During a special sitting at Ofafa Memorial Hall in Kisumu on Friday, the elders said they had resolved that Mr Odinga must run for the presidency in next year’s elections.
“After thorough deliberations and consultations, we have unanimously resolved that Raila’s name must be on the ballot come next year,” council chairman Willis Otondi declared.
The elders asked Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula who also want the Cord ticket, to rally behind Mr Odinga.
Mr Otondi said their resolution was influenced by Mr Odinga’s “immense popularity across the country compared to Mr Musyoka and Mr Wetang’ula, the Ford Kenya leader.”
“This matter is not negotiable,” said council secretary-general Owino Nyady said.
“We own Raila. Raila does not own us. Therefore our resolution is final. Raila must run for presidency in 2017,” he said.
He said the ‘Ofafa Memorial Hall Declaration’ will be communicated to Mr Odinga with immediate effect.
Meanwhile, seven Cord MPs have accused governors in the coalition of failing Mr Odinga by poor services.
The four senators and three MPs claimed that the county chiefs had nothing to show despite being allocated billions of shillings since they were elected four years ago.
According to the politicians, the poor performance of governors could be used as a campaign tool against Mr Odinga’ quest for presidency.
They asked voters to elect leaders who have devolution at heart and those who can represent the Cord leader better in counties.
Senators Anyang’ Nyong’o (Kisumu), Hassan Omar (Mombasa), Moses Kajwang (Homa Bay) James Orengo (Siaya) and MPs Fred Outa (Nyando), James Nyikal (Seme) and Rose Nyamunga said the governors had done little despite the billions of funds channeled to the devolved units.
“Devolution has been tainted by governors who lack the spirit of devolution at heart. We have a bunch of thieves who are keen on their stomachs only,” said Mr Omar in Kisumu during the official launch of Prof Nyong’o’s campaign for governorship.
The Kisumu senator is seeking to remove Governor Jack Ranguma.
“We are not going into politics to amass wealth. We are running for governorship because those who are there have failed,” said Prof Nyong’o.