Joho: I'm most devoted, deserve to succeed Raila

Hassan Joho (right). The deputy party leader says he has risked his life for ODM and Raila. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

ODM Deputy Party leader Hassan Joho now says he deserves to take over the party due to his devotion.

The former Mombasa Governor on Monday said he had sacrificed his life for the party leader Raila Odinga and therefore deserved the position.

Joho said he is the front runner in the race to head the party if Raila, who is eyeing the African Union Commission chairman seat, exits.

“I hear people saying I came to ODM just yesterday. Let them know I am a founding member of ODM. No leader has gone through a lot of political tests to stand with ODM and Raila. I challenge anyone who has ever escaped a bullet, had their business shut down, and haunted over their education,” he said.

“I don’t think there is anyone who has given out his life on behalf of Raila over the years, not for six months. Now we are here arguing over possible succession. This time round we shall have to respect each other.”

National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi recently dismissed claims of factional wars, saying Raila would continue to steer the Orange party.

Joho and former Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, also a deputy party leader, were said to be angling for the top position.