ABOVE: Youth Leader Eric Nyoti. PHOTO/File
BY SIMIYU WAKAJUANESS
Sometime before last year’s General election, a youth leader emerged so fast and influenced the political opinion in Bungoma County.
So much determined that the he went against the odds to sell the then Governor Kenneth Lusaka’s manifesto to the youths on various social media platforms in a region that was rooted for the National Super Alliance’s affiliate candidates.
His name is Eric Nyoti. Then aged 29, those on Facebook and WhatsApp groups would wake up to his Good morning messages, urging members to vote for Governor Kenneth Lusaka of Jubilee Party.
He literally became the Governor’s communication team armed with updates from the now Senate Speaker’s activities and meetings and projects.
Mr Nyoti became so popular and influential amongst his followers earning both foes and allies even from those in the opposing camp.
It was one of those weeks that Nyoti faced one of the toughest battles in his life so far: food poisoning.
Though he doesn’t know who did the heinous visit to his food at an event, Nyoti recalls how he had to be rushed to the Moi Teaching and Eldoret Referral Hospital in Uashin Gishu County where he was treated for several weeks.
Mr Nyoti while at Eldoret Referral Hospital before being discharged.
Nyoti suspects the assassination attempt to be people who were unhappy with his mass following in Bumula, an incident that was followed by his house being broken into by unknown people.
Had it not been Lusaka’s quick intervention, Nyoti would have missed quick treatment and probably arrived at a hospital when the poison had already damaged his internal organs.
“It was very painful. I saw death touching on my shoulders.” The Teachers Training graduate tells this writer in an exclusive interview.
“I didn’t know what I had done to deserve this. I don’t know how to thank the Rt Hon Ken Lusaka.”
His supporters flocked the Eldoret fascility to show their love and pray for his quick recovery, and he did.
“I felt relieved and emotional each time I saw people visiting me in the sick bed.” He adds.
“As much as a few people can be so cruel, thousands of people out there have beautiful hearts ”
No one was arrested as suspects of the failed assassination. But has he forgiven the unknown culprits?
“Unfortunately, I don’t hold grudges. I forgave them because God had a reason to give me another chance to live.” The former Bumula Primary and Bumula Secondary School alumni accounts.
Even though Governor Lusaka lost the election to Ford Kenya’s business tycoon Wycliffe Wangamati, Nyoti still remained an active youth leader and still a strong follower and admirer of the Senate Speaker.
Back in his village, the University of Nairobi student who was poached from Bumula Secondary school to Teremi High School due to his football prowess has influenced the youth and women to embrace farming and start small-scale businesses instead of languishing in alcoholism.
Bumula Constituency is one of the regions where majority of the families live below USD1 (Sh101).
He even held a fundraiser for a needy mama mboga where close to Sh 10,0000 was raised with the help of other well wishers to support Mama Jane Mukite, a resident of Bumula Ward.
(Mr Eric Nyoti leads a fundraiser at a funeral function last week. PHOTO/Courtesy)
“I’m so humbled and greatful for what Eric Nyoti has done to me. He is not the richest person in our area but still, can come up with an idea to save a situation.” Said Ms Mukite.
His stand and strength has earned him respect and support in his Bumula Ward that the residents now want him to vie for the local seat, terming him as the most honest, forgiving and visionary leader.
“We are so happy and proud of Nyoti. In him, we see a honest, great leader.” Said a resident who identified himself as James Wanyama.
Asked if he will bow to pressure and vie as per the wishes of the many in his area, Nyoti says “I love my people and have great vision for the youths, women and men of Bumula. I can’t run away from them when they need me to solve their challenges that range from poor road network, health sector and water.”
His advice to the youth? “Form various youth groups and register them with the authorities where you can apply for youth funds and start entrepreneurial projects to boost their income ” he says.