NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 12 – Finance Assistant Minister Oburu Odinga has bowed out of the Siaya County Senatorial race in support of Lands Minister James Orengo, and will instead vie for the County governor position.
Alego-Usonga MP Edwin Yinda, who chaired talks that led to the political pact, said the deal is to be cemented this Sunday when the two leaders attend the launch of the re-election campaigns for Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo.
“The two giants were giving us problems and we don’t want them to do that because every time they do that they are creating a lot of problems both nationally and in the county,” said Yinda
He added; “As leaders we have agreed we will go back to the people and explain the modalities, but we don’t want the misunderstanding that is being created that we are creating some sort of a club where we are choosing who is going to lead in the counties.”
The decision by the two leaders to gun for the same seat had come out as a big challenge to Prime Minister Raila Odinga who is a brother to Oburu and views Orengo as his political confidant.
Both Oburu accepted the compromise and said that they had to agree on an arrangement that will guarantee peace for the people of Siaya.
“The party and the country is greater than any of us and therefore in the interest of peace, my wanting or not wanting is neither here nor there, this is a consensus which has been agreed and I also feel that it is the best solution to which we were in, my happiness not withstanding” he stated.
Orengo said the news will be a welcome relief to the close associates of the two chief competitors who were engaged in waging a war of words.
“We have managed to get rid of the one thing that was the cause of hostility between Oburu and I,” he said.
“We have been brothers in the liberation struggle and also in politics and we have said if we pull together rather than apart we will be able to strengthen the Party both at the county and nationally” The Ugenya MP added.
However, Party Secretary General Anyang Nyongo maintained that the party had not given the two a direct nomination.
The supremacy battle on who to win the senator seat has also seen MPs in the area form camps in a bid to support candidates of their choice.
Government Chief Whip Jakoyo Midiwo (Gem), Yinda and Martin Ogindo (Rangwe) have since declared publicly their support for Orengo, saying it is the delegates to decide in the coming nomination.
Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo is the only area MP in Oburu’s camp on grounds that he is best candidate because of his development record and being senior to Orengo.