Orange Democratic Movement party leader and flagbearer Raila Odinga has asked aspirants who lost the party ticket in the recently concluded primaries to close ranks and support his presidential election bid in the forthcoming General elections.
Speaking after being endorsed by party’s national delegates at Kasarani stadium, Raila said that urged all members to unite under the National Super Alliance (Nasa) umbrella in a bid to reclaim victory during the polls.
Raila was flanked by his would-be Deputy President Kalonzo Musyoka and ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi.
But Raila gave aggrieved aspirants in his party the green light to contest as independent candidates for various elective seats, saying that they have the Constitution right to do so.
“Let us eye squarely on the price. There are some who were not lucky to get clinch the tickets have opted to run as independent candidates. We respect their right to do so because it is enshrined in the provisions of the Constitution,” said Raila.
Raila who is also Nasa presidential candidate defended their plan to share power if they win the next election, saying that they are geared towards uniting all Kenyans.
“Jubilee says that we are only interested in power but we are telling them that governance is all about power. They want to monopolize power so as to oppress our people but Nasa wants to share power and use it in serving the people of Kenya. That is the difference between Nasa and Jubilee. It is like day and night,” said Raila.
He said Kenya needs responsible leadership which will “salvage the country from huge debts and strengthen devolution in the country.
“I pledge to work with my co-principals to deliver victory on August. Kenyan needs and deserve our victory. I intend to embark on the politics of honour, decency but not those of greed, deceit and conspiracy,” he said.
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.
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.
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.
Veteran politician Koigi Wamwere who recently joined the Opposition urged the Kikuyu community to rally behind Raila and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka to foster unity in the country.
“I direct these words to the Kikuyu community that it is now the high time we allowed the Luo nation to govern us just like our predecessors had done in the past. We now have Raila who is the Joshua that will take us to Canaan,” said Wamwere.