They said that they only expected Dr Ruto to grace the function and participate in a fundraiser at the church.
Several church leaders, members of the Luo Council of Elders and local politicians who had gathered at the church in Kisumu, waited several hours for Ruto’s arrival. He did not show up.
Instead, the DP sent Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony to pass his message to the gathering.
The politicians were represented by Citizen Conventions Party leader Grace Akumu while Mr Ongadi, who has been fighting for control over the leadership of the Luo Council of Elders with Opiyo Otondi, represented the group.
All the leaders who addressed journalists, including Ongadi and Ms Akumu, threw their weight behind Ruto and urged him to visit the region.
Ongadi said Ruto was also a son of the region, adding that elders were ready to receive him.
They praised Ruto and said they were in support of his ambition. Mr Chepkwony had rallied them to back the Deputy President for the 2022 presidency.
However, on Monday, Ongadi made an about turn and said there were no plans to endorse Ruto.
“I was invited to the thanksgiving meeting to support the church. My office had no political agenda that was to be discussed during the meeting,” said Ongadi.
The elder said he attended the meeting following invitation from the church leadership.