NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 22 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Thursday strongly condemned the recent terror attacks in Eastleigh, Nairobi and in Garissa saying the government will ruthlessly deal with the perpetrators of the violence against innocent people.
The PM remained categorical that the government will not let terrorism take root in the country adding that all terror groups will meet the full wrath of the law.
“As a government, we will not abdicate our responsibility to provide security to people and their property,” he added.
The PM spoke while visiting the scene of Sunday’s bus blast in Eastleigh which has so far claimed the lives of 10 people.
Odinga who arrived in the country on Thursday morning after a weeklong visit to Malaysia and South Korea also lashed out at xenophobic attacks against members of the Somali community after Sunday’s explosion.
He appealed to all Kenyan communities to live peacefully together, saying all Kenyans should enjoy equal rights irrespective of their ethnicity.
“Our diversity should be our source of strength and not weakness,” said the PM.
The Prime Minister particularly called for religious tolerance among people of different faiths saying terrorism transcended religion, race, and tribe.
Odinga who is seeking the presidency insisted that criminals must be treated as individuals not as members of a tribe.
The premier at the same time called on eligible Kenyans to register as voters in the ongoing voter registration exercise to be able to participate in the March 4 general election.
Odinga noted that once again Kenyans have an opportunity to change the leadership of the country, which he blamed for the slow pace of development in the last 50 years.
“It is only through the power of the ballot that you can effect that change,” he added.
He recounted that Kenya and South Korea were at par economically at Kenya’s independence in 1963, but due to poor leadership Kenyans were still wallowing in poverty yet Korea was now a developed country.
He said: “This poor state of affairs in our country is what I intend to change in the first five years of my presidency so that we can attain newly industrialised status like Korea.”
Odinga who is ODM party leader lauded Bishop Margaret Wanjiru who was present for resisting attempts to woo her into joining parties he said were “tribal based.”
Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim, Bishop Wanjiru and Kamukunji MP Yusuf Hassan also condemned terrorism saying Kenyans should not play into terrorists’ hands who want to set Kenyan communities against each other as they have done to Somalia.