Nyakach MP Pollyns Ochieng’ who associated closely with Ojode admitted the minister always complained about the Cabinet issue, but added that he had accepted the situation.
Mr Ochieng’ spent three hours with Ojode last Friday at the sidelines of a peace forum in Mombasa when the minister visited him in his Continental Resort hotel room saying he had crucial issues to discuss with him.
In Ndhiwa, when Ojode threatened to decline his appointment as an assistant minister, a group of elders visited his home to convince him not to embarrass the PM.
A group of elders led by former Ndhiwa MP Otieno Ogingo, John Mark Oloo, Paul Otogo, Christopher Ogone, Richard Were, and former councilors Jane Were, and Vitalis Mony pleaded with Ojode not to address the Press over the matter asking him to accept the appointment.
Oloo, who was Ojode’s teacher at Ratanga Primary School in the 1970s, said the minister was bitter having been the senior-most MP in Homa Bay and Nyanza and having been previously appointed a Cabinet minister by Kibaki. “It was a difficult situation for us as we tried to convince him to accept the appointment.
He had clocked 13 years in Parliament and had been appointed Environment minister by Kibaki, which he rejected. So he couldn’t understand why junior MPs from the neighbourhood were getting full ministerial posts,” Oloo told The Standard On Suturday.
Former Luo Council of Elders chairman Ker Meshack Riaga Ogallo confirmed he also intervened before Ojode accepted the appointment.
From the South Nyanza ( Rongo, Mbita, Gwasi, Kasipul-Kabondo, Karachuonyo, Uriri, Migori and Nyatike), Raila appointed Dalmas Otieno Minister for Public Service, and Otieno Kajwang’ to the Immigration docket shutting out Ojode.
The other full Cabinet slots went to Ugenya MP James Orengo (Lands) and Kisumu Rural MP Anyang’ Nyong’o (Medical Services). Another Raila defender Ayiecho Olweny settled for an assistant ministerial slot.
When he took up the appointment Ojode created a rapport with allies especially those at the Office of the President making him the only assistant minister who had direct links with President Kibaki. His ODM critics used this association against him.