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ODM Governors want Raila to give them direct nomination tickets in 2017 elections

By James Omoro | March 28th 2016
Seated from right is ODM chairman John Mbadi, Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti, Cornel Rasanga (Siaya) and Jack Ranguma (Kisumu) during a fundraiser at Nyenga Secondary school in Suba constituency. [Photo:JAMES OMORO/Standard]

ODM Governors from Luo Nyanza want party leader Raila Odinga to grant them direct tickets for the party nominations ahead of 2017 general elections.

The Governors Cornel Rasanga (Siaya), Cyprian Awiti (Homa Bay) and, Jack Ranguma (Kisumu) now want to be exempted from competition with their opponents in the party primaries.

Rasanga who spoke on their behalf during a fundraiser at Nyenga Mixed Secondary School in Suba constituency, said free tickets should also be given to Migori County Governor Okoth Obado if he ditches his People's Democratic Party (PDP) for ODM.

"Mbadi I am sending you to plead with ODM leader Raila Odinga so that the incumbent Governors of Siaya, Homa Bay, Kisumu and Migori counties be given direct ODM tickets," said Rasanga.

He argued that they deserve the tickets on grounds that devolution is still new, a situation which made them to serve for a short time while undergoing learning on how the devolved system works.

"Devolution was new and were still learning technicalities involved hence we deserve a second chance," said Rasanga.

Awiti who was present during the function said his second term will enable him to complete development projects he started for the people of Homa Bay.

"There are a number of development projects I have initiated but I will do more if am re-elected in 2017," said Awiti.

On his part, Ranguma said the direct tickets will enable them participate actively in Raila's presidential campaigns.

"My main aim is to ensure Raila wins the presidential race and what Rasanga has talked about will give us opportunity to campaign for Raila everywhere more effectively," said Ranguma.

However, the comments received criticism from a section of gubernatorial aspirants in the region.

Anne Anyanga who is eyeing Migori governorship says the request will jeopardize change in leadership which Nyanza residents need.

"The request is a threat to gender equity envisaged in the constitution. All governors in the Nyanza are men, how can I or any other woman eyeing the gubernatorial seat get that post if the incumbents are accorded free ODM tickets?" asked Mrs. Anyanga.

Kasipul MP Oyugi Magwanga who eyeing Homa Bay gubernatorial seat said the governors do not deserve free tickets on grounds that they will violate rights of voters and other gubernatorial aspirants.

"A Governor who worked well in his term will automatically be re-elected by the people hence does not need a free nomination ticket. But one can only need a free nomination ticket if he feels he did not serve the people well during his first term," said Magwanga.

Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo who is eyeing Siaya gubernatorial post accused the Governors of being suspicious of their popularity.

"I believe an election candidate who is popular should not ask for a free ticket in a race he is sure of winning. Those are people who have sensed defeat," Gumbo said.

Kisumu gubernatorial aspirant Hezron Mc'Obewa said the Governors should present themselves for a voting process by the electorate instead of being given free nomination tickets.

"The electorate need leaders who can do projects which put food on their tables. Let them participate in the nomination so that those who have failed are sent home by the electorate because change cannot be stopped," said Mc'Obewa.

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