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Nyanza leaders endorse ODM boss for presidency

By Harold Odhiambo and James Omoro | August 20th 2021

ODM leader Raila Odinga at Sikri Technical Institute, Homa Bay County. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga's Nyanza backyard has now given him the green light to take a fifth stab at the presidency.

The declaration by over 1,000 delegates drawn from all the six Nyanza counties and Raila's message at Sikri in Homa Bay signals the official beginning of Raila's quest for State House.

Although he has been traversing the country to popularise his national unity and development agenda, the ODM chief and his foot soldiers consider the Sikri meeting as the launching pad in his quest to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Raila said the endorsement marked the beginning of his journey to State House even as he shared his economic and political plans with the delegates. His political plan is grounded on the quest to achieve national unity.

The delegates, drawn from Kisii, Kisumu, Nyamira, Siaya, Homa Bay, and Migori challenged the ODM chief to take the national unity message to the rest of the country and build coalitions in a bid to capture the country's top seat.

"We have resolved to unite as a community and affirm our support for Raila as the next President of the Republic of Kenya," said the delegates in declarations read by Kisii Senator Sam Ongeri.

In a ten-point declaration in support of Raila’s bid, the delegates challenged other leaders to join them in pushing for Raila’s candidature.

It is at Sikri where Raila was handed the bible in the days preceding the 2017 elections to contest the presidency.

So important was yesterday's function that despite the ban on political gatherings, Raila's brigade managed to convince the Government to undertake the meeting.

ODM leader Raila Odinga. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

And yesterday, in a speech read by Kisii Senator Sam Ongeri, the delegates declared that Raila is the region's choice for the presidency.

"We have resolved to unite as a community and affirm our support for Raila as the next president of the Republic of Kenya," said the delegates.

The delegates said that the region that boasts over 2 million votes cannot afford to approach the election disjointed.

They are keen to ensure that Raila ascends to the presidency and are hoping to consolidate the votes in his Nyanza backyard.

Raila's camp is also pegging their hopes of marketing for the presidency through a robust plan pegged on peace and national cohesion.

Part of their economic agenda on the other hand is pegged on economic principles that promote robust infrastructure development and skills development.

The ball now is in Raila's court as he continues with efforts to crack his campaign strategy which includes convincing members of the One Kenya Alliance to back his bid.

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