ODM leader Raila Odinga’s path to 2022 begins in Nyanza
ODM leader Raila Odinga will on Friday retreat to his Nyanza backyard for a major meeting that is geared towards kick-starting his 2022 presidential campaigns.
According to Raila, the meeting, which will take place at Oyugis town in Homa Bay county, will be the start of a series of similar events aimed at giving wananchi an opportunity to chart the way forward on the Kenya they want.
Though he has not declared his candidature, Raila appears keen to consolidate his Nyanza backyard before rolling out his campaigns countrywide.
“The meeting will bring all leaders, where they will make a statement about the Kenya they want,” Raila told mourners in Nyamira during the funeral of ODM national treasurer Timothy Bosire’s wife.
Raila said the next meeting will be held in Western, then Mombasa and then to the rest of the other regions before the final climax in Nairobi.
He asked the people of Nyanza to work together as a team if they expected to win the presidency in the next General Election.
“As the people of Nyanza, we need to come together and discuss important issues affecting our region,” he said.
Raila said he had sacrificed a lot for the country and therefore cannot sit on the fence and let a few individuals drive it to the dogs.
In his speech, Raila asked current elected leaders from the Abagusii community to borrow a leaf from firebrand politicians from the area such as the late George Anyona and George Morara.
The ODM chief spoke after a harsh exchange of words between politicians supporting him and those backing Deputy President William Ruto.
ODM legislators led by senators James Orengo (Siaya), Sam Ongeri (Kisii), Okongo Omogeni (Nyamira), Stewart Madzayo (Kilifi) and governors Anyang Nyong’o (Kisumu), James Ongwae (Kisii) and Amos Nyaribo (Nyamira) defended Raila’s candidature saying he was the best bet for the presidency.
But the Ruto group, which was led by the Kisii deputy governor Joash Maangi, MPs Joash Nyamoko (North Mugirango), Vincent Kemosi (West Mugirango), Silvanus Osoro (South Mugirango) asked Raila to drop his presidential ambition.
“I am asking the former Prime Minister who is seated here to work with Ruto by supporting him to be the next President of the country,” Osoro told mourners.
Maangi said although he was an ODM member, he was a friend of Ruto and asked Raila to create a political alliance with him.
Kemosi claimed the Abagusii community will only support Raila if he backs Ruto in the next election. But Raila’s supporters could hear none of that.
Ongeri and Ongwae said Ruto’s brand of politics was unacceptable in the region.
Ongeri said the Abagusii will solidly vote for Raila for the presidency and told the Tanga Tanga group to stop lying to Ruto that he has votes in the area.
“I caution members of our community not to blindly follow the young political leaders who don’t understand the politics of Kisii region and the country,” said Ongeri.
Ongwae declared Gusii region an ODM zone and dismissed politicians he accused of hoodwinking Ruto.
“We had four by-elections in the Gusii region and all of them were won by ODM, an indication that ODM is a force to reckon with in Gusii,” he said.
Wanga dismissed Osoro for “supporting the politics of handouts”.
Wanga reminded the youthful MP that they knew Ruto more than him and therefore did not require lectures about the DP.
Orengo said that Raila will be Kenya’s next president adding the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) will not die as many people expected.
Junet cautioned the Abagusii against dealing with Ruto who he said has no political space for the community.