Assistant Chief’s remarkably long strides into remodelling Koibatek sub-county

Assistant Chief Suleiman Omar. He has been fighting against drug abuse, illicit brews and other forms of lawlessness in Koibatek sub-county, Baringo County. PHOTO/Janet Kiriswo, The Scholar Media Africa.
Assistant Chief Suleiman Omar. He has been fighting against drug abuse, illicit brews and other forms of lawlessness in Koibatek sub-county, Baringo County. PHOTO/Janet Kiriswo, The Scholar Media Africa.

Full of charisma, tactics and wisdom, he bears the burden of his people in one of the smallest but most populated sub-locations with approximately 17, 026 people, in a 33.45 square kilometer land in Baringo County and cosmopolitan area, Eldama Ravine, in Koibatek sub-county.

Meet the man of the people, Assistant Chief Suleiman Omar, born and bred in Mlimani to a humble family. His grandfather was a chief in the 1940s, and now, leadership flows in his grandchild’s blood.

Since childhood 

He’s a man on the move, rarely having to complete the thoughts on his way before being saluted with a new title. 

He has shown his leadership skills and excellence since he joined Kamelilo Primary school in 1993 and scored 482/700 in his Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examinations. He also served as a class prefect all through. 

He was called to Baringo High school. His Father was so excited that he called a Harambee for his last-born son to support his performance. 

In high school, he resorted to leading a quiet life by being a religious leader and avoided direct leadership. He says he was tiny and would not have managed tall and huge schoolmates.

He was an excellent student in discipline and performance. His favorite subject was Kiswahili. He and two other former primary school classmates got a chance to present in the famous Sanaa ya Kiswahili show at the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) in Nairobi. 

He also participated in Music Festivals, performing plays famously known as ‘Kaswida’ and Somali and Nubian traditional songs. 

“During the 2004 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) results, my class was affected by the cancellation of KCSE exams the previous year due to alleged cheating,” explains Omar. He scored a C+ (plus). 

Assistant Chief Suleiman Omar in his office. PHOTO/Janet Kiriswo, The Scholar Media Africa.
The Assistant Chief in his office. PHOTO/Janet Kiriswo, The Scholar Media Africa.

His parents were not financially stable, despite applying and being accepted twice to join UMMA University.

“The chance,” he says, “had to change due to my new demanding opportunity.”

His hustle started in 2005 with him coaching three siblings earning Ksh. 100 as his monthly pay, a job he did for six months. 

Later, he taught Madrassa in the then newly-established Kamelilo Mosque until 2007. The same year he was employed as a Voter Registration Clerk and a Voter Education Facilitator. 

In 2009, his skills would have him attract kids from Mlimani Madrassa in Bondeni. His work elevated him to become a private primary school teacher at The Rainbow Academy Centre, where he taught Mathematics. 

Excellence all through

His efforts improved the school’s performance, and more students were admitted to famous high schools. 

This attracted more pupils to the school and Omar was promoted to Head Teacher. He served for one year and exited.

The same year, he joined a certain communication company in the Lake Baringo region as the Manager. 

The owner wanted to promote and transfer him to the head office in Nairobi; unfortunately, business challenges associated with the company made him decline the lucrative opportunity.

In 2010, he started teaching Mathematics at Koibatek Primary School. His contribution led his class to have more pupils called to National High Schools. Some of his pupils have become very successful in various fields countrywide.

Omar’s passion and hard work got him referred to join a Chinese Traditional Medicine company stationed in Juba, South Sudan. 

His passion was evident to the employer, who sent him to Wau city, South Sudan. Through frequent training, he got well-versed in the trade, and Omar filled his basket of skills by adding conventional medicine. 

Assistant Chief Omar during the Mashujaa Day celebrations at Eldama Ravine Town Square. PHOTO/Janet Kiriswo, The Scholar Media Africa.
With his colleagues, Omar (front left), during this year’s Mashujaa Day celebrations at Eldama Ravine Town Square. PHOTO/Janet Kiriswo, The Scholar Media Africa.

Community service

He opened his own clinic and was the Chief Officer, creating employment opportunities for over ten professional personnel, and was consulted to solve social problems.

Security conflict from the war between the Rebels and South Sudan Forces disrupted him regularly, making him flee for his dear life.

“I escaped death so many times; sometimes, when war hit the nation, I stayed at a United Nations (UN) camp for three days without food,” he reminisces.

“Nothing scares me anymore, not even threats from my current job. The secret with living in South Sudan is respecting the community culture and norms; learn how to live with the people,” he explains.

In 2017, Omar joined the Centre for Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance (CEDGG), a grassroots Civil Society Organization (CSO) established in Kenya in 2001. 

Its focus is mainly to sensitize the community on what to expect from government services and actively participate in public participation fora. 

He says he is still part of it. “Such opportunities,” appreciates Omar, “made it easy for me to be chosen as the Assistant Chief.” 

In 2020, while Covid-19 wreaked havoc worldwide, slowing down daily activities, he focused on his community service as the Secretary of the Mlimani Mosque, managing the establishment of its expansion under a multimillion budget. 

In the course of it, he applied for the position of Chief in Eldama Ravine. 

His vast knowledge, interaction with the public, and understanding of the area’s demography, ethnic and gender issues put him at the right place at the right time.

“I used to move door to door, buying chicken, which i later slaughtered and sold at my Mlimani butchery. On weekends, I would slaughter upto ten chicken,” Omar explains.

With high and sustainable demand, the profits were equally handsome, keeping Omar ahead financially.

The calling confirmed

“On March 17, 2021, on my way to attend the CEDGG workshop at Kabarnet, Baringo County, I received a call from the then Assistant County Commissioner (ACC), Victor Wanjohi, telling me to go pick my letter in his office,” he recalls.

He had been accepted to serve as Eldama Ravine Assistant Chief in Koibatek sub-county.

The promotion of his predecessor paved the way for his tenure to begin. He says he was a fast learner and his boss was gracious enough to lead him on what was expected of him.

Omar addressing a local baraza and sensitizing them on human interest issues. PHOTO/Janet Kiriswo, The Scholar Media Africa.
Assistant Chief Omar addressing a local baraza to sensitize them on human interest issues. PHOTO/Janet Kiriswo, The Scholar Media Africa.

As an Assistant Chief, his top role was the biggest challenge; the fight against illicit brew. 

He had to think through this hurdle before embarking on his first moves.

He came from a community where some people he knew were involved in the vice. 

He had to think long and wisely. He resolved to start with community sensitization. He had to talk to the responsible people, engaging the Nyumba Kumi Initiative leaders (a security initiative bringing together ten neighboring families to fight crime within their neighborhood) and village elders. 

The results were an 80% turn-around in the Mlimani community, mainly dominated by the Nubians. The second was the Bondeni area, a cosmopolitan. 

Almost 95% of the people made a U-turn against illicit brews, which had become the norm in the area. The evidence that it could be done washed away any fears that he could successfully fight illegal brewing in the sub-county.

His other role concerned conflict resolution. 

“So far,” he says, “95% of the conflicts brought to my office have been resolved. My mandate is to ensure everyone is heard and an amicable solution is reached without bile.”

The unresolved cases are escalated to his superiors for more tactics.

He applauds the security teams involved for their teamwork, adding that each team has a role to play and such functions are to be respected for any progress to be seen, as far as serving mwananchi (ordinary citizen) is concerned. 

His desk has also come up with a way of tackling vandalism. 

To earn a decent living, the scrap-metal dealers have agreed not to pay off any metals presented to them for up to 24 hours to ensure no one reports any stolen metal, thus, making the business legit. 

He, however, laments scrupulous dealers who are yet to accept the process in the quest for easy money.

The other burning issue is child neglect, according to the Assistant Chief. 

“Parents have to search for alternatives apart from illicit brews to bring up their children and guide them against such vices,” urges Omar.

“Drugs are the other menace that has affected young people, including kids. We have juvenile delinquencies from drug sellers and dealers that have affected Bondeni, Shauri and some parts of the Mlimani area, through a syndicate that makes dealing with them tough because of their sophistry,” confirms Omar. 

Such social ills against children are dealt with by the Children’s Office in Koibatek sub-county. The office has done a lot to ensure Children’s rights are protected. 

His resolve

“I believe in neither bribery nor shortcuts. I have had dealers flashing huge cash in my office, had threats, some want to bewitch me, but still, I am not here to enrich myself through dirty money,” explains Assistant Chief Omar.

“God is paramount; I put my trust in him,” he adds. 

His thoughts and advice to the population are always determined to achieve something. 

Omar getting his booster shot during one of the vaccination campaigns against covid-19 in Baringo county. PHOTO/Janet Kiriswo, The Scholar Media Africa.
Omar (second left) getting his booster shot during one of the vaccination campaigns against covid-19 in Baringo County. PHOTO/Janet Kiriswo, The Scholar Media Africa.

To young brains still schooling, he advises them to take their education seriously, impressing that education can take one to places and that discipline will make them live anywhere with anyone. 

The Assistant Chief’s Office offers numerous services touching on law and order.

Issuance of Identity cards, fight against illicit brew, conflict resolution, arresting any impending disaster or community conflict before it happens, and issuance of succession documents, among others.

Assistant Chief Omar’s ambition is to soar to the highest cadre of the administration as time goes by. 

With him being drawn from the Nubian community, a minority group, he desires to amplify the minority talks of not having opportunities and demystify the essence of acknowledging the minority people.

He says his focus is growth; his work will speak for himself, even as he equips himself with the necessary education to match his calling. 

RELATED STORY: Omar Ali, the transformative DCC steering Eldama Ravine

Until then, he leaves no stone unturned as far as he has the opportunity to bring forth a community that exists in peace and tranquillity, knows its rights, respects the law, and coexists peacefully.

Eldama Ravine sub-county hosts Eldama Ravine Town and other social amenities, including Eldama Ravine sub-county Hospital. Equally, it is home to Baringo High school, a national school.

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Janet Kiriswo is A Multi-lingual certified professional Journalist (English, Swahili and Native Kalenjin). Holder of a Bachelor`s degree in PR & Communication skills from Moi University, A Diploma in Mass Communication from The Kenya Institute of Mass Communication, (KIMC), with over 15 years active experience in the media industry. She thrives in covering stories matters that touches on Business, Health, community, Culture and Traditional issues and progress, Politics, Interviews and leaderships among others. She poses other skills in Public Relationship, Communication consultant, Radio presentation, broadcasting, visual feature stories, video/voice recording and editing among others. She strongly believes in changing the world through Communication.


  1. we are getting services of the kind of leaders we need for our county.his determination and passion for his work is outstanding may Allah fulfill the desires you have for our beloved county HE will guide you since he chose you and he knows best keep on moving and i see a better kenya in your are to be emulated and a role model to our young people


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