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PM pleads to his people to support govt

BONDO, May 11- It was yet another day of song and dance, pomp and colour as thousands of people thronged the ancestral home of Prime Minister Raila Odinga on the second day of his homecoming tour.

A carnival mood engulfed Bondo on Sunday as area residents and indeed the larger Nyanza province flocked the home and the birth place of the premier to receive their son who returned for the first time since he was appointed to the second most powerful position in the land.

Thousands of residents from Nyanza, the bedrock of Odinga’s support, were at Bondo Teachers Training College where the party was held.

Here, he was installed as a Luo elder with complete traditional regalia and crowned as the community leader. Several artefacts that befit a leader of his stature were also given to him and his wife Ida.

During his speech the Prime Minister attempted to sway back the Nyanza people, from the opposition to the government.

He urged his people to embrace the Grand Coalition Government saying he joined with President Mwai Kibaki for the good of the country.

“I want you to change your perception, yesterday we were in the opposition, today we are in the government. Let’s embrace and support it,” he told the cheering mass of humanity.

At the same time Odinga implored Orange Democratic Movement Members of Parliament to drop their bid to have a Grand Opposition and instead work for the party.

He said the MPs can still put checks and balances on the government without being in the opposition.

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The Prime Minister once against repeated his earlier sentiments that ODM was not short changed in the new governance structure saying they have gotten equal stake in the new Cabinet.

ODM also announced that it is still in the race for the 2012 General Election and it is re-organising itself for the battle.

Party Chairman Henry Kosgey said the race was on and the party was determined to clinch victory.

His sentiments were echoed by Odinga who urged his people not to tire: “We have given you a promise; we are still focused on it.”

“He who surrenders lives to fight another day. Two steps forward one step backward, we are still advancing.”

On the impending by elections, Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi dismissed those calling for Odinga to keep off the campaigns saying ODM still needs to remain a majority party in Parliament.

“ODM is the largest party; we want to maintain our majority in the House. Every MP and every single seat is just as important,” Mudavadi said.

Odinga is expected to continue with his tour, which ends at Funyula on Monday.

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