Former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero is to vie for Homa Bay governor seat as an independent candidate after being edged out of the race to be ODM flag bearer.
Kidero hit the campaign trail Saturday, just two days after ODM leader Raila Odinga gave the party’s nomination ticket to Woman Rep Glady’s Wanga.
He said he was not fighting the former premier in his bid to be the county boss.
Kidero was among seven aspirants who want to succeed Governor Cyprian Awiti after ODM chair John Mbadi and businessman Jared Kiasa bowed out of the race.
But it is now official that Kidero has ditched ODM to run for the seat as an independent, denying Wanga an opportunity to sail through unopposed.
Apart from Wanga and Kidero, no other aspirant has expressed interest in the seat.
Kidero said he decided to contest because of pressure from the residents.
The former Nairobi county boss expressed dissatisfaction with the manner in which Odinga gave the party nomination ticket to Wanga.
Kidero said what ODM described as consensus among aspirants that led to Wanga being favoured for the seat was not unanimous. He argued that his opinion was not sought.
“It is common knowledge that consensus involves bringing all concerned parties together so that all of them agree. But I was not called for the meeting,” Kidero said at Simbi Primary in Karachuonyo Constituency.
“I am contesting this seat as an independent candidate because the people of Homa Bay want a change in leadership. They say that they should be the sole decision-makers,” Kidero said.
He said that his ambition should not be misconstrued as a war between Raila and him. He told residents to dismiss anybody who says that he is fighting Odinga.
“I am not fighting Odinga. My aspiration has been motivated by the people who want me to transform the economy of this county,” he said.
Kidero held rallies at Olare, Asumbi, Central Karachuonyo, Homa Bay town and other trading centres.
However, ODM youth led by Karachuonyo Constituency leader Dan Opande urged residents to abide by the party's decision.
Opande argued that a political party deserves the right to handle nominations according to its constitution.
“I urge residents who are ODM members to abide by the decision of the party,” Opande said.
The race for Homa Bay governor's seat is now between Kidero and Wanga. Former Kasipul MP Oyugi Magwanga shelved his bid and agreed to be Wanga’s running mate.