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Leaders heighten calls to strengthen ODM and transform CORD into a single party

By Protus Onyango | Published Mon, January 12th 2015 at 00:00, Updated January 11th 2015 at 21:38 GMT +3

Leaders allied to the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) have called for unity as the party prepares for the 2017 General Election.

Speaking at the funeral service of the party leader Raila Odinga's son, Fidel Castro, on Saturday, the leaders extended an olive hand to rebels and ex-members.

ODM Secretary General Ababu Namwamba set the ball rolling when he introduced party officials who were present and urged their supporters to help them rebuild the party to win the 2017 elections.

"We are ready to work hard so that we can give our leader the presidency in 2017. This will be a befitting reward after the loss of his first son," said the Budalangi MP.

He called on party leaders and supporters to work hand in hand and iron out any emerging differences amicably.

Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi said ODM is very strong in the Coast region and called on other regions to copy Coast and support the party steadfastly.

"ODM is very strong in our region. If you want to know, just look at how many leaders were elected on the party's ticket. If other regions followed suit, the 2017 elections are ours for the taking," Mr Kingi said.

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Deputy party leaders Hassan Joho and Wycliffe Oparanya called on the youth to ensure that the party is strong.

"ODM is now on the right track to forming the next Government with its youthful leaders. This has created a formidable and reliable team that will push Jubilee out of power in 2017. We will form the next Government," Mr Joho, who is the Mombasa governor said.

Mr Oparanya, the Kakamega governor said Nyanza and Western have many youths who support the party and they should mobilise others to win the 2017 elections.

The party's representatives from Nairobi who included Governor Evans Kidero, Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati and former mayor George Aladwa supported calls for strengthening the party.

"ODM is the strongest party in the country and I have always supported it. Nairobi is the heart of Kenyan politics and as the governor, I will still mobilise resources to make sure that we win in 2017. We want to be in Government and ODM is our vehicle," Dr Kidero said.

Mr Aladwa, who is the party's national organising secretary said he will tour the whole country to mobilise party supporters in readiness for 2017. "We have to rebuild our party and that means we have to connect with our supporters at the grassroots," he said.

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