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Now Raila dares Ruto to quit ODM

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 26 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has now dared Eldoret North MP William Ruto to quit the Orange Democratic Movement, saying that he cannot hold the party a ransom.

Mr Odinga who spoke at an ODM Governing Council meeting at the Bomas of Kenya on Friday said that the suspended Higher Education Minister was free to move to another political outfit if he felt dissatisfied.

The ODM Party Leader said the party would not be held hostage by people who did not have its interests at heart and asked the delegates to focus on revamping the party ahead of the 2012 general elections.

"We want to seal all the loopholes.  Those who have expressed interest to decamp should do so quickly, we will replace them immediately! If one feels he is tired or wants to go to another party he is free to do so… we will not be intimidated," he said.

"I’m very confident that this River Nile will get to Egypt whether some people like it or not,” he declared.

At the same time, Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi urged party members to remain united.

"Why is there such a concerted effort by people encouraging ODM to break away into small factions? Why are we falling in the same traps, every election year we get false prophets who try to talk you into decamping with the promise of good things in the future?" he asked.

"If you were to build a new party now and prepare for 2012 what will it take to consolidate at the national level?" posed the ODM Deputy leader.

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The move comes weeks after reports that Mr Ruto and several ODM Rift Valley lawmakers were planning to ditch the party.

Sometime in October, several ODM lawmakers joined Mr Ruto in signaling their intent to shift loyalty to a new party arguing that they had been shortchanged.

Mr Ruto who is also the Second Deputy Leader has repeatedly accused his political rivals of plotting his downfall to frustrate his 2012 presidential ambition which he says is unstoppable.

He has cited accusations leveled against him over the maize scandal and his links to the post-election violence as part of machinations to discredit his credibility.

At the same time, the party has resolved to hold national elections from February next year which will culminate in a National Delegates Conference later in the year.

The governing council also replaced provincial branches with county branches in line with provisions in the new Constitution.

"By the end of December, we should have Orange Houses in all Counties, which I will personally open," Mr Odinga said adding that upcoming polls would rejuvenate the party and fill posts left by deserters.

He pointed out that the elections would strengthen the political outfit and put it at a position to pursue an agenda consistent with the provisions of the Constitution.

The ODM leader urged the women and youths to vie for the party posts.

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