Be firm, Raila tells Luo Council of Elders boss

Azimio leader Raila Odinga when he attended Interdenominational Prayers at Homabay High School. [Emmanuel Wanson, Standard]

 Azimio leader Raila Odinga has asked the Luo Council of Elders not to be compromised. Raila said the Council is meant to offer leadership to the community on cultural values and should hence remain focused.

He spoke at Homa Bay High School, moments after the installation of the newly elected Luo Council of Elders chairman Odungi Randa.

Randa, a former aide of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga was elected by elders at Tom Mboya University before being unveiled in public at Homa Bay High School. He was elected through a consensus by elders from Homa Bay, Migori, Kisumu and Siaya counties. The elders said they were guided by traditional spirits before they settled on Randa.

Azimio leader told the newly elected chairman not to allow anybody to compromise him.

“What we expect from our new chairman is that he should not be compromised. Randa, we want you to stand firm against anybody who can attempt to compromise you. We don’t want anybody who can betray the Luo community,” Raila said.

He explained that the Luo Council of Elder's main objective is to promote the culture of the community which according to him was slowly declining. According to Raila, the council must restore the community's rich culture. “Today, there are many children of the Luo community living in towns. They speak English and Kiswahili but they don’t understand Dholuo. They also don’t know the culture of the Luo community,” said Raila.

“Many widows in Luo community are suffering after the deaths of their husbands but elders used to have proper modalities on how to help them. I urge our elders to guide our young people on how such widows can be helped based on our culture."

The Azimio leader told the Governors of Homa Bay, Kisumu, Siaya and Migori counties to establish cultural centres in their counties to enhance and promote Luo culture. “We must have cultural centres in each of our four counties. Governor Wanga has told me she has already acquired a piece of land,” he added.

He said the cultural extravaganza will be held annually.

Governor Wanga promised to work closely with elders in promoting and preserving the community's culture. “We are going to work closely with our elders to promote the culture of our community,” Wanga said.

Siaya Governor Orengo said they could not stop the election of Randa because of a court order. “This event could not be stopped by the court order because it is cultural. I appeal to our courts to respect cultures,” Orengo said.