ODM is not a Luo party, says Raila


ODM leader Raila Odinga Thursday declared that the opposition party was not only for the Luo.

The former Prime Minister said the party’s performance in the last General Election — in which it won slightly more than half of the 47 governor’s seats — was an indication of its national outlook.

“ODM enjoyed the support of the people of Kenya and not just a single community,” said Mr Odinga in Siaya Thursday where he presided over the unveiling of tractors to be used for large scale farming in the region.

The party leader spoke in the midst of a storm in his Nyanza stronghold ahead of party elections to be held next month.

Mr Odinga has been facing a rebellion from some politicians over his apparent support for candidates from other regions vying for senior party posts.

He has managed to prevail on some key aspirants especially those from Nyanza to withdraw.

The latest to pull out of the contest for a top party position was Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero who Thursday withdrew his quest for the vice-chairmanship.

Dr Kidero became the sixth politician to withdraw from the poll. Others who have pulled out include Siaya Senator James Orengo, MPs Dalmas Otieno (Rongo), John Mbadi (Suba), Ken Obura (Kisumu Central) and incumbent Secretary-General Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o.

The pullouts are a boost for a candidate from the Coast, nominated senator Agnes Zani, who is seeking to be secretary-general.

Some politicians have been piling pressure on Mr Odinga to have the position retained in Nyanza, the bedrock of ODM’s support.

But Thursday, Mr Odinga answered them by saying: “This party does not belong to Nyanza, Coast, Western or any other region as some would want it to appear.”

Legislators led by Kisumu central MP Ken Obura had insisted that the party had its grassroots in the Luo community and therefore deserved to hold the key positions.

The MPs were opposed to the post of secretary general being given to a candidate from the Coast.

But in a meeting chaired by Mr Odinga on Tuesday, the three MPs from the community who were gunning for key positions in ODM abandoned their bids.

Meanwhile, the party will spend Sh30 million to assemble about 6,300 delegates for its National Delegates Convention next month.

Executive director  Magerer Langat said yesterday that the headquarters had worked on a lean budget.

“We are working with a Sh30 million budget. We believe this will be enough,” Mr Langat told the Nation.

He declined to discuss the source of the money and the breakdown of the budget.-nation.co.ke

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