NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 17 – Mama Sarah Obama says she has resigned herself to the revelation that her grandson, US President Barack Obama, will not visit his father’s grave in Kogelo when he comes to Kenya next week.
Mama Obama says she is still happy that he is coming to the country saying his return to Kenya is not only a big event for the paternal side of his family, but for all of Kenya.
“He is President Uhuru Kenyatta’s guest, not mine. He may not make it Kogelo but he is still coming home; isn’t he a child of all of Kenya?”
Her sentiments were however not shared across the board with Kogelo residents expressing disappointment that Obama would not be setting foot in his father’s hometown.
“We’re disappointed because just seeing him alone would have been enough. We would have been like Jonathan’s son, dining at King David’s table.”
Another said, “I would have been happy because our brother is a President and we would have received all the things the people who are coming from the royal family get when they have their President at home.”
There was however an understanding that the security and logistical concerns of a head of state are far greater than those of a Senator, which was what Obama was when he last visited Kogelo in 2006.
Hope, it’s been said, springs eternal and Kogelo residents, while disappointed that would not get the opportunity to host him, were still optimistic that his return could only mean good things for them.
“We have representatives, governors and our Chairman Raila Odinga. He can even give him goodies to take for us,” one resident said.
US Ambassador Robert Godec dashed hopes of Obama visiting Kogelo when he comes to Kenya next week on the Jeff Koinange Live show, Thursday night.
He was careful however, not to rule out the possibility of Obama visiting with his grandmother while in Nairobi.
“We’re still looking at all of the different elements of the programme,” he said.
Mama Sarah Obama had promised to cook her step-grandson anything he fancied should he have set foot on his father’s hometown of Kogelo.
“Whether Obama is a Senator or a President, he will eat any and all types of food be it omena, chicken, fish, obambla and even porridge. Whatever people eat, he also eats, he does not choose and I will prepare everything for him,” she said when she visited with Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero earlier in the month.