President Uhuru Kenyatta has advised Kenyans to elect steadfast leaders capable of uniting the country and offering solutions to the challenges facing the Wananchi, noting that nation-building is no easy task .
Speaking Thursday night at the State House in Nairobi, as he hosted nearly 2,000 Muslim leaders from across the country for iftar, President Kenyatta noted that Kenya needs a leader who values peace and unity, not one driven by selfish interests will.
“I want to tell you that nation building is not easy as most people think. It is not easy. There are so many storms, and it takes a steady hand, not a hand looking at everything from a selfish point of view. No hand that tries to solve problems rather than looking for culprits.
“Now if you’re looking for someone to blame instead of solving the problem, how can you be a problem solver?” You are a problem identifier. And this country needs a problem solver because there is never a day the problems stop, problems will continue to arise,” said President Kenyatta.
The President urged Kenyans to keep praying for their nation as they prepare to elect leaders who will strive to find solutions to issues affecting the country by empowering all Kenyans regardless of their religion, skin color or unite race in the upcoming elections.
“So you need people who are willing to pull together and solve problems, because that’s the only way a country can develop. And so this time I ask my Muslim brothers and sisters and I ask you to pray for peace and unity during this holy month.
“We pray that we will have a leader who will unite us and continue to address our issues,” he said.
President Kenyatta drummed support for Kenya’s Azimio La Umoja One political coalition, Raila Odinga, and said he was best placed to take over the country’s leadership from him after August’s elections.
He said Mr Odinga is a genuine and mature leader with a deep sense of love for his country and a track record of political steadfastness.
“I ask that we all unite under the Azimio umbrella. And when I look left or right I don’t see any other (person) except Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga.
“I’m not saying this because I hate anyone. I don’t hate anyone, but there are actions that people hate. Perhaps one day we will forgive those others when they remember that patience pays, peace is important, and humility is a great virtue. Pride is not the path to leadership, but humility. It takes humility to gain leadership,” said President Kenyatta.
Once again, the President compared the country’s leadership to a relay race, with one government building on the foundations laid by others before it, and urged Kenyans to shun divisive leaders.
“Let me say that nation building is not a one-day affair, but an ongoing exercise. That’s what we call a relay race. You run off and hand over the baton to your colleague. And Kenya is here and will continue to exist even though we are long gone.
“Many have been with us and many have left and we thank them for what they have done and for the successes they have achieved,” he said.
On development, the President noted that Kenya had made tremendous strides in infrastructure and other economic sectors, noting that without peace and tranquility it would have been impossible to achieve such monumental achievements.
“We’re at peace, we’ve made some progress working together. We are united and the Wananchi have the freedom and democracy to express themselves freely and most importantly they have the freedom to worship. All religions are accepted and honored without discrimination or favoritism, and that is the foundation of a great nation.
“The fact that every Kenyan, wherever you are, regardless of your skin colour, regardless of your religion, regardless of your gender, is free and feels that Kenya is your home. This is the essence of a society moving in the right direction.
The President also spoke about ongoing efforts to address the human suffering caused by the drought and famine that is devastating parts of the country and said the government is doing everything it can to deal with the dire situation.
The clergy and leaders speaking at the event expressed their gratitude to President Kenyatta for hosting them every year during the holy month of Ramadan, noting that the Muslim community has had a great time, Iftar, over the past nine years House to share with the Head of State, Nairobi.
Tourism CS Najib Balala noted that President Kenyatta will go down in history as one of the greatest leaders who worked extremely hard to unite all Kenyans.
Mr Balala said that under the leadership of President Kenyatta, the Muslim community has been placed at the heart of Kenya’s development agenda, enabling them to play their role in nation building.
“Only in your government do we Muslim leaders and we who work under you know what you mean to this country. You built infrastructure even where you didn’t get votes. They built communities and bridges where there were no bridges to build. They brought people together,” said tourism CS.
Muslim leaders including Sports CS Amina Mohamed, Governor of Mombasa, Ali Hassan Joho, National Chair of the Supreme Council of Kenyan Muslims (SUPKEM), Hassan Ole Naado, Sheikh Khalifa and Sheikh Abdullahi Abdi also spoke at the event praising President Kenyatta for his generosity You said that every Kenyan feels valued by his government.
The Muslim leaders pledged their continued support to the President and said their immediate focus was on helping the head of state cement his legacy of a progressive and peaceful Kenya.
The event was attended by several governors, parliamentarians, government officials and captains of industry from all sectors of the Kenyan economy.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the Presidency of the Republic of Kenya.