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Help us win elections in August, Raila Odinga appeals to youth

Opposition leader Raila Odinga wants Kenyan youth to volunteer as protectors of votes during the August general election to ensure his coalition clinches victory.

Mr Odinga is equally requesting young people to offer themselves for campaigns, saying they should view the upcoming poll as a traditional hunt where people do not question what they will kill but go to the expedition knowing that the will get something if game is found.

Speaking to student leaders from public universities and colleges on Thursday, Mr Odinga asked young people to believe that they have a role in resolving the problems facing the county.

“We have the numbers to win in August. All I ask of our young people is for them to come out and do their part,” he said.

The Nation recently revealed that Mr Odinga intends to use a strategy employed by Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo during the 2016 presidential election when running against John Mahama.

GHANA SYSTEM

Mr Addo created a system in which party and polling agents monitored votes from the stations and transmitted them immediately after counting was done at the centres.

Mr Odinga plans to use a similar system using youth as his foot soldiers, and on Thursday he reiterated that everyone’s efforts will be worth it.

“I want to appeal to young people that we approach the upcoming election as a team going to hunt. In my Luo culture, a group going out to hunt do not begin by each asking what he will get. We kill the animal first but there is an understanding that once the animal has been killed, no one goes home empty-handed,” he said.

The ODM party leader asked young people to look at attempts to change the country “as a struggle” that requires selflessness.

“Kenya is ailing but a cure is possible. We need to fix this country and to do it, we need everybody. You must look at it as a struggle. You have your role to play and I have mine too. Revolutionaries don’t ask what is in it for me. They do it for their children and for posterity and that is the view you must take,” he said.

PROBLEMS

The students presented him with a raft of problems they would like to be addressed by the political leadership.

Mr Odinga acknowledged the challenges faced by young people — especially university and college students — including accommodation, high tuition fees, low loans from the government and joblessness upon graduation but insisted that the problems can be resolved by a committed leadership.

“Don’t give up and succumb to a feeling that nothing can be done. If we had given up, we would not have made some of the progress we have made as a country.

“These problems can be solved. It is the mediocrity with which we have been governed that is keeping us down, but change is possible if young people agree to play a role,” said the opposition leader.

Mr Odinga said nearly all vital sectors of the country including education, health, agriculture and energy are suffering.

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