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Anxiety as Raila allies square off in Nyanza


ODM nominations will be a make or break moment for big names in Nyanza politics who have spent millions of shillings in campaigns to defend their seats.

Those seeking to retain their high profile seats include four governors – Okoth Obado (Migori), Cyprian Awiti (Homa Bay), Jack Ranguma (Kisumu) and Cornell Rasanga (Siaya).

The governors are in the last lap of their first term in office and are salivating for a second one.

They ended their campaigns last evening and retreated to their homes to await the outcome of the nominations.

Mr Obado is facing stiff challenge from former Energy Minister Ochillo Ayako, business woman Ann Anyanga and former Sony Sugar Company Managing Director Paul Odola.

In Homa Bay, Awiti, fondly known to his supporters  as “Akuba” (the big man) because of his generosity, was by yesterday evening convinced he would win today’s nominations against determined opponents -outgoing Kasipul MP, Oyugi Magwanga, businessman, Sammy Wakiaga, Enos Bolo and former student leader Ochieng’ Kanyadudi.

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Like his colleagues, Awiti said the governors deserve the two full terms as enshrined in the Constitution to enable them complete all their projects.

Across the hyacinth weed-infested Lake Victoria into Kisumu, outgoing Senator Prof Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o, businessman  Hezron McObewa, scientist Prof Gordon Wayumba and youthful architect Chris Ondiek are causing Ranguma restless moments, promising to send him him home.

Other opponents include outgoing Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo and former Permanent Secretary in the Coalition Government, Carey Orege.

But besides the governors, eyes are also on some of the big names in ODM politics who hail from Nyanza.

They include ODM National Chairman and MP for Suba South, John Mbadi, head of ODM campaigns and MP for Suna East, Junet Momamed, the Party’s director for political affairs and Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, the party’s Deputy Minority Leader in Parliament and Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo and nominated MP Oburu Oginga.

Mbadi faces an uphill task against Raila Odinga’s former chief of staff when the Opposition leader was Prime Minister, Caroli Omondi.

Junet is locked in a contest with former area MP John Pesa while Wandayi will battle it out with two opponents – Joseph Aluru and and Frederick Owino.

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In Gem, Nairobi businessman Elisha Odhiambo is fighting to send Midiwo home.

In Bondo, a massive battle awaits Oburu as he fights to wrestle the parliamentary seat from Gideon Ochanda who succeeded him in 2013, when he unsuccessfully tried to vie for the governor’s seat.

Oburu has brushed off concerns by his opponents that he should retire from active politics.

Meanwhile, the party will repeat its primaries in three constituencies and various wards on Wednesday.

This is after various appeals were filed by aspirants in some of the areas to the National Appeals Tribunal.

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