NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 25 – Council of Governors (CoG) Chairman Wyclifee Oparanya mourned Nyamira Governor the late John Nyagarama as soft-spoken man who left an indelible mark in the council and a gap that will be hard to fill.
In his tributre, Oparanya said Nyagarama was an “exceptionally wise man who valued peace.”
“We have lost a strong man and a man who was full of wisdom. A man who brought people together and who put peace above everything else. Personally, I have lost a friend we worked together to develop counties. He shall be missed,” Oparanya said.
Nyagarama was accorded a State funeral at his Tente village in Nyamira, attended by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Cabinet Secretaries, Governors, MPs, Senators among others.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, whose tribute was read out by Interior CS Fred Matiangi, said “Nyagarama’s name was was synonymous with success and discipline both in private and public sector where he served with dedication, demonstrating the virtues of consistency and purpose,” the President said. “He was a passionate leader and especially about education and worked to ensure that all children accessed quality education.”
Odinga moved mourners with his signature Luo funeral dirge before he hailed Nyagarama as a passionate leader who transformed lives through development.
Odinga took the opportunity to campaign for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report, it will bring unity.
“The colonialists brought tribalism in the country and we saw what has happened after independence. That is why we want Kenyans to unite and become one people. That is the meaning of a handshake. That is the legacy I want to leave to the people of Kenya and that is also why I would like all Kenyans to support the BBI initiative,” Odinga said.
Oparanya asked the Deputy Governor who was set to take over, Amos Nyaribo, to ensure that the legacy that Nyagarama left is “maintained if not improved for the benefit of Nyamira residents.”
“On behalf of the council, I want to assure you of our full support as you embark to continue with Governor Nyagarama’s legacy of bringing peace and development in the county,” Oparanya said.
Other governors who attended the burial including Kisii Governor James Ongwae, Okoth Obado (Migori) Anyang’ Nyong’o (Kisumu) Sospeter Ojaamong (Busia), Cornel Rasanga (Siaya) and Homa Bay governor Cyprian Awiti among others mourned Nyagarama as a peaceful man who did a lot for his people.
Nyagarama died last week after a month of hospitalization at the Nairobi Hospital. He had been battling prostate cancer. Reports indicate that had tested positive for COVID-19.
Nyong’o recalled how he referred the late Nyagarama to his doctor in the US where he sought treatment.
“I was always in touch with Nyagarama as my brother and when he opened up to me that he was suffering from prostate cancer, I referred him to my doctor in the US where he got treated,” Nyong’o said, “I urge people to stop gossiping about other people’s medical conditions.”
Homa Bay County Woman Representative Gladys Wanga described the late Governor as “the “greatest building bridges builder.”
“Every time he called me, he never talked to me in any other language other than Luo,” she said.