Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba on Monday claimed Cord leader Raila Odinga’s close confidants were keen on wrecking his quest for the presidency.
The one-time ally turned critic of Mr Odinga said the biggest obstacle to the former prime minister’s presidential ambitions is his inner circle of advisers, who were only interested in their own political survival.
“You have too many leeches, loafers and ticks sucking political life out of you daily. They are only interested in their own political survival. Your presidential dream is only a side agenda to them.
“And they have no spine to tell you that you are naked or to point out when you are headed to the ditch,” he said at a Kakamega hotel.
During his five-day tour of the region two weeks ago, Mr Odinga urged voters to be wary of the Jubilee coalition, which he said was the country’s worst enemy.
However, Mr Namwamba dismissed the statement, arguing that the ODM party was harbouring enemies within itself.
The Budalang’i MP resigned from his position as ODM secretary-general and is now campaigning for Luhya unity, although he has not announced the party on whose ticket he will defend his seat.
He cited frustrations from unnamed persons within the Orange party while he was secretary-general.
He said: “Be very wary, very afraid of these double-faced opportunists. With friends like these, you do not need any enemies.”
“Indeed, if you still imagine Jubilee is your worst enemy, think again. Just take a look around you and you will see your real mortal enemies,” he added.
He said quitting the ODM post and charting his own political career was the best decision he had ever made in his political journey.
“The purpose is to match our numerical strength with our political muscle at the national high table for the economic empowerment and social pride of all the peoples of western alongside the rest of Kenyans,” he said.
Mr Namwamba spoke as ODM supporters held a procession in Kisii Town to protest last week’s visit to State House, Nairobi, by a group of Gusii leaders.
The protesters took to the streets after holding mock elections to kick out all the ODM party leaders in the county.
Led by former Kisii mayor Samuel Omwando, who lost to Kitutu Chache South MP Richard Onyonka, they accused Senator Chris Obure and Deputy Governor Joash Maangi of “having auctioned the party”.
“We cannot allow a group of greedy politicians to auction our party together with supporters of the Jubilee coalition,” said Mr Omwando, who posed as the new county ODM chairman.
He said the new group constituted “the right team to reorganise and revamp the party in the county”.
Mr Omwando put the senator’s team on notice, saying it was time they left the party.
“We would like the Obure group to know that their days of masquerading as ODM members are numbered. We cannot allow them to auction our members to Jubilee or any other political outfit,” he said.
In the mock elections county Speaker Kerosi Ondieki was replaced by Albert Ondimu, while party organising secretary Joash Maangi was replaced by Amos Andama from Bomachoge Chache.
Meanwhile, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya vowed to stand by Mr Odinga, who named him to the Cabinet when he was prime minister in the coalition government of President Mwai Kibaki.
He said he would not be intimidated by the Jubilee-friendly MPs to abandon Mr Odinga and ODM.
Reports by Justus Ochieng, Linet Wafula and Aggrey Omboki