NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 5-The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party has vowed to mount countrywide campaigns for Raila Odinga’s Azimio La Umoja slogan as he seeks the fifth stab at the presideny.
The party’s Secretary General Edwin Sifuna said the country now needs leadership that will unite everyone regardless of tribe, gender, or physical appearance.
“We want you to feel free whenever you move around Nyeri town or anywhere else donning ODM colours and be easy to talk about the party, that is the Kenya we want,” Sifuna said Tuesday when the party hosted a delegation of 100 small-scale traders from Nyeri County.
Odinga has adopted the Azimio la Umoja slogan for his campaign as he prepares to launch campaigns for the 2022 presidential election.
Odinga is already enjoying support from influential tycoons under the Mt Kenya Foundation which hosted him for lunch last week with blessings from President Uhuru Kenyatta whose second and final term ends in August next year.
In his quest for the presidency, Odinga is considered a front runner alongside Deputy President William Ruto who fell out with the Head of State over associations with the Opposition.
The rivalry between Kenyatta and Ruto has divided Mt Kenya down the middle leading to a political lobbying frenzy by local leaders.
Both Odinga and Ruto have intensified campaigns in the vote-rich region, in what analysts say will determine their political destiny after August next year.
On Tuesday, Sifuna said the party has embarked on a program to woe supporters from the Mt. Kenya region so as to solidify Odinga’s support.
He said politics of hate and bigotry has long been overtaken by events hence the need for people to unite and elect their leaders without tribal persuasion.
“The greatest command in the Bible is to love your neighbour as you love yourself, we must move away from politics of hating your neighbour simply because they differ with you politically,” he added.
Sifuna reminded the people of Mt. Kenya that Odinga has been on the forefront in agitating for incentives that will benefit the them, citing the the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill which was declared null and void by the courts.
“The bill was good for the people of Mt. Kenya, because it was your right,” he said.
ODM’s Executive Director Oduor Ong’wen said he was impressed by the increasing number of new people joining the party from Mt. Kenya region.
“Chungwa House is open to everyone. We want you to be free every time you walk into the headquarters of the Orange party,” he said.
Dagoretti ODM Women Leader Florence Nyagothie said she has been in ODM for the past 1 years and is not ashamed.
“I love this party. Through ODM, I have done a lot for myself and those around me despite being a Kikuyu and all this is because of the confidence that Hon. Raila has in me,” she said.
She told members of the Gikuyu community to never again be lied to that Odinga was unsellable in the mountain adding that he has the ability and the energy to climb the mountain and “eventually, he will be the first to reach the peak.”