Baraka Karama and Eric Juma
Drama unfolded after Siaya governor Cornel Rasanga declined to be screened by security officers manning the Sports Complex that was to be launched by former US President Barack Obama.
While Kisumu’s Anyang Nyong’o, together with his deputy Mathews Owili had gone through the security procedure earlier, Rasanga said he holds no grudge would “never be a security threat to Obama”.
“I am the governor of Siaya that hosts the dignitaries and the complex and not a security threat to Obama,” he said, adding he would not share a platform with the guests but seat next to Obama.
Guards from KK Security company, unable to handle the impasse, passed the buck to a Secret Service agent stationed at the gate who allowed the governor in after consulting local security officers.
Rasanga joined guests at the podium and shared moments with Obama though he was not invited to address the gathering. And as promised earlier, the event was invite-only with the wife of Obama’s stepbrother Malik Obama, barred from entering for having no pass.
Alego Usonga’s Samuel Atandi attended the event by virtue of being area MP while Bondo’s Gideon Ochanda was added on the lists.
Across the other Nyanza counties, only Suba South’s John Mbadi, Seme’s James Nyikal and Migori Woman Representative Pamela Odhiambo were invited.
Nyong’o welcomed Obama in Kisumu while Rasanga received him at Kogelo.
Hundreds of residents who lined Kisumu streets hoping to be addressed by the former POTUS were left a disappointed lot as his convoy drove straight to his ancestral home of Kogelo.
There, however, jubilation rent the air as villagers waved Obama’s portraits and sang songs in his praise.
“Kogello Umor, Josiaya uil, kendo urwako Obama,”(Kogello and Siaya are you happy to welcome back Obama?), the villagers chanted.