, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 17 – Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba has formally announced his candidature for the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Secretary-General’s position during next month’s National Delegates Convention.
Speaking after collecting his nomination papers from the party secretariat, Namwamba said his legal and parliamentary expertise as well as his loyalty to the party makes him the best placed candidate for the seat.
“Some people see things that are, and ask why? But I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” he said quoting George Bernard Shaw and pledged to bring on aboard what he called, the “why not” spirit if the delegates supported his candidature.
“Can ODM form the next government? I say why not! Can ODM be revamped to greater heights than it is right now? I say why not! Can we take Kenya to the next level? I say why not! And can Ababu Namwamba be the next Secretary General of the ODM? I say why not!” he said.
He said the national party elections – due on February 28 and March 1 – were significant because they give ODM members a good opportunity to rebuild the foundations of the eight year old party.
“The elections present us with a good opportunity to reenergize and refresh the movement by crafting a new blend of leaders, where the wisdom and dreams of the experienced combine with the energy and visions of the youthful and the exuberant to deliver a lethal combo capable of delivering our party and our country to democratic nirvana,” Namwamba stated.
The Budalangi MP said he looked forward to being part of a competent team of 27 national officials that will be charged with revamping the opposition party.
“These elections must give us a team of men and women that, on a daily basis, ask themselves what they are doing for the party, not what the party is doing for them. ODM is a national party. It needs a team with a national face. A team of men and women who have been tested and proven,” he said.
Namwamba called for the use of secret ballot as a way of assuring free and fair process adding he was ready to face Senators James Orengo, Elizabeth Ongoro and Agnes Zani who have also declared interest in the seat.
At the same time, Namwamba refuted claims that he walked out of an ODM Western Kenya leaders meeting aimed at agreeing on contestants the region will be backing during the NDC.
“I was part of the meeting from start to finish, my endorsement by the delegates gathered in Kakamega was unanimous,” he asserted. “The position that western Kenya has determined to be their priority is the position of the Secretary General and their candidate is Ababu Namwamba.”
Meanwhile, ODM Executive Director Magerer Langat assured all those seeking positions of a free and fair election adding that no position has been reserved for any regions.
“We don’t have specific seats reserved for any region, every member regardless of the region has an equal opportunity provided he can convince the delegates to allow them serve the party in any position.”
“So I would like to dispel some feeling being spread out there that probably some section of our support base believe that they must hold on to some positions,” stated the ODM Executive Director.