Hold your horses, ODM now says on Odinga's succession

ODM party leader Raila Odinga.  [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

The decision by the ODM leader Raila Odinga to offer himself to be the African Union Commission’s next chairperson has increased the political undercurrents over his succession.

Insiders believe that the ODM chief will have a direct hand on whoever succeeds him but may choose not to side with any of his allies, and instead opt to let the strongest rise to the occasion.

In a statement seen by The Standard, Odinga, through the party chair seems to have settled on how to appoint his successor.

According to John Mbadi, ODM will hold elections at a later date, when the time is right.

But, for now, those who wish to succeed Odinga should wait and avoid creating uncertainty and panic within the party.

“As chairman and in consultation with the Party Leader, we are proud of the massive interest shown in the future of the party and the debate on inclusion. It is the clearest indication that the party has relevance in the country and a future. I however wish to appeal to our people, those who want to lead and those who simply want the party to remain strong to exercise caution, restraint and moderation,” said Mbadi.

“A few processes will have to kick in, in line with the party constitution, before the party can declare the election date. Let's hold our horses and wait for guidance.”

The remarks come in the back of heightened interest in the race to succeed Odinga both in Azimio and his party ODM, as politicians have lined up with optimism to inherit the mantle. 

Among them include his allies former Governors Ali Hassa Joho and Wycliffe Oparanya, Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga and her Kisii counterpart Simba Arati, MPs Babu Owino (Embakasi East), John Mbadi (nominated) as well as Minority Leader in the National Assembly Opiyo Wandayi all who are angling to be the face of ODM should Raila clinch the AU job.