He is perhaps one of the best constitutional lawyers Kenya has ever had. Meet former Mandera Central MP Abdikadir Mohamed; Smart, articulate and well read.
This is President Uhuru Kenyatta’s advisor who turned down an ambassadorial appointment, it is now emerging. Kenyatta’s Constitutional and Legal Affairs advisor politely declined to take up his new posting as Kenya’s ambassador to South Korea.
He had been nominated by the President on February 13 including Attorney General Kihara Kariuki, Solicitor General Ken Ogeto and re-designation of Njee Muturi as deputy Chief of Staff. While Mr Njee took office immediately, Mr Ogeto’s name was sent to Parliament for vetting and has since been approved.
Justice Kariuki, new ambassadorial nominees, among them the one to replace Abdikadir’s are due for vetting by Parliament. Dedication to service “He courteously declined the position on personal grounds. It was a painful decision especially knowing his dedication to service of his country and the immense respect he has for the presidency,” a friend of his told Sunday Standard.
It is understood that the personal grounds which have since been accepted by the President include concern for his young family – with children at delicate stages of their life, career mismatch fears and his passion for private sector. “He also felt his expertise would be less suited or needed in that particular posting and that there were more suitable Kenyans to execute the task at hand,” the source added. In 2013 and at young age, Abdikadir became the first MP to announce retirement from politics after serving only one term.
At the time, and although clan politics in Mandera are said to have influenced his decision, he said politics was choking his soul. He served as legal advisor to retired President Kibaki in the transition period before he was fully adopted by President Kenyatta when he was sworn into office in 2013.
Together with Isaac Awuondo, he chaired the taskforce on parastatal reforms whose report is yet to be implemented. During his term in the 11th Parliament, the Harvard trained lawyer served as the chair of the Parliament Select Committee on the Constitution which birthed the 2010 constitution.
He is credited for being the only politician who has ever defeated Deputy President William Ruto in a contest after he walloped him in the PSC election. At the time, Ruto had been fronted by Raila Odinga’s ODM to chair the make-or- break committee while Abdikadir, a Safina MP, was fronted by President Kibaki’s PNU.
Moderates from both sides of the divided closed ranks to elect him on account of his freshness and affability. “I am afraid I cannot comment on the matter of my nomination suffice to say I am most grateful to His Excellency for the trust he has bestowed on me now and in the past,” the ex-MP told the Sunday Standard. He joins a list of Kenyans who have in the past rejected presidential appointments or redeployment.