Raila: How Annan saved us from post-election violence

By Wainaina Wambu | Monday, Aug 20th 2018 at 00:00
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Raila odinga at Friends Church in Ofafa Maringo, Makadara. [David Gichuru, Standard]

ODM leader Raila Odinga has urged politicians to focus on healing the nation.

Speaking at Friends Church in Ofafa Maringo, Makadara, Raila recounted how the late Kofi Annan saved the country from poll chaos 10 years ago.

He recalled the country’s circumstances from the time Annan jetted into the country, to mediate the Serena talks, up to this year's rapprochement with President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Raila said the “handshake” with President Kenyatta had saved the “baby called Kenya".

He reiterated that the focus now was on “building bridges”.

In a cheeky response to Ruaraka MP TJ Kajwang, Raila said the Building Bridges Initiative would provide a bridge to “Canaan” as they had found “crocodiles” while attempting to cross “River Jordan.”

Kajwang had said he was yet to see the “milk and honey” as promised by Raila.

“We are entering Canaan with all Kenyans, not only NASA, including Jubilee,” said Raila.

Raila described Annan as a brilliant negotiator and lauded his achievements.

Odinga said former United Kingdom Prime Minister Gordon Brown phoned him when the country was burning during the 2007 poll chaos.

Brown offered to bring in three negotiators – former Sierra Leone President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah and current South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Annan.

They settled on Annan after agreeing with former President Mwai Kibaki.

Odinga said the cycle would have been witnessed last year after bitter elections that sharply divided the country.

He said the rapprochement with President Kenyatta had rescued the country.

Odinga said they settled on a nine-point agenda with President Kenyatta and agreed to “walk together".

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