SECTIONS

President tells Nyanza voters to turn out in big numbers, vote for Azimio

President Uhuru Kenyatta waves to Kenyans after he commissioned Sh24 billion Karimenu II Dam in Gatundu North, Kiambu County. [PSCU, Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta has asked Nyanza residents to come out in their numbers and vote for Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga.

The president received a heroic welcome in Kisumu as jubilant residents chanted his name when he arrived.

"On August 9, do not talk to anyone unless they have shown you their fingers showing they have cast their vote," he said.

Although the president was in the region to commission projects, including the special economic zone and the newly constructed Kisumu Railway station, politics took centre stage.

The president told the region that a huge voter turnout in the region would play a key role in ensuring that Raila becomes the country's next president.

His first stop was in Muhoroni, where he said he was in the region to commission projects and also drum up support for his political brother.

"We must ask for votes for Baba (Raila). Don't fail to vote and start complaining. Vote and be done by midday," he said. 

Uhuru urged residents not to elect corrupt politicians.

"If you vote for selfish and corrupt people they will not bring any development projects," he said.

He urged Kenyans to ensure peaceful elections.

"We want peaceful leaders not those who threaten and insult others," said Uhuru. 

For a man who has warmed the hearts of Nyanza residents, thousands of residents waited patiently for his arrival in the lakeside city.

When the military helicopters ferrying the president touched down at around 6.30pm, residents who were eagerly waiting for his arrival burst into song and dance.

The president was accompanied by Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, Ukur Yattani (Treasury), Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli among other leaders.

The Head of State said the refurbished Kisumu-Nakuru railway line will transform the lives of residents and improve the economy.

He noted that this will ensure easy movement of goods across the country and create employment opportunities.

"Infrastructure is what can open our economy," he said.

Leaders who accompanied the president lauded him for the development projects his administration has implemented across the region.

CS Yattani and Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o' said the projects will transform the country's economy. 

Today, the president will be in Western region where he will also commission a number of projects. 

Although, the tours are largely viewed as a farewell to the country, it is of great significance to Raila's presidential bid.

Western region has 2,616,929 registered voters, Luo Nyanza has 2,160,439 registered voters while Gusii boasts of 960,293 registered voters.

Raila’s camp considers the entire region as his voting bloc because of the huge support the region has accorded him in the past.

The Azimio presidential candidate, however, is not taking any chances and will lead a final onslaught to ring-fence the region with rallies in Kisii, Kisumu and Kakamega.

In Western, long-term ally Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and DAP-K leader Wafula Wamunyinyi, as well as former administrator George Natembeya are leading Azimio campaigns.

In Nyanza, his long-term allies and ODM stalwarts are conducting campaigns and pushing for six-piece voting pattern.

The leaders are also working on a plan to protect the votes in the region and are considering joint agents to man the polling stations across the region.