Oburu: Raila will protect Mount Kenya’s interests
A section of cultural and political leaders from Luo Nyanza have reassured the Mount Kenya region that their interests will be taken care of should they support ODM leader Raila Odinga’s 2022 presidential bid.
Speaking during the coronation of the national patron of the Kikuyu Council of Elders Kinyua wa Mwangi in Kieni constituency, Nyeri county on Saturday, they said that they were not just focusing on the political interests but they would also take care of the region’s economic interests should the region bolster Raila’s quest to bag the presidency.
During the event, the Kikuyu Council of Elders merged with Kiama Kia Ma, another cultural outfit in the region ending a bitter rivalry between the two.
“I am happy that Kikuyu elders are now working together and speaking in one voice. We have said we want to forge friendship with all the Kikuyus and we also want to work with other like-minded people in the country,” said East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) MP Oburu Oginga, who led the delegation of Luo Nyanza leaders on a vote-hunting mission.
“We know that you love business and we know you know how to make money more than we people from the lake.
And just like it is the duty of every leader to take care of the interests of his people, it is our intention to take care of your interests when we assume leadership,” he added.
Ceded ground twice
The EALA legislator also said that it was time for the region to reciprocate by supporting Raila political ambition next year given that the ODM leader had ceded ground twice to pave way for a leader from Mount Kenya region to be president.
“Jaramogi said ‘without Kenyatta no Freedom in Kenya’ and my brother Raila said ‘Kibaki Tosha in 2002’. It is now your time as Kikuyus to return the favour,” Oburu said.
He was accompanied by Siaya Senator James Orengo, MPs TJ Kajwang (Ruaraka), Otiende Amollo (Rarieda), James Nyikal (Seme), Pamela Odhiambo (Migori Woman Rep), Lilian Gogo(Rangwe), Jackline Oduor (Nominated MP), Aduma Awour (Nyakach), Adams Oloo (Vice Chair, Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) task force,) and a host of Luo elders.
Otiende commended the two factions for agreeing to work together and speaking in one voice.
He said that their show of unity would make it easy for other political factions courting the region for votes to chart the way forward.
While drumming up support for his party leader, the Rarieda legislator said that it was time for the region to decide on the best candidate who would achieve the gains that would have been realised with the BBI.
“We have seen all manner of people speaking for the Kikuyu nation but today, we can go back to Nyanza and we know those who can speak for the Kikuyu.
We have the interests of the people of Mount Kenya at heart as a party and as a people.
Just like in 2002, we are at political crossroads again and it is up to you as the people of Mount Kenya to decide who among all the presidential aspirants would guarantee your interests,” said Otiende.
The event, which was held at Lusoi Farm Resort, attracted a group of Mt Kenya leaders among them Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia, former Kiambu governor William Kabogo, deputy governors Caroline Karugu (Nyeri), John Mwaniki (Laikipia) and Peter Ndambiri (Kirinyaga).
Also present were MPs Peter Mwathi (Limuru), Jeremiah Kioni (Ndaragwa) and former BBI secretariat co-chairperson Dennis Waweru.
Leaders present said that it would take more than the Handshake and BBI to secure votes from the region.
Kioni said that the region’s political support was pegged on the reassurance that the presidential aspirant would solve the region’s problems.
Ndambiri said that anyone eyeing a share of the region’s over nine million votes would first have to reassure voters in the region of what they would get in return.
“We would like to tell those wooing us for our votes that our contribution to this country’s Gross Domestic Product is 67 per cent. We have the money, we have the votes and all we are asking is, what is there for us,?” posed Ndambiri. – KNA