Why Narc Kenya candidate quit governor's race in Laikipia

 Gitonga Kabugi's campaign billboard. [File, Standard]

Narc-Kenya candidate for Laikipia governorship has quit the race together with his running mate.

Making the announcement, Gitonga Kabugi and his running mate Nyokabi Njihia, said they will support the candidature of Jubilee Party flagbearer Ndiritu Muriithi, who is seeking a second term.

Narc-Kenya is an affiliate party in Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition that has fielded Raila Odinga as its presidential candidate and Martha Karua as the running mate. Karua is the Narc-Kenya party leader.

The decision, they said, had been made after traversing the county and listening to Azimio leaders.

"We have had a positive response from every corner of Laikipia, and at every point, we have been encouraged by the enthusiasm and support of the people and wish to thank them most sincerely and profoundly," said Kabugi.

"Over the last few days, we have carried out extensive discussions with our party leader and the entire leadership of Azimio la Umoja coalition. These consultations have been geared towards the need to form a formidable Azimio front to guarantee victory both at the presidential and county level in the forthcoming General Election," Kabugi told a press conference in Nanyuki town on Wednesday.

"We have come to the conclusion that for the greater Azimio agenda, and in order to ensure we collectively deliver on this objective, we cede our quest and yield to the advice of our party leader Martha Karua, who has tirelessly been working towards a cohesive and formidable Azimio front and leadership," he said.

He thanked Karua for her efforts to unite him and Muriithi to secure victory in August.

"Indeed, her leadership has significantly shifted the ground and support to Azimio in Laikipia County. For the avoidance of doubt, I want to state that we consciously arrived at this decision without any form of coercion, duress or undue influence and will work towards translating this decision to a consolidated vote at the county level," he added.

He asked his supporters to back Muriithi who is seeking re-election.