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Loima MP, Jeremiah Lomorukai clash with Governor Nanok, threatens to halt Tobong’uLore Cultural Festival in Turkana County

The ODM Member of Parliament claimed Governor Josphat Nanok is taking advantage of the festival to allocate Millions of funds for the exercise so as to advance his political agenda.

LODWAR: Outspoken Loima MP Jeremiah Lomorukai has threatened to block the much anticipated Tobong’u lore festival slated for December 9, 2021.

The ODM Member of Parliament claimed Governor Josphat Nanok is taking advantage of the festival to allocate Millions of funds for the exercise so as to advance his political agenda.

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“We can’t conduct Tobong’u Lore when we’re going to Christmas. His budgetary allocation for the festival is a clear indication that they’re ready to misappropriate county funds to fund UDA campaigns.” he said.

Lomorukai vowed to seek court a order stopping the exercise and to stage mass protests in the streets of Lodwar town by blocking all roads entering Ekaales Centre from the airstrip.

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“We are against Tobong’ulore, Governor Nanok can’t spend millions of shillings when residents are starving. We have two ways of obstructing Tobong’ulore ; Court order and blocking the bridge so that no movement from the airstrip to Ekalees centre.” He said

He Added: “Our people are suffering from the problems of water .We can only celebrate Tobong’u Lore event when our people are okey. When our people have sufficient food, water in place and their security have been prioritised across all our boundaries.”

Lomorukai also stated that they can only respect Governor Nanok if he will allocate the funds meant for the event to provide water and other basic facilities to the suffering residents across Turkana region.

“Our people in Canaan are suffering due to shortage of Water. They pay a token of Ksh. 1000 in one-two weeks to Lowasco so they can get water. Where exactly can they get the amount to pay for the service? Nanok should prioritise contracting borehole waters to these people in Kanamkemer, Canaan, Narewa , St Mary and all other water belts. How can we celebrate a culture when our people are suffering?” He argued.

Week ago, a section of Turkana residents went to the street protesting against the preparation of the event. While chanting “NO FOOD NO TOBONG’U LORE“, the visibly angry protestors wanted the county government to suspend the event immediately to allow Millions of funds allocated for it be used to feed starving residents and those who were hugely affected by the pandemic.

Turkana County is all set to host local and international visitors for a cultural festival according to Governor Josphat Nanok. The festival known as Tobong’u Lore or Lake Turkana Cultural Festival is a celebration of indigenous culture.

The event is hosted by local indigenous communities to promote peace, cultural exchange, and tourism. The festival has also been attracting prominent politicians and businesspeople.

“The festival has been used to end the historical animosities that have existed among the Turkana community of Kenya, Uganda’s Karamoja, Toposa from Southern Sudan, and Ethiopia’s the Dasnach. The festival has been central in our efforts to end conflicts among these communities,” Nanok said on Monday.

He added: “The Tobong’u Lore has enabled the Turkana community to maintain its cultural identity. During the festival, neighbouring communities are also allowed to showcase their cultural heritage to the world.”

During the festival, traditional food, dances, and athletics competitions by local runners are normally on display. Nanok urged residents and the business community to take advantage of the event and display their goods and services.

The cultural event was postponed last year due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Nanok has also directed the department of health to ensure health guidelines to stem the spread of the virus are adhered to during the event.

The festival will bring together communities from Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, and Ethiopia with a view of fostering peace and cohesion among these communities.

Participants will converge at Ekalees Center in Lodwar town on December 9 until 11.


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