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Raila meets Orengo, Otiende to forestall rebellion in ODM

By Mireri Junior | May 10th 2021 | 3 min read

ODM leader Raila Odinga (second right) when he hosted Siaya Senator James Orengo, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and his Kitui counterpart Charity Ngilu at his Karen home, Nairobi, May 10, 2021. [Courtesy]

ODM leader Raila Odinga on May 10, met Siaya Senator James Orengo and Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo at his Karen home to forestall fallout in the party over the Building Bridges Initiative Constitution Amendment Bill

ODM has been in the news for the wrong reasons after it kicked out Otiende as vice-chair of the National Assembly’s Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) over his stance on the BBI Bill.

Orengo’s Minority Leader seat was also under threat after he also called for the amendment of the Bill contrary to Raila’s stance that it should be passed as it is.

“I had a great chat this morning with Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya together with Senator Orengo whom I hosted for brunch. Thanks for dropping by,” tweeted the ODM leader.

The meeting which was attended by ODM Deputy Party Leader Wycliffe Oparanya and Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu brought together the three amid rumours that Orengo and Otiende had fallen out with Raila.

Oparanya said the meeting was an indication that there was no rebellion in the Orange party as has been reported in a section of the media.

“Our meeting today should dispel rumours of rebellion in ODM as this are wishful thinking of our political detractors,” the Kakamega Governor said, adding that they also discussed the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI)

Oparanya had called for a truce in the party saying Orengo and Otiende concerns were genuine and should not be dismissed.

Ngilu who attended the meeting as the mediator also said the ODM party was united and thanks Raila for hosting them.

“In our meeting with Baba, I strongly encouraged that unity of purpose should prevail in ODM especially amongst leaders who have shown great purpose in moving this country forward,” she said.

Orengo while tweeting after the Karen meeting said it was refreshing to meet his party leader in the company of Ngilu and Oparanya.

“Together with Governor Oparanya and Sen Orengo, I had a good meeting with Raila Odinga at his Karen Home,” Otiende also said.

Otiende last week dismissed reports that he dared Raila in a text message and threatened to resign as JLAC vice-chair before his removal.

While defending Raila, the Rarieda legislator accused some people in ODM of orchestrating his removal from the committee.

“Other than being my party leader, Raila is my client so if I were to snub a meeting with him as the ODM leader, I will still go as a client,” he added.

He challenged the media to ask ODM national chair John Mbadi to show them the text where he is reported to have threatened to resign.

Otiende was last week kicked out as JLAC vice-chair and replaced by Ruaraka MP T.J Kajwang’ over his stance on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill.

Orengo cautioned unnamed people in ODM against intimidating him, downplayed reports of a fallout with Raila.

The Senate Minority Leader and Otiende are reported to have rubbed some members of the ODM inner circle the wrong way after calling for amendments to the Building Bridges Initiative Bill.

The senior counsels said some proposed amendments such as the creation of 70 new constituencies will entrench inequality.

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