The earlier results from Iowa were encouraging according to Obama’s uncle. But he said that he didn’t want to jump just yet. Barack Obama’s father is from the western Kenyan village of Kogelo. They have been spared from the political and ethnic violence that plagued Kenya in last month’s disputed election between incumbent Mwai Kibaki and opposition candidate Raila Odinga.
However, the village is only a 90-minute drive from a town that was torched and looted. So far, at least 500 people have died in the post-election violence.
While it was a political dispute, the violence has pitted tribes against each other. The Obama family is part of the Luo tribe which is in conflict against Kibaki’s Kikuyu tribe.
According to Obama’s uncle, if Barack was in Kenya today, he would work with the leadership to bring them to a round table in order to find a solution to the problems that have plagued the country.
Robert Gibbs, spokesman for Obama had already confirmed that the senator had talked to Raila Odinga for about five minutes on Monday.
Gibbs added that he was not aware that Obama and Odinga are related. According to BBC, Odinga had said that Barack Obama’s father is his uncle. The fathers of both Raila Odinga and Barack Obama are from the same tribe.
On Tuesday in New Hampshire, Obama urged that the leaders in Kenya regardless of their position on the election should tell their supporters to stand down. He said they should stop the violence and use a peaceful way to resolve things in accordance to the laws in Kenya.
Obama visited Kenya in August of 2006 and discussed themes such as corruption and tribal politics that are not normally debated over. Both of these issues played a key role in the post-election violence in Kenya.
“Very many people sat up and listened, but the government didn’t like it,” said Obama’s uncle. He added: “It touched a nerve they didn’t want touched. The corruption is endemic here and tribalism cannot escape your eyes – you just have to look at the government ministries.”
Barack Obama said in his speech: “Corruption is not a new problem; it’s not just a Kenyan or African problem. It’s a human problem. … While corruption is a problem we all share here in Kenya it is a crisis robbing an honest people of the opportunities they have fought for and deserve.”
Obama’s said if his nephew is elected, Barack would improve the relations between America and Africa.