Residents in the area told NTV on Sunday, January 10, 2021, that they had neither heard nor seen the governor for nearly three weeks.
Reports indicate that Governor Lonyang’apuo was last seen in public on December 17, 2020, when he attended an elders’ meeting at Kanyarakwa and Sarmach.
Lonyang’apuo later attended a farewell dinner for the outgoing United Nations Resident Coordinator in Nairobi.
Efforts by Kenyans.co.ke to reach the governor were, however, unfruitful as his mobile phone was turned off.
Residents of West Pokot County have since decried a leadership void in the county.
The leadership gap in the county is deepened by the fact that the county’s Deputy Governor Nicholas Atudonyang has been away from the county for three years.
Atudonyang is a neurosurgeon in Texas, United States of America.
West Pokot’s County secretary Mike Perkelea is also away after he was interdicted on graft charges.
The absence of the county’s top leadership led by Lonyang’apuo has elicited mixed reactions from members of the public in the county.
The leaders’ absence has reflected on the strained relationship at the helm of the county between Lonyang’apuo and his deputy, indicating a rift between the once reputable bromance.
In June 2020, Lonyang’apuo accused Atudonyang of conspiring with several leaders from the county to undermine his administration from his base in the US.
The governor had at one point defended his deputy’s decision to live and work from the US when he appeared before the Senate and the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC).