Writes Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City
The controversial trip recently made to Tripoli, Libya by Mama Sarah Obama, the step grand mother of US President Barack Obama Jnr has caused jittery and big split within the Obama family in Alego Kogelo Nyang’oma backyard in Kenya.
Mama Sarah Obama, the 88 year old step grand mother who sprung into fame immediately soon after the election victory of her step grand son Barack Obama jnr as the President of the United States of America, the most powerful nation on earth has visited other countries including Saudi Arabia and Rwanda.
The Obama family in Kenya is currently embroiled in serious dispute about where the Kenya government should build the Kshs 100 million Barack Hussein Obama Cultural Center in Nyang’oma village.
Mama Sarah Obama visited Tripoli last month in the company of her youngest son Saidi Obama, a main and other person and were lavishly entertained by President Gadhafi in his Tripoli Palace.
The motive of the visit to Tripoli by Mama Sarah Obama remained unclear, but other unconfirmed reports says President Obama got the wind of the visit and appeared to have been embarrassed as he is said to have phoned his cousin Saidi Obama expressing his disappointment at what was going on around his Kenyan ancestral home backyard.
A source confided to us that it was the first time the US President used harsh tone in conversation with his cousin. Mr. Saidi Obama, however, could not be reached for his immediate comments.
Visitors at the Obama rural home in Alego Kogelo at the weekend were shown a huge album of containing a series of photographs of Mama Sarah Obama, her host Gadhafi and her entourage. It is believed some niceties had changed hands during the visit.
Gadhafi who has of late self-styled himself as the “King of Kings” has also caused a big rift within the powerful Luo Council of Elders following a secret trip made to Tripoli by the Council chairman Ker Meshack Riaga Ogalo who had travelled to Libya in the company of a Nairobi business tycoon of Asian origin Kamlesh Poul Patni of the Goldenberg scandal fame.
The Council member have insisted that their chairman trip to Libya was out of his mandate, and that he did not informed the executive committee of the organization before making such a trip.
The Council members took a bold step by announcing that they had suspended the chairman and called for election this week. But the Council Secretary General Prof. Ogutu who had sent letters of invitation calling embers to an election meeting to be held in Ofafa Memorial Hall Kisumu on June 4th, 2010 in a surprise move tendered his resignation last week.
Ogut quit in huff after what observers were quick in saying it followed his disagreement with a unnamed powerful Luo politician over who should be elected the next chairman after the dismissal of the Council chairman Riaga Ogalo, who powerful .
The symptoms that things were not well within the Obama family could be judged from an impromptu visit to the family Nyang’oma home by Mrs Ida Raila Odinga, the wife of the Prime Minister Raila Odinga last weekend. She is sad to have held long close door session with Mama Sarah.But what the two discussed were not disclosed.
Some members of the family have complained bitterly that the ageing Mama Sarah Obama is being manipulated by politicians for their own selfish end, thus the source of a series of disagreement within the family over petty issues. “There are too many advisers from outside the family, especially by politicians who are reportedly scrambling to get themselves close to President Barak Obama, who has steered clear of local political derby in Kenya ever since he was elected the President of the US.
Members of the family are also blaming the leakage of Mama Sarah’s trip to Libya Dr. Rita Auma, the step sister of President Obama, who is working with the CARE Kenya in Nairobi, but who is believed to be close to the US Ambassador to Kenya. She is also said to be the one who is close to the President’s ears.
Close members of the family, however, absolved Mr Saidi Obama from the blame over the Libya’s trip by her mother saying perhaps he was not aware of the political overtone and intricacies involved owing to uncomfortable diplomatic relationship between Washington and Tripoli, though he is an enlightened person who ought to have known the implications involved in such contact, particularly coming from the close family of the US President.
Observers were also quick in saying that with her advancing age Mama Sarah Obama need s proper advice on the intrigues of international politics and their implications and repercussions before making such trips like the Libyan one. Libya and the US had long standing diplomatic thaw running back to many years of hostilities dating back to the years of the cold wars, though there were some remarkable improvement in recent past.
Critics are of the opinion that Saidi Obama as an enlightened and well educated young man should take over the family affairs by advising his ageing mother on how to conduct herself on various issues affecting the family, taking it into account that hers is now an important family which directly connected to the American first family, and that such a trip having been undertaken by a close relative of the US President did not augur well for both Washington and Nairobi. The observers are also of the opinion that Mama Sarah Obama who was recently awarded the honorary doctorate degree as the doctor of letters need to some kind of protection and advice not to allow herself to be manipulated cheaply by politicians and other people whose ambitions are of no direct benefits to the Obama family. She should be placed in the highest esteem as the grand mother of President Obama and as grand old lady whose life is so important to the Luo community and the entire Kenyan society.