, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 16 – Drama ensued outside Kenya’s main airport, the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, after tens of opposition leaders defied orders to hold a press conference there.
While police insisted that the airport is a protected area, the defiant leaders led by Siaya Senator James Orengo and Homabay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga, insisted, “we must assess the security of the airport ahead of the arrival of our leader Raila Odinga.”
JKIA is East Africa’s busiest and largest airport and the leaders have threatened to paralyse it’s activities on Friday if “a million people” welcoming Odinga will be barred from accessing the precincts of the airport.
“Let them deploy more officers to carry out a search on us,” former Kakamega senator Boni Khalwale said.
A brief altercation between airport security and the politicians ensued as both parties tried to school each other on the law.
“Who are you?” Miguna Miguna, a former aide of Odinga could be heard asking the police.
“Please, please, please, don’t go past that… this is our airport and we must secure it,” said one of the senior cops, who all along remained calm.
At this point, MP Wanga managed to get past the police barrier and walked toward the airport gate.
“Let us go. They’re wasting our time,” she could be heard shouting at her counterparts.
Eventually, police allowed them to address journalists for just a few metres at the security check point.
They proceeded to call on their supporters to turnout in large numbers to welcome Odinga.
“He’s coming with a solution to our current political crisis,” Orengo said.
Odinga has been calling for a fresh presidential poll, after he boycotted the October 26 fresh poll, citing unfavourable grounds.
Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta won both August 8 and October 26 elections.
But Odinga successfully challenged his victory in August.
After leaving the airport, the leaders attempted to hold a rally in the city in defiance of the police.
Nairobi Police Commandant Japheth Koome on Wednesday said they would not permit the rally on account of the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education Examinations.