Malik Obama may live a world away from his half-brother, President Obama, but that’s not stopping him from following his half-sibling’s example.
After helping to represent Obama’s extended family during his younger half-brother’s presidential campaign this past year, Malik Obama, 54, announced plans to run for political office himself, this weekend, reported CBS News.
At a public gathering in Kogelo, the ancestral village of President Obama which is still the current home of his grandmother, Malik Obama announced his intention to run for governor in Siaya county in western Kenya as an independent. Obama will likely run against Oburu Odinga, the brother of Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, and the current Assistant Minister for Finance.
The elder Obama, who shares the same father as the current President of the United States, says that Siaya county has been the victim of poor management and he hopes to help turn it around. According to Bloomberg, the rural county, which has about 842,000 residents, has a 35.3 % poverty rate. Siaya is also home to some of the highest rates of HIV and malaria infection.
“Siaya county is facing a lot of problems from poor infrastructure to poverty due to bad leadership,” Obama said in the public announcement. “I will change this if elected.”
The election, scheduled to be held on March 4, will be the first national election in Kenya since 2007 when election disputes led to the deaths of over 1,100 people.
Obama has said that if elected, he will leverage his connection to the President to help effect change in the troubled county. Although Malik and Barack Obama did not meet until they were both in their twenties, the two are reportedly close. Both served as best man at one another’s weddings, reported the Inquisitr.
Unlike President Obama, Malik was raised in Nairobi, where he studied accounting and later went on to run an electronics store.
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