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Sam Ongeri crosses to ODM, eyes Senate seat

CORD leader Raila Odinga prepares to cap Sam Ongeri after his defection from Jubilee to ODM at Gusii stadium. (Photo: Wanson Emmanuel/Standard)

Kenya’s representative to the UN-Habitat immediately announced he would vie for the Kisii Senate seat. Raila said the Senate needed experienced politicians and compared it to the US’s House of Commons.

He said President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto had perfected the art of launching road projects yet there was no funding for such projects in the budget.

According to Raila, Jubilee had engaged in sideshows while the country was headed in the wrong direction economically.

“We have come together under NASA to ensure that we emerge the winners in the August General Election. Jubilee will deliver nothing to Kenyans. I understand the challenges Kenyans are facing and we are ready to change the education sector, improve healthcare services, bring more business opportunities and have tangible road projects,” said the former premier.

He expressed concern that Jubilee was determined to kill devolution by limiting resources to counties.

“My government will have no option but to respect the Constitution and increase funding to the devolved units,” he said.

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Raila said Ongeri’s defection boosted ODM’s chances of locking Jubilee out of both Nyamira and Kisii counties.

Uhuru and Ruto have both made several forays into the two counties where they have commissioned roads and promised more development projects.

Mudavadi hit out at the Jubilee government for what he termed careless economic decisions.

“We will remain united under the NASA umbrella because we all believe in change,” he said.

Migori Governor Okoth Obado, Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga, Kitutu Masaba MP Timothy Bosire and nominated Senator Janet Ongera were present to receive Ongeri into ODM.

The leaders called on residents to utilise the remaining hours and register as voters in order to lead the drive for change in the country.

The defection ended years of political animosity between Raila and Ongeri, who have been on different sides of the political divide since independence.

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Ongeri now joins Governor James Ongwae in CORD’s campaign after Senator Chris Obure’s exit to Jubilee.

Addressing a huge crowd at the Gusii Stadium, Ongeri said he defected to the Opposition in order to advance the Gusii community’s agenda, adding that he had learnt to respect the will of the people.

Ongeri now joins Charles Nyachae (Jubilee), Omingo Magara (PDP) and George Nyamweya (ANC) in the battle for the Kisii senator’s seat.

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