ODM leader Raila Odinga is meeting all aspirants from Nyanza in a bid to quell tensions and possible falling-out following bruising party primaries.
The meeting, expected to be attended by ODM deputy party leader – Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho – according to organisers, will bring together winners and losers in the party primaries conducted in April.
There have been concerns that the primaries strained relationships among party members, prompting a huge number of aspirants to opt to run as independent candidates in the coming August 8 elections.
Businessman Bob Madanji, who, together with Homa Bay Woman Rep Gladys Wanga and nominated MP Dr Oburu Oginga are the co-coordinators of Mr Odinga’s Presidential campaigns in Nyanza region, said the meeting aims at ensuring peaceful coexistence among party members to enhance vigorous campaigns.
“The meeting will bring together all aspirants from the region including those who were not lucky to win our party tickets. They will be drawn from Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay and Migori counties,” Mr Madanji said.
Kisumu County ODM chairman Kennedy Ajwang’ confirmed that Mr Odinga accompanied by Mr Joho will lead the party brigade in the meeting to be held at the Tom Mboya Labour College in Kisumu.
“Our party leader Raila Odinga and his deputy Hassan Joho will grace the occasion.
“We will first escort the Kisumu gubernatorial ODM nominee Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o to present his nomination papers at the venue before a roadshow in Kisumu Town [which will] culminate in a rally at the Jomo Kenyatta Sports Ground before we go for the meeting,” Mr Ajwang’ told Nation.
He said all the ODM candidates will attend the meeting.
The meeting is aimed at mobilising losers and winners in the nominations to campaign for the party amid an onslaught from independent candidates.
It is aimed at defusing tension among the contestants with the aim of putting up a strong presidential grassroots campaign team in the region.
Last Saturday, Mr Odinga held talks with Kisumu presidential campaign team co-chaired by Deputy Governor Ruth Odinga and Mr Madanji at his Opoda farm in Bondo, Siaya County where the meeting was mooted.
Ms Odinga told Nation.co.ke that the meeting discussed strategies they will use to reach out to the voters with the aim of ensuring a 100 per cent voter turnout in the August 8 elections.
“We already briefed him on what we are doing and our plans and he gave us a green light to have the meeting of aspirants in order to iron out any underlying issues,” Ms Odinga said.