ODM 2017 defectors return to party, received by ex-premier Raila
Six ODM defectors who left the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga-led political outfit during the 2017 General election over alleged rigging in the primaries yesterday returned to the party.
They are former Nominated Senator Elizabeth Ongoro, former Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo, Edick Anyanga (Nyatike), Oyugi Magwanga (Kasipul Kapondo), George Omondi (Alego Usonga) and Reuben Ndolo (Makadara).
The six decamped after the party nominations in April 2017 citing frustrations, but returned to the race as Independent candidates where they faced off with ODM candidates, the eventual winners.
The leaders, who are said to have apologised for leaving the party and pledged to back it and the Building the Bridges Initiative (BBI) were received back by Raila who said they are voluntarily made the decision.
“This is a decision made by themselves without being blackmailed or coerced by anybody,” Raila told the media after meeting the leaders at Chungwa House in Lovington.
Midiwo, who lost the seat to Elisha Odhiambo said the move was aimed at building the party, saying it would be difficult to address the issues which offended them while outside the party which is dominant in Nyanza, Coast region and part of Nairobi and western region.
“We have had differences but it’s better to solve them. We are back home and we are back to build the party together.
It’s better to be inside the House and I ask the others because many people were bitter with the party, to come back,” Midiwo said.
Ongoro and former Kasarani MP officially defected ODM party after MP Tom Kajwang’ was handed direct nomination, but she returned to the race as an independent candidate.
The party secretary general Edwin Sifuna said the party would deal with the grievances raised by the leaders. “We will implement changes to build our party,” he said.