Mombasa ODM MCAs defend Nassir over ‘project’ tag in the governor’s seat race

A group of Mombasa county ODM leaders have defended their party’s decision to install Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir as its gubernatorial candidate in the August election.

This comes after a section of local politicians led by former Senator Hassan Omar dismissed Nassir as ‘a weak candidate’ and ‘a project’ of powerful forces.

The aspirants including sitting MCAs said Nassir is an independent leader with a proven development track record during his nine years’ tenure as a member of national assembly.

“Abdulswamad is a people’s project and not someone described by the likes of Hon Hassan Omar, who himself is non-entity in the politics of Mombasa,” said nominated MCA Fatuma Kushe.

Similar sentiments were echoed by Likoni MCA Athman Mwamiri and his Tudor counterpart Tobias Samba who asserted that Nassir is the best candidate to succeed Governor Hassan Joho.

“As the chair of the National Assembly Public Investment Committee he performed meticulously to an extent of acting as a watchdog over national and county governments entities,” remarked Samba.

The sitting and aspiring ODM MCAs vowed to elect and rally behind Nassir as the next Mombasa governor terming him as a leader who has been tested in leadership.

They accused Omar, who clinched the UDA Governor seat ticket, of playing ‘dirty’ politics instead of selling his agenda to the electorates.

“Abdulswamada will win the seat very early in the morning because he is a formidable candidate way above his critics,” added Kushe.

On her part, Nominated MCA Amriya Juma Boy, who is the ODM Mjambere ward MCA candidate, challenged local aspirants seeking different elective posts to dwell on issue based politics.

“If you are an ideal candidate, stop paying a lot of attention to petty issues. Focus on issue based politics and not personalities because the electorates want leaders who are ready to address their needs and wants,” added Amriya, an advocate of the High Court.

She told Omar to desist from attacking Nassir’s candidature and instead challenged him to brace himself for a tough political duel in the gubernatorial race.

“Brace yourself for tough ideological competition and not an individualistic sort of contest that does not reflect your status,” noted Amriya.

Nassir was given the ODM party ticket following negotiations that saw his political rival and businessman Suleiman Shahbal drop his bid to support him.

Shahbal said that he resolved to back his once rival after the party leadership, led by Raila Odinga, called for consensus-building to ensure ODM retains the ticket.

The Mombasa gubernatorial race has attracted five candidates including Nassir, Mombasa Deputy Governor William Kingi of Pamoja Africa Alliance (PAA), UDA’s Hassan, former Nyali MP Hezron Awiti Bolo of Vibrant Democratic Party (VDP) and Wiper’s candidate, who could be former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko or Kisauni MP Ali Mbogo.