Raila Odinga moves to reconcile aspirants and losers

NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga addresses supporters at Bukhungu stadium in Kakamega Photo: Benjamin Sakwa, Standard


NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga addresses supporters at Bukhungu stadium in Kakamega Photo: Benjamin Sakwa, Standard

NASA leader Raila Odinga landed in Kisumu on Friday in a bid to resolve the fall-out from the ODM nominations, but the battle to pacify the region remains a tough call.

Raila struck a reconciliatory tone as he tried to woo back allies who have drifted away to challenge ODM candidates in the August polls as independents.

The ODM leader is concerned that independents may weaken ODM’s strength in Parliament. During the Friday meeting, where he met ODM nominees and primaries losers, Raila said he needs a strong ODM presence in Parliament, county assemblies and Council of Governors.

Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma, Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo, his Rarieda counterpart Nicholas Gumbo, Kisumu East’s Shakeel Shabir, Kasipul’s Oyugi Magwanga and former Cabinet Minister Ochillo Ayacko are some of the key figures who broke ranks with ODM and are running as independents.

Campaign team

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Gumbo is fighting to unseat Siaya Governor Cornell Rasanga while Magwanga is running for the Homa Bay gubernatorial seat against incumbent Cyprian Awiti. Ayacko wants to be Migori Governor. Ranguma is defending his seat as an independent after he was beaten by Kisumu Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o in the ODM primaries.

This presents a precarious situation for the NASA presidential candidate as there is a possibility that all the four governors in his backyard could be independents.

Although the independent candidates did not attend the Friday meeting, they have resolved to campaign for Raila’s presidential bid. Raila blamed the problems that bedeviled the nominations on the Political Parties Act, which he says allowed the courts, the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal and the IEBC to interfere with the nominations.

He also unveiled his campaign team in Nyanza, and instructed them to deliver six-piece victories in the region. The team will be led by Nominated MP Oburu Odinga, Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga, former Kasipul–Kabondo MP Paddy Ahenda and Bob Madanji.

In Siaya, former PS Carey Orege and former Gem MP Joe Donde will coordinate campaigns while in Kisumu, Ismael Noor and Jack Oraro will be in charge. Former Kenya Sugar Board Director Adero Omonge takes charge in Migori as Agutu Jakorayo leads Homa Bay. 

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