TOBONG’U LORE A TRUE MODEL FOR SUSTAINABLE PEACE- FIRST LADY MARGARET KENYATTA
By Governor’s Press Service
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has termed the annual Turkana Tourism and Cultural Festival, Tobong’u Lore as an effective tool for fostering peace and regional integration.
Speaking today when she officially opened the three-day festival at the Ekaales Centre, the first lady said the festival was an opportunity to use culture in building better relations in the region and encourage peaceful coexistence among communities.
“Today we celebrate harmonious living because bringing communities together helps us become more tolerant of one another, more understanding and more cohesive. As one of the most celebrated cultural festival in Kenya and internationally, the celebration of as culture brings a better understanding of who we are,” she said.
She expressed hope that the festival will lead to more Kenyans in diaspora come back home to support potential of devolution.
First Lady Kenyatta lauded Governor Josphat Nanok for the idea of the festival and its role in cementing lasting peace in the region.
In his speech Governor Josphat Nanok said the annual event had played a big role in fostering peace and reconciliation among communities that had in history been at war over cattle, natural resources and boundaries.
“It gives us an opportunity to celebrate as people living with each other, the peace with each other and identifying as one people. It is also an opportunity for you to see the rich Turkana culture and its diversity,” he said.
He attributed the stability witnessed in the international borders especially with Uganda to efforts of the County Government and Ugandan Government represented by Minster of Karamoja Affair John Byabagambi and the National Government that he said had led to heightened trading between Lodwar and Moroto. He said the border with South Sudan needed more effort to stabilise and encourage peaceful coexistence of communities.
He added: “We hope we will also stabilise border with South Sudan, and local borders with West Pokot and Baringo where peace and unity have to be nurtured. The visitation and cultural practices and songs will foster cohesion with communities.”
The County Chief said the festival was an opportunity to rally the local community into ‘embracing the new economy and diversify their economic activity’
He assured that the Council of Governors was intent on improving relations with the National Government and said the improved working relations between the two tiers of Government had been witnessed in the second term of devolution. He also reiterated his commitment to work with the Government of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
In the festival were Governors Prof. John Lonyang;apuo (West Pokot), Stanley Kiptis (Baringo), Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka Nithi), Alex Tolgos (Elgeyo Marakwet), Uasion Gishu Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno all who led delegations from their respective counties.
Foreign delegations included Governor of South Sudanese State of Kapoeta Louise Lobong Lojore, Minister of Karamoja Affairs John Byabagambi and a delegation from Ethiopia.
Turkana leaders in the event included Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro, County Secretary Peter Eripete, Senator Malachy Ekal, Loima MP Jeremiah Lomurkai and the Speaker of the County Assembly Ekitela Lokaale.
A host of County First Ladies are attending this year’s event, led by the Chairlady of the Forum of County First Ladies Nazi Kivutha of Makueni.