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I'll forge unity and build a peaceful country, says Raila


Raila Odinga (right) took his Azimio la Umoja campaign tours to West Pokot County on April 2, 2022. [Emmanuel Wanson, Standard]

ODM leader Raila Odinga brushed aside the stoning of his helicopter in Uasin Gishu on Friday by visiting West Pokot yesterday and campaigning for peace.

Raila, who has taken his campaigns to Deputy President William Ruto's perceived political base, vowed to ensure a peaceful country if elected president.

Raila took his Azimio la Umoja campaign tours to West Pokot County less than 24 hours after he encountered hostile youth who pelted one of his two choppers with stones during the burial of Jackson Kibor in Kabenes, Soy sub-County.

Addressing a rally in Ortum, Pokot South constituency, the former prime minister said he will tame runaway insecurity by pursuing criminal elements.

Azimio la Umoja-allied politicians led by West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo and his Kakamega counterpart Wycliffe Oparanya, while condemning the Friday incident, also called for peaceful campaigns ahead of the forthcoming General Election.

Raila said, if elected, his administration will forge a united and peaceful country.

"We can't develop when there is no peace. No Kenyan will lose their lives during my tenure. Criminal elements will be pursued, even if they run to the neighbouring countries. I will build a new Kenya, with peace and love for all," Raila said.


Azimio la Umoja-allied politicians led by Governor John Lonyangapuo in West Pokot. [Emmanuel Wanson, Standard]

He did not however directly address the chopper attack incident during the Ortum tour. He later addressed rallies in Loruk and Alale in West Pokot.

On the cost of fertiliser, the Azimio presidential flag bearer said he spoke with President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday morning and told him that farmers were suffering due to high cost of inputs and now the price of the commodity has reduced from Sh6,000 to Sh2,800.

"Under my government, the cost of all agricultural inputs as well as fuel will be reduced to spur growth in the sector," Raila said.

Raila defended his social protection initiative where unemployed Kenyans will get Sh6,000 monthly, saying he will end corruption and use the savings to fund the programme.

"Those in Tanga Tanga (Deputy President William Ruto-led Kenya Kwanza) have been saying it is not possible to give vulnerable Kenyans Sh,6 000. I have been a prime minister and I know all the corruption loopholes. I will seal all the loopholes to fund the social protection programme," Raila said.

Raila said he had partnered with Kenya Union Party (KUP) led by Lonyangapuo for the benefit of the Pokot community.

He said a stalled cement processing plant in West Pokot will be unveiled by President Uhuru Kenyatta before the August polls.

"You (West Pokot) residents have been waiting for cement mining for a long period. President Uhuru and I will open the cement factory before the elections. My government will set up a potato cooling plant," Raila said.

He further said his administration will look into a request by the Pokot to be declared a community and given an ethnic code. The Pokot is a sub-tribe of the Kalenjin community.


Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya speaks during a past event in Kisii. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

Oparanya called for peaceful election campaigns and warned against chaos.

He told persons who perpetrated chaos in Uasin Gishu on Friday to stop taking the country back to days of electoral violence.

"I condemn the Friday attack with the strongest terms possible. We want to move forward as a united country. May the Friday attack be the last," Oparanya.

Lonyangapuo said the attack on Raila's chopper was an isolated case and asked security apparatus to probe the matter.

The KUP party leader defended his move to sign a partnership deal with Azimio coalition, saying the Pokot community will benefit from the political pact.

"I will not lead the Pokot in the wrong direction. I am confident that we will be in the next government. All indications show that Raila is winning the presidential contest this year," Lonyangapuo said.

Raila was also accompanied by Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos, Pokot South MP David Pkosing and Junet Mohamed (Suna East MP). 

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