Raila is our best bet for 2022 race, Orengo declares

Bondo MP Gideon Ochanda, Opposition leader Raila Odinga and Migori Women Rep Pamela Odhiambo at her homecoming party at Wasimbete in Suna West on Saturday. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) could field Raila Odinga as its presidential candidate in 2022, Senate Minority Leader James Orengo says.

Mr Orengo, who is one of Raila’s closest allies, yesterday said the National Super Alliance (NASA) leader was still their best bet for 2022.

He said the former premier will not retire from active politics anytime soon.

Raila too gave hints when he said: “You saw me put my life on the line and even take oath of office amid gunshots and unrelenting teargas. That journey we started is still on course.”

The ODM leader assured his supporters that his promised journey to “Canaan” was still on and that nothing would stop him.

He, however, did not explain how his new-found unity with President Uhuru Kenyatta will deliver him and his supporters to the ‘promised land’.

He asked Kenyans to brace for change and a more robust, responsive and accountable government that will be all-inclusive.

Best candidate

Raila’s two deputies in ODM – Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and his Kakamega counterpart Wycliffe Oparanya – have openly expressed interest in the party ticket for the 2022 General Election.

Joho visited Kisumu last week and said he was testing waters for support ahead of the next elections. He said he was the best candidate for the top seat should Raila drop out.

But yesterday, Orengo, who spoke in Migori County in the presence of Raila and several other ODM governors, senators and MPs, said the ODM leader was still in the country’s political big league.

“Some people are saying Raila should retire, but we firmly believe he has not accomplished his goal,” Orengo said at the homecoming ceremony for Migori Woman Rep Pamela Odhiambo.

Leaders who spoke at the event supported the ‘working together’ between President Kenyatta and Raila, saying it had brought about political and economic stability.

While addressing mourners during the funeral service for former opposition leader Kenneth Matiba last week, Raila said the handshake was not about the 2022 elections.

“It is about building bridges and healing the country,” he said. Raila’s elder brother Oburu Oginga said many Kenyans shed blood because of the fight for good governance, and that the struggle should yield results.

“The blood that our people shed in the post-election violence should not be in vain. It is the reason we support the handshake to herald common good for all,” said Dr Oburu.

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