent smell of ethnic or political party affiliations. Their interest is purely in wealth creation.
What the seven leaders need to do, especially in 2016, is to live their lives according to the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi by promoting the virtues of; love, honesty, truthfulness and integrity. They need to work with the principles drawn out by leadership Guru Robin Sharma in his book Leadership Wisdom. Sharma tells us that: “Visionary leaders care more about doing what is right than popularity. Leadership is not about popularity, it’s about integrity. It’s not about power, it’s about purpose.”
The people of Turkana may be humble and soft spoken but they are not fools. They can definitely see through lies. They can critically analyse the leadership of Nanok and if he fails the test they have the power to deny him a second chance at the ballot in 2017. They do not have to be told every day about his real or perceived weaknesses.
During this last stretch to the 2017 general elections, we hope that Nanok too will allow humility and wisdom to guide him so that he reaches out to his adversaries to join him in his quest to improve the lives of Turkana people. He should also listen keenly to all they have been saying and work on his weaknesses to become a better servant of the people. May the true leadership of Turkana stand out now!