President Uhuru Kenyatta has warned Turkana and Pokot communities against fighting over the crude oil which was flagged off from the region on Sunday.
Uhuru on Sunday said all the benefits of the oil will be lost if the two communities will not co-exist and maintain peace.
He said the launch marked the “beginning of a long fruitful journey that will strengthen economic and commercial partnerships.”
He said the early oil pilot scheme is a key component of the Big Four agenda and a key enabler for infrastructure development in the county.
The Head of State said Kenya must not take the path of its neighbours who have suffered the ripple effect of unending conflicts around proceeds from oil products.
“We are not an exception as we aim to be among crude oil exporters. We can lose all the benefits if we fail to effectively and efficiently manage the conflicts.”
“It is my prayer that such is not visited on Kenyan soil,” Uhuru said at the event held in Turkana.
The President called on Turkana Governor Josephat Nanok and his West Pokot counterpart John Lonyangapuo to ensure that the two communities co-exist peacefully.
“A time has come when all of us must view ourselves as Kenyans and not Turkana’s and Pokots. I call upon the two leaders to resolve any disagreement that might arise from this oil.”
He added: “Uhuru will not be there to reconcile you, hold one another’s hand and resolve any issues that may cripple such a noble economic driver. We cannot have peace with spears and AK-47s”.
The president reiterated the directive to the two communities to immediately surrender all the illegal firearms, saying that failure to do so will be encountered with the full force of law.
“Wale ambao hawatasalimisha hizo silaha haramu, ujue ya kwamba yale yatakupata ni kati yako na Mungu wako. Hata wewe Lonyangapuo enda uambie watu wako. Kama hawatarudisha silaha hizo wajue watarudi manyumbani mwao wakiwa flat na musinischukulie rahisi kwa hilo“.
(For those who will not surrender the illegal firearms, let them know that whatever shall befall them is between them and their God. Even you Lonyangapuo, go tell your people that if they will not return the arms, they will get to their homes flat… this must be taken seriously).
Uhuru said his “administration is not going to allow a state where a few people own illegal arms to rob and kill others for their selfish gains.”
He called on the locals to be more vigilant and expose those who are plotting to mint the proceeds from the oil.
“This oil must befit us now and our future generation. I appeal to the locals here to be more watchful. Some of us have seen an opening where they will pocket what is meant to benefit all of us,” he said.
The head of state said as they wait for parliament to pass the bill on sharing of the revenue from the product, it will remain a ration of 75per cent to national government and 25 per cent to the county.