, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 27 – Oburu Odinga’s main rival William Oduol has now decamped from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) to the National Agenda Party of Kenya which has nominated him to vie for the Siaya gubernatorial seat.
Both Oduol and Oburu were denied the Siaya ticket due to flawed nominations before ODM decided to nominate Otieno Okanja who had emerged third.
“Kenyans know that my victory was taken away from me. The people of Siaya and indeed the whole country must be given the opportunity to democratically elect their leaders,” he said, adding “William Oduol is going to be on the ballot on March 4 and my party of choice is the National Agenda Party of Kenya.”
Franklin Bett, the ODM National Elections Board (NEB) chairman, on Monday said that the party’s nomination rules permitted them to directly nominate Okanja as the ODM Siaya gubernatorial candidate.
“The National Executive Council has authorised NEB to nominate a candidate but in this nomination Oburu and Oduol will not be candidates in Siaya. We took that easy position on Okanja because there were three candidates in Siaya.”
Oduol told a media conference on Sunday that he had not flouted the nomination rules set out by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) because he was issued with certificate before the January 18th deadline.
“I became a member of the National Agenda Party of Kenya on the 18th of this month which was within the deadline so I shall be defending the victory that was taken away from the people of Siaya,” he said, exuding confidence of victory in the March 4 poll.
Oduol is however, adamant that he will continue to support Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s presidential bid even after moving out of ODM.
“My preferred presidential candidate still remains Raila Amolo Odinga. I’m supporting Raila not withstanding the challenges that I had in my previous party ODM but I’m supporting Raila because of the qualities that he stands for,” Oduol said.
He distanced himself from acts of violence that were witnessed during the nomination in Siaya instead heaping blame on his opponents.
“It is really something I accept with reluctance because I know it has been prompted by a lot of pressure placed on my brother (Raila) and me. It is a decision which has weighed down heavily on me… I sincerely believe that I won,” he maintained.