Ford-K, ODM turf wars likely to dominate Raila’s Bungoma tour

The rivalry pitting Ford Kenya and ODM candidates is likely to take centre stage during NASA flag bearer Raila Odinga’s tour of Bungoma.

Raila will be in the county on Wednesday to popularise his presidential bid against his arch competitor President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The team has been making inroads in the county and has backed the re-election of Governor Kenneth Lusaka of Jubilee Party.

The ODM leader will be in the county amid sharp division among NASA affiliate parties which have vowed to face off in the August 8 polls.

The differences played out loudly during Raila’s last trip when youths allied to ODM and Ford Kenya clashed at his rally on June 24.

Supporters of Wycliffe Wangamati and ODM’s Alfred Khang’ati openly differed when the NASA leader asked residents to back Khang’ati.

Bungoma is the home turf of NASA co-principal Moses Wetang’ula who is defending his senator seat under his Ford Kenya party

Wetang’ula has implored upon ODM candidates to step down for them citing his decision to relinquish the presidency bid for Raila.

Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, who is also the deputy party leader, cautioned against the Bungoma senator’s move.

“Ford Kenya is unpopular and wants to ride on our strength to win seats,” Oparanya said when he led ODM campaigns in the region last weekend.

Ford Kenya and ODM supporters have been exchanging harsh words on social media ahead of the rally.

ODM Chairman Majimbo Okumu accused Wetang’ula’s party of trying to hoodwink Raila to endorse their candidates.

“Nobody will be endorsed. Let people face each other on the ballot. Let them stop getting power through the back door,” he said.

Majimbo said ODM’s intervention is what helped the legislator win the by-election which was also contested by Muskari Kombo.

Raila is expected to host rallies in Kimilili and Webuye amid his warning that unless NASA candidates work together, Jubilee will win.

Political commentator Isaac Wanjekeche on Tuesday said the rally is most likely to be like the last one addressed by Raila.

“I am seeing a situation where parties will want to show their grip on the region,” he said.

Read: 2 refuse to step down for Weta in Senate race

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