The Man Who Ensures Raila is Not Mistreated by the Government Has Resigned
When Cord leader Raila Odinga graces events also attended by top government leaders like the President, his deputy and cabinet secretaries, matters of protocol are bound to get slippery.
From the time of the grand coalition government, certain people in the government have been working to ensure that Raila is embarrassed at every occasion. The former PM made himself the butt of all jokes when he complained about lack of a toilet at a public event, but looking at it objectively, what did they expect him to do? Pee on the grass, or in the smelly toilet across the stadium? Surely hiring a portable toilet is not such a big deal, but maybe Raila should have let someone else complain on his behalf.
Another issue that has always followed Raila is seating arrangement. In ‘Peeling Back The Mask’, Miguna Miguna narrates how he once ordered Kibaki out of a room so that the chair could be arranged in a way that was not disrespectful to Prime Minister Raila.
This is how Miguna puts it.
“When Raila, his nominees to the committee and I arrived, we found that Muthaura and his group had arranged the President’s conference room, with Kibaki’s chair sitting right at the head of the table with all the other seats lined on both sides. As soon as the ODM team entered, they sat on the seats predesignated by Muthaura. I was aghast”.
“I moved back to where the Prime Minister and the President were seated, positioning myself between them. I cleared my voice and announced that the joint secretaries needed time to “arrange the room”. Muthaura said everything was in order. Orengo glanced at me and smiled slyly.
“Excuse me, sir, I hate to do this but the table hasn’t been properly arranged. We would require just five minutes to put everything in order before the meeting”. I addressed the President while fixing Raila with my gaze, trying to tell him not to say anything.
The President stood, followed by Raila, then everybody else. As soon as the President’s chair was vacant, I got hold of it and carried it to the middle of the table on the side that the PNU were seated.
I then created space for Raila’s chair across from where Kibaki’s chair was as I moved the other chairs around in the same manner I had done on the opposite side. The other members of the committee were speechless….They knew that I was ready for war – both intellectually and otherwise. Nobody dared mess with me on such occasions.
Muthaura, who had run off after the President, returned and started protesting that I had no authority to rearrange the seats. “With all due respect Ambassador, I am a joint secretary to this committee; you are not even a member; so, you shouldn’t even be in this room, let alone dictating to me how seats should be arranged.
Secondly, Sir, this is the Permanent Committee on the Management of the Grand Coalition Affairs. Both President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga are co-chairs of this committee; they are also the two Principals in this Government.
Unless you want to suggest, Sir, that you don’t recognise the Accord and the Constitution which put this government together…” That shut him up. I continued to shuffle chairs around as I spoke.
After three minutes, I was done and said to Muthaura: “Please you may invite them back in.” I had set the tone for the meeting.
Such protocol glitches have continued to follow Raila even now when he is out of government. It has been the responsibility of one Osborn Yogo to ensure things ran like clockwork. He has been the guy who ensures Raila’s public diary runs smoothly with the former PM receiving the respect of a man his stature.
Yesterday, Osborn tendered his resignation.
Blogger Robert Alai however thinks Yogo was pushed out. On Facebook, he recounted how the guy has remained loyal to Raila even when everyone deserted him.
This was his post.
If there is one person who has forever been loyal and dedicated to the Raila dream , then it must be Osborn Yogo George. Nobody can rival George in this regard. George has been the man who has always ensured that Raila’s diary is not disrupted by protocol hitches.
Many a instances have you gone to Presidential functions and found George arguing with the Presidential guards over the sitting arrangements. George has even ensured that Raila’s seat is well secured and food checked.
But George is becoming another victim of Raila. He has now been forced to resign after a newbie was brought in the office, George was then directed to train the guy and now relegated to be the deputy of a man who knows nothing about protocol and was just trained by George the other day.
After the 2013 election when most of the former PM’s drivers ran away, George drove the lead car with sirens until a new driver was found. George sacrificed his own career pursuits and degree to be Raila’s driver and lead car driver. Go check the IEBC protest pictures. George organized the team of men who were laying their lives to protect Raila.
During the election seasons, everybody starts trooping back. Money is there. Donors have opened their purses. People want to make money and leave. Raila would rather work with people who are for money. If you are Luo, you are less safe with Raila because he thinks that you owe him ethnic loyality. You won’t go anywhere if you are Luo. You will be treated like a dog and never appreciated and you will have nowhere to go to.
I am disgusted.
George didn’t deserve this.
Let me ask a question. Who are Raila’s friends? Who are his close confidantes? Why are all people who were loyal to him leaving everytime? Why is it that Raila doesn’t have friends for long?
If you want to know how Raila treats his staff, ask Gwada Ogot. He is the man who used to protect Raila against the Mayor Oile gangs in Kisumu. He was later treated like a dog.
Well, it’s election season. Expect more of these things.