NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 2 – So kenyans were fooled on April 1 that Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party leader Raila Odinga was among three candiates who had applied for the pary ticket to vie in the 2022 presidential election.
Raila was listed alongside Governors Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega) and Hassan Joho (Mombasa) in a statement issued by the party on April 1.
“Politics can be serious business. Politics is serious business every day of the calendar. Except for April 1st. We took the liberty of joining in the days pranks with our communication yesterday knowing well our friends in the media and politics would know better,” said Edwin Sifuna, the party’s Secretary-General in a statement a day later.
He added: “We see many especially our political opponents swallowed it hook line and sinker. They came out guns blazing, frothing at the mouth, at an April fool’s misdirection. You need to lighten up friends it is never that serious.”
Sifuna however, acknowledged that it was only Governors Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega) and Ali Hassan Joho (Mombasa) who also double up as the deputy party leaders who had applied for the ticket.
“These will be processed in the usual manner by the National Elections Board (NEB),” he said.
According to NEB Chair Catherine Mumma, the board will review the credentials of the three with a view of ensuring that they meet the party’s regulations stipulated in the constitution.
The board will thereafter, convene the National Delegates Conference where close to over 4, 000 members drawn from across the country will have to take a vote.
Governors Oparanya and Joho who are serving their second and final terms in office have been committal that they are ready to outshine Odinga who has lost previous elections.
Whereas Odinga has given mixed signals in recent months on whether he will contest again for the presidency for the fifth time, his critics are certain that he will be in the ballot in the high-stake poll that Deputy President William Ruto is one of the top contenders.
This comes at a time when other 2022 alignments are taking shape with the formation of One Kenya Alliance which consists of FORD Kenya, KANU, Wiper, and Amani National Congress (ANC) parties.
The new alliance which brings together Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetangula, Kalonzo Musyoka and Gideon Moi’s parties is seen to counter Odinga’s influence, accusing him of breaking pre-election pacts.