, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 28 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has assured Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) members that the nomination process for various elective seats will not split the party.
Odinga who was addressing a fundraising dinner for Friends of Raila (FORA) at a Nairobi hotel on Thursday night, allayed fears in ODM by assuring aspirants that the party will not issue direct nominations to any candidate.
He told the party’s aspirants in the forthcoming elections of a free, fair and transparent nomination process as he seeks to solidify his quest for the country’s leadership.
He exuded confidence that the party will bounce back even after going through the political turbulence that’s seeing him lose his strongest supporters.
“I know we are going through a turbulent phase in our movement right now, and as you know sometimes when you are flying from London to Nairobi, somewhere up there the plane my get into turbulence but you just need to know it’s temporary,” he said.
“This is happening now as we approaching the nominations, you see some people are starting to run because they think the plane is going to fall. the plane is not going to fall.”
The ODM party leader is facing a possible defection from Nominated MP Rachael Shebesh, Foreign Affairs Assistant Minister Richard Onyonka and Housing Assistant Minister Bishop Margaret Wanjiru (Starehe) who are said to be warming up to The National Alliance (TNA) led by Deputy Premier Uhuru Kenyatta.
Both Wanjiru and Shebesh have been reported as saying that they will stay in the party only if their presence is appreciated while Onyonka said he does not feel that the party will guarantee all candidates a free election.
The Kisii Governor aspirant will be battling for the party’s ticket with Odinga’s former Campaign Manager James Ongwae who resigned last week.
On his presidential bid, Odinga promised to promote national unity by offering leadership that eliminates ethnic fears, anxieties and suspicions if elected president.
The PM said that he would treat every part of the country fairly without favoritism so that Kenyans are proud of their ethnic diversity, a move he added will make communities trust each other.
Odinga stated that the people of Kenya have been served a raw deal since independence leading to inequality in the society.
‘’It is the mediocrity with which this country was led since independence that is responsible for our backwardness’’, he posed.
He blamed the emergence of sessionist groups like Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) to bad leadership and divisive politics that the country has had in the past.
The Premier pointed out that Kenyans need a leadership that will make the country to a place where all individuals and communities feel at home, with security in the present and hope for the future.
Speaking at the same occasion former Attorney General Charles Njonjo reiterated his support for an Odinga presidency, saying the PM has been consistent in his fight for a better Kenya.
Njonjo said that Odinga has demonstrated over the years that he is above tribe and was committed to the welfare of all Kenyans regardless of their ethnic background.
‘’I want to plead with Kenyans that if they must achieve want they have always yearned for, they should elect Raila Odinga as President,” Njonjo said.