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I will fight for ODM ticket to the end, says Governor Obado

Mombasa governor and ODM Deputy Party Leader Hassan Joho and his Migori counterpart Okoth Obado held talks at the Raila Odinga Secretariat at Capital Hill. The two condemned the violence that occurred at the Party’s meeting in Migori on Monday. They agreed to support free and fair nominations. Mr Joho who is also the ODM Deputy Party Leader assured the party fraternity that there are no preferred candidates.

Migori Governor Okoth Obado has ruled out ditching the Orange party a day after he was caught in the middle of campaign violence with Governor Hassan Joho.

The development came even as party leader Raila Odinga’s spokesperson, Dennis Onyango, said Joho and Obado held talks at Odinga’s Secretariat at Capitol Hill, Nairobi.

“The two condemned the violence that occurred at the party’s meeting in Migori on Monday. They agreed to support free and fair nominations. Mr Joho, who is also the ODM deputy party leader, assured the party fraternity that there were no preferred candidates,” said the statement.

STERN MEASURE

The violence has sparked varied reactions from leaders, with the party’s national chairman John Mbadi warning of stern measures against anyone found culpable regardless of their status.

This comes even as the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko asked the Director of Criminal Investigations Ndegwa Muhoro to probe the chaos.

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Mr Obado yesterday vowed to fight for the party ticket to the end, with just two weeks to the party primaries.

On Monday, violence marred a political meeting convened by Suna East MP Junet Mohammed, after the MP and Obado’s supporters clashed.

Deputy party leader Hassan Joho’s bodyguard was shot on the leg in the fracas that disrupted business in the town for close to five hours.

Also present at the meeting were senators James Orengo (Siaya) and his Kisumu counterpart Anyang’ Nyong’o, who endorsed Obado’s opponent and former Minister, Ochilo Ayacko. Obado, who spoke to The Standard in Kisumu yesterday, however distanced himself from the chaos, and instead blamed Joho for what he termed “faulting of nomination rules”.

“When I got information that Joho was to attend a public event in my territory, I tried to reach out to him as my colleague. But when I called him, he told me to wait for a few minutes, and that he would call me back. He never called, and when I got back, someone else picked and told me the governor was sick,” said Obado.

“The next thing I saw was Mr Joho in Migori to endorse my opponent.”

Yesterday, a press conference convened by the governor to give his side of the story was cancelled at the 11th hour as he flew to Nairobi where he said he was going to ‘consult’ with the party leadership and lodge an official complaint over the conduct of Joho and his cohorts.

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NOMINATION PROCESS

“What Joho and the party leadership did in Migori was interference with the party nomination process through open favouritism,” said Obado.

Obado, who was elected on a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2013, after ditching ODM, over bungled primaries, recently returned to ODM and has been cleared for the April 19 primaries.

When The Standard caught up with the governor at Kisumu International Airport, shortly before he boarded the plane, he said he was disappointed by Joho’s move to “criss-cross the country endorsing aspirants”.

“I have not been summoned by the party leadership. I have taken the initiative to personally go and present my complaints over the manner in which some leaders have been handling the nomination process,” he said.

Earlier in a statement released by his spokesman, Nicholas Anyuor, Obado challenged Prof Nyong’o over “biased political remarks”.

 

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