, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 10 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga said on Friday that he had no personal differences with his deputy Musalia Mudavadi despite the ongoing battle for the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party presidential ticket.
Odinga who was concluding a weeklong tour of Western Kenya was asked to set the record straight by party delegates who sought to know whether Mudavadi’s declaration was a form of sabotage to his presidential ambitions.
Addressing a gathering after opening ODM County offices in Kakamega, the ODM Party Leader called for an end to infighting among party officials in some branches saying ODM is a peaceful party that promotes democratic values and practices that are accommodative to all.
“We must demonstrate to others that we are the most democratic party in the country and any ideological differences should be treated as such, not be taken as enmity among party officials,” he added
Elsewhere in Kericho, Mudavadi declared that he would not drop his bid to persuade the party delegates to support his presidential nomination bid.
He said he will continue with his county campaigns and strategise with the party elected leaders on the ways to ensure the party wins in all levels of elections.
“I am merely asking the delegates to give me the support in my presidential bid. I am also engaging our elected leaders on the way to reinvigorate the party to ensure we win not only the presidency but also the Governors, Senators and County Assembly seats,” he said.
He also emphasised the need to conduct the presidential nomination at the County level to broaden participation by ensuring women and the youth are given a chance to pick the party presidential flag bearer.
Mudavadi said his candidature was a clear manifestation of internal democracy at play within the party and one that will strengthen ODM.
He dismissed claims of a secret hand being behind his candidature, and termed them an insult to the elected ODM officials at the grassroots.
“I feel the claims of ODM enemies behind my candidature as challenging the delegates who have been elected by the people by imputing improper motive on their side… insulting their intelligence. I have confidence in the delegates; they can make independent decisions without inducement, intimidation or coercion”, he said.
At the same time, Odinga told party delegates in Kakamega that ODM is the best placed party to take over the leadership of this country, when the general election is called.
Paraphrasing the late Tanzanian leader Julius Nyerere, the PM said; “ODM has the intention, the ability and the means to win the elections and form the next government.”