Raila and Ida Odinga exchange love messages on Kasarani podium

Raila Odinga and Ida Odinga shortly before leaving for Kasarani Stadium on December 10, 2021. [Standard]


Ida Odinga, the wife of ODM leader Raila Odinga, says she has given her husband a free hand to embark on a vigorous political campaign ahead of the 2022 General Election.

Speaking at the Azimio la Umoja convention at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi, on Friday, December 10, Ida “surrendered” Raila to Kenyans as the couple showered each other with love messages from the podium.

“I want to release you to perform and to do what you need to do for the people who are here [at Kasarani Stadium], and those who are not here,” she said.

On Friday, Raila declared his interest to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta, when the Head of State’s term expires in October 2022.

Ida, who referred to Odinga as “a good friend and dear husband”, said that she has faith in the former prime minister, stating she believes he won’t let the people of Kenya down should he win the presidency.

“To wananchi, the people of Kenya, I release Raila to you, today,” she said amid cheers from the crowd.

“As a good friend, and as my dear husband, someone I’ve known for many years, I know what he is capable of doing,” added Ida.

According to the ODM chief’s spouse, a Raila presidency would keenly look into Kenyans’ education and health welfare.

“These are your people. I know you will not let them down,” emphasised Ida.

“The one thing that he (Raila) has, is the love for this nation. It is the love for the people of Kenya. He believes that Kenya can be a good place, better than what we have today. I know he is capable of making Kenya a good place.

“Most of these young people need meaningful jobs which can only occur if we resurrect our industries like tourism, mining and farming. We must get our act together. My dear friend, Raila, I know that you are capable of doing these and many more.”

While revisiting old memories in detention, Raila, who termed Ida as the “wife of my youth and partner to death”, thanked the spouse for standing by him during the tough times.

“There is a positive side to my story. It is about a personal friend… Alando (brown woman), a woman of legendary beauty and brave heart of Lwanda Magere. And this is the woman who stood by me when I was shunned by many. This is the wife of my youth, love of my life and partner to death,” said Odinga in his speech.

“In those hard times of long and uncertain incarceration, if I was not reading the Holy Bible, I found deep solace in Mama Ida’s love and support.

“She became a constant guest of the police cells through constant arrests and harassments. I can’t thank her enough. Thank you, darling.”

Raila Odinga will be gunning for the presidency for the fifth time after four failed bids in 1997, 2007, 2013 and 2017.

He is expected to face off against Deputy President William Ruto.