, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 5 – Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) delegates have formally endorsed its Party Leader Raila Odinga to be their Presidential flag-bearer in the August 8 General Election.
In a colourful and choreographed ODM National Delegates Convention, Odinga was proposed by the Garissa Branch Party Chairman Gedi Abdi and seconded by Busia County Women League Chairperson Angela Nafula, a week after he was unveiled as the joint opposition candidate, National Super Alliance(NASA).
The meeting brought together all members of the National Executive Committee (NEC), all chairpersons of the branch executive committees (mainstream), all sitting ODM MPs, governors and deputy governors.
Raila’s fellow NASA co-principals Kalonzo Musyoka (Running Mate) and Musalia Mudavadi attended the convention as observers.
FORD-Kenya Leader and Senate Minority Leader Moses Wetangula and Chama Cha Mashinani and Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto sent their apologies for skipping the gathering which was attended by more than 4,000 ODM delegates as well as civil society activists.
In his address to the delegates, ODM Chairman John Mbadi said they were making a great step towards realizing a Raila Odinga Presidency which Kenyans have been waiting for.
Deputy Party Leaders Hassan Joho (Mombasa Governor) and Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega Governor) urged Kenyans to elect Odinga when he challenges President Uhuru Kenyatta during the August 8 contest to become the fifth President of the Republic of Kenya.
Joho said the former Prime Minister is credited fighting for a new constitution which has brought with it devolution which has transformed the lives of Kenyans.
“The frustrations of Jubilee give us the impetus to send Jubilee home in August. The future of our children and that of our grandchildren is today in our hands,” he told the delegates who broke into long cheers upon his every pause.
The delegates and party supporters held up placards bearing messages ‘+10 million strong;’ to signify the number of votes Odinga expects will propel him to presidency on his 4th attempt.
Other banners read; ‘Mambo Yabadilika’ – things are changing, a slogan that super opposition outfit, NASA has adopted from gospel singer Hellena Ken popular hit song.
Turkana Governor Josephat Nanok insisted that devolution was working and there was evidence to support the claim.
“Let Raila Odinga be the bridge of the poor in Kenya,” he said.
The vocal County leader asked Kenyans to give Odinga a chance at the helm of the nation adding that under a Odinga administration the counties will stabilise, saying each of the 47 counties were currently at different stages of establishment and formation.
Oparanya said through NASA, Kenya ‘will have a super nation and Raila Odinga is the bridge.’
Second liberation hero Koigi Wamwere and former Cabinet Minister Kirugi M’Mukindia said the NASA leader has demonstrated democracy by endorsing candidates from Mount Kenya.