Governor Ali Roba’s party to back Raila bid for the top seat

ODM leader Raila Odinga (3rd Left) joins Mandera Governor Ali Roba and United Democratic Movement (UDM) members in launching the party manifesto during the National Delegates Congress at Bomas of Kenya on March 10, 2022. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

The United Democratic Movement (UDM) led by Mandera Governor Ali Roba has announced its support for ODM leader Raila Odinga’s presidential candidature in the August General Election.

“Today, we have taken the opportunity to endorse you together with our delegates so that it is not just politicians who decide. We have made this decision with our delegates from 10 counties from the North of Kenya,” said Mr Roba.

Speaking during UDM’s National Delegates Conference (NDC)–an event punctuated with colour, music and energy–Mr Roba said his party will offer an opportunity for the people of the north to move from the sidelines and be part of the political debate on national development.

Marsabit Senator Abubakar Godana said, "As pastoralists, we have been represented by others and now we have a national party that will allow us to negotiate for resources for our counties."

As each leader took to the podium, the message remained the same: to support the ODM leader in the coming election.

In addition to supporting Raila’s presidential candidature, UDM also committed to joining Azimio la Umoja as it sets in motion grassroots campaigns to popularise the movement and its presidential candidate.

The party’s commitment to work with Azimio la Umoja offers the coalition a huge boost as it seeks to officially join in the inking of a broad-based agreement tomorrow.

Azimio la Umoja now commands a following of more than 15 parties from different regions countrywide. This support will be crucial if Raila is to clinch 50 per cent of total votes plus one to be declared president.

Present at the NDC were Raila, Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu, Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi, Peter Kenneth and Democratic Action Party of Kenya leader Wafula Wamunyinyi, among others.

When he took to the stage, Raila took delegates on a trip down memory lane when Northern Kenya was isolated and deprived of critical funds from the government to drive development.

The ODM leader reminded them of his partnership with retired President Mwai Kibaki that resulted in the construction of the Isiolo-Moyale road, which saved residents from days-long journeys to and from Nairobi.

Raila promised that if elected president, his administration would resolve the perennial drought and water problems in the region.