National Super Alliance (NASA) presidential candidate Raila Odinga’s remarks that he will resign as president (if he is elected) if Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko wins the governorship have drawn sharp reactions from the senator.
Sonko now claims the city NASA team spearheaded by Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama and Governor Evans Kidero has sensed defeat and resorted to smear-mongering campaigns against him.
“Raila Odinga or any other political candidate can say whatever they like because pride comes before a fall. My political ambition is hinged on God and the good people I work so hard for, not on any individual. August 8 is not far away; they will witness God’s will,” said Sonko.
During campaigns in Eastleigh last Friday, NASA flag bearer and Opposition leader Raila Odinga hit out at Sonko’s ambitions for the county’s top job. Raila said he would resign in the event that he was elected president and Nairobians voted Sonko as their governor.
“Nasikia kuna kijana moja anaitwa Sonko anataka kua gavana wa Nairobi. Jameni hatutaki madoadoa… Kama Sonko ni gavana na mimi nimechaguliwa kama rais, nitajiuzulu siku hiyo hiyo (I hear there is a young man called Sonko who wants to be Nairobi’s governor… if Sonko is elected as governor and I am elected president then I will resign on that very day),” he said.
Dr Kidero also dismissed Sonko’s candidature, saying he could not fix the city. Raila further drummed up support for Kidero, saying Nairobians needed someone capable to lead them.
A recent opinion poll by Trends and Insights For Africa showed Kidero and Sonko in a neck and neck race without an apparent winner. The poll showed Kidero ahead of Sonko with a one per cent margin, but the tide could change with less than a month to the elections.
The opinion poll also indicated Sonko was eating into NASA’s city support base and sources say the Opposition’s Eastlands campaigns are an effort to dilute the senator’s support base. In 2013, Sonko got 808,705 votes against Kidero’s 692,489 to clinch the senator position. [Josphat Thiongo]