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Youths chanting slogans and waving twigs push their way into airport VIP lounge to see off Raila

By Kepher Otieno | Published Tue, December 5th 2017 at 00:00, Updated December 4th 2017 at 22:59 GMT +3
A section of the locals at the airport

There was drama at the Kisumu International Airport as thousands of Raila Odinga’s supporters broke through security barriers and thronged the facility demanding that he should address them.

The NASA leader had just wound up a meeting at Town Hall and tour of the controversial Kachok dump site and was rushing to catch a flight back to Nairobi.

But hundreds of motorbike riders from the central business district, Kisumu bus stop and Kondele trailed his motorcade all the way to the airport and forced their way in.

Gates open

Police officers manning the facility had to leave the gates open as a huge crowd, some from the neighbouring Riat and Bandani village, joined them.

The youths chanting slogans and waving twigs pushed their way into the VIP lounge.

The incident caused a security scare at the international airport as passengers arrived to check in only to find the parking space and the booking entrance jammed with NASA supporters.

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Raila had to be whisked away by aides to catch his flight on time.

Attempts by Kisumu Senator Fred Outa, who was at the airport, to calm down the ecstatic crowds, was futile as they demanded that he should go back and bring Raila to speak to them.

By this time, the NASA principal had checked in and was just waiting for his scheduled flight to Nairobi at 4pm.

Held hostage

For close to an hour, the youths stayed put at the Kisumu Airport holding Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o, who was with Raila, hostage. Prof Nyong’o had to wait for the crowd to move out.

Kisumu Airport Authority staff and management led by Joseph Okumu watched the drama from a distance.

Shouts of ‘Baba! Baba come out’ rent the air with daring voices even urging him to take advantage of the mob to be sworn in.

But all this time, security remained tight although they avoided direct confrontation with the surging crowd.

The crowd, apart from disrupting order at one of the most guarded facility, did not destroy any property.

Some youths claimed they wanted to see if they would be blocked from accessing the facility, just as happened when Raila returned from the US.

Earlier, while speaking at the bus stop, Raila assured them plans on “swearing him as the people’s President” on December 12 were on course.

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