Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos, who was picked by President Uhuru Kenyatta to spearhead Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) rallies in the Rift Valley, has denied claims that he is fighting Deputy President William Ruto.
Tolgos said the claims that he has been undermining DP Ruto are false, adding that he was simply executing the assignment delegated by the President, who is the Jubilee Party leader.
“The Deputy President was reported saying he fully supports the President the same way I do. When President Kenyata says we go in one direction and we follow the command, am I undermining anybody?” asked Tolgos.
The governor was speaking on Monday, February 3, during a meeting with a section of leaders drawn from Elgeyo Marakwet, Nandi, Uasin Gishu and Trans Nzoia counties.
Tolgos said he respects what the President said: “As leaders from this region, we support the President and Raila Odinga on the issue of BBI. I wish to appeal to all leaders and residents of Rift Valley to concentrate on the BBI national debate and put aside the 2022 succession politics."
The governor, who was flanked by Moiben MP Silas Tiren said when the time comes, all those interested in vying for the President's seat in 2022 will come forward and sell their manifesto to the people.
"Whoever will convince us we shall give our support," MP Tiren said.
Tolgos exuded confidence in his ability to coordinate BBI rallies in the regions, saying that they will collect views from residents at the grassroots to be presented to the handshake team.
Tolgos said he will convene a meeting in Naivasha to bring together all the region's leaders.
In his remarks, Tiren urged those opposed to the appointment of Tolgos to rise above petty politics and give support to the governor so that the region is not left behind as leaders from other regions present their views on the BBI report.
“Let us accept Tolgos as the BBI coordinator since he was appointed by the President and give him support so that we can join other Kenyans in championing unity through BBI,” said Tiren.
Since being selected to lead the BBI campaign in the region, Tolgos has faced resistance from a section of leaders and residents who claim there are ‘more qualified and senior’ leaders from the Rift Valley who should take the lead in the campaign.