Wetangula betrayed us in 2007, Governor Oparanya claims
In a statement to media houses on Monday, the ODM Deputy party leader noted that the decision by Wetangula to defy the Western wave and disregard their support for ODM leader Raila Odinga was demeaning to the community and will probably cost the region an eventual shot at the presidency.
“At the time, even our neighbours from the Rift Valley had teamed up with us to form a formidable western alliance that would have kept power in this region,” he stated.
“The stolen ODM victory was the clearest path for the Luhya community to get the Presidency. Raila would certainly have handed over power to Musalia whom he proceeded to make a Deputy Prime Minister under the Grand Coalition.”
Oparanya called on the Bungoma Senator to ditch his Ford Kenya for ODM and support Raila Odinga in the 2017 presidential election.
“I wish to let Wetangula know that ODM is the party with the largest following and highest number of elected leaders in Western Kenya. It is a fact that Ford Kenya has three elected MPs in all of former Western Province.
“I therefore advise anyone from this region who wants to ascend to national leadership, including Hon Wetangula, to join ODM instead of fighting it.”
Oparanya questioned the CORD co-principal’s loyalty and commitment to the coalition saying his calls for Western region to support his presidential bid instead of Raila Odinga’s is misguided.
“I take serious issue with Hon Moses Wetangula’s weekend call to the Luhya community to join Ford Kenya and reject any politician who is not in this party,” stated Oparanya.
“That statement goes against the spirit of the coalition and raises questions about Hon Wetangula’s commitment to CORD and why the coalition should back him when he is wrecking, undermining and weakening it from within.”
The governor’s statement comes just days after an incident at the Muliro Gardens in Kakamega where rowdy youth, donning Orange ODM t-shirts, attempted to disrupt Wetangula’s presidential bid launch.
The governor has been linked to the chaos, which was preceded by weeks of push-and-pull between him and Ford Kenya officials over the venue of the launch.
While Ford Kenya officials were adamant that they would hold the event at the historical Muliro Gardens, Oparanya had reportedly made attempts to relocate the launch to a different venue.
Political analysts claim that Oparanya was skeptical about the launch fearing that it would be used to influence the overwhelming support that ODM leader Raila Odinga enjoys in the region and position his rival Senator Bonny Khalwale strategically as he seeks to unseat him as Kakamega governor.
Kakamega County Chief of Staff Nabii Nabwire was arrested and arraigned in court for allegedly orchestrating the skirmishes.
Speaking on Sunday at Budalang’i in Busia County, Wetangula said he was better placed to defeat President Uhuru Kenyatta in the next poll, urging his fellow principals in CORD to support his bid.
The ODM deputy party leader’s statement is set to worsen an already delicate situation in CORD that has all its three principals eyeing the presidency.
Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka has also declared interest in the top seat, with his allies threatening to quit CORD if his name is not in the ballot.