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Al-Shabaab attack hero wins Garissa Senatorial seat

NAIROBI (SD) – The man who helped rescue hundreds of hostages in the middle of an attack on Westgate by Al-Shabaab in 2013 has been elected to Garissa County’s next senator unopposed.

Overwhelmingly endorsed by the elders, Abdikadir Yussuf Haji was declared the winner by the Kenya poll agency as no one else had submitted nomination papers by Wednesday’s deadline (March 31, 2021).

An electoral official quoted by the local media said he had submitted Abdikadir’s papers to the IEBC headquarters for determination.

“After receiving the nomination papers from only one aspirant, I have forwarded the information to IEBC headquarters for the commission to make a determination,” Garissa County IEBC Returning Officer Hussein Gure told Nation Africa Wednesday.

Haji received the endorsement of the Abduwak, Aulihan and Abdalla clans, which recommended that he should succeed his father as a senator.

The senatorial seat became vacant following the death of his father, Senator Yusuf Haji last February at the Aga Khan University Hospital in Kenya’s capital Nairobi.

The select-senator rose to public limelight during the 2013 Westgate attack in Nairobi when he braved his way into the mall and managed to rescue several people who were trapped in the building as Al-Shabaab militants laid siege.

Haji, another unidentified man and three policemen, one of them armed with an Ak-47 rifle, entered the mall and rescued terrified people hiding in Java Restaurant. He was among the first responders to the tragedy.

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