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Wanjigi takes hunt for ODM ticket to Raila’s backyard

POLITICS
By Jacob Ngetich | September 13th 2021

Businessman Jimi Wanjigi in a jig with his supporters at Matasia area, Ngong, Kajiado County. [Peterson Githaiga, Standard]

Businessman Jimi Wanjigi is set to begin a four-day tour of Nyanza to seek support for ODM presidential ticket in next year’s elections.

Mr Wanjigi said this is part of his nationwide tour to popularise ODM. He will engage grassroots leaders in a series of meetings.

“I am visiting Nyanza as part of my nationwide tour to popularise ODM. My goal is to ensure we have more voters supporting this party than in previous elections so that we can deliver victory to the Orange party and form the next government. I am visiting to share my vision for Kenya’s economic liberation based on Article 43 of the Constitution,” said Wanjigi.

This comes in the wake of Wanjigi’s push for free and fair ODM nominations. Last week, the businessman called on the party to re-open the nomination application for those seeking presidential ticket ahead of the 2022 General Election.

“I have come to announce that I will be vying for the ODM party leader position in the coming primaries. We would like you to open up the nominations for the presidential ticket. If the exercise was suspended, then it means it can be opened. We are optimistic that you open up the process and give us time to submit our papers formally,” said Wanjigi.

“Once the applications open up we want that transparent process similar to other parties in other developed countries. Kenya will be a magnificent place under the rule and leadership of the ODM party,” he added.

ODM secretary general Edwin Sifuna said the decision to re-open the nominations application would be determined by the National Executive committee.

“The time for applications ended, but there are those asking if we can re-open the nomination process again. That decision will have to come from the National Executive Committee because that is nothing I can declare on my own as secretary general,” said Mr Sifuna.

Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho and his Kakamega counterpart Wycliffe Oparanya who are also deputy party leaders have expressed interest in the party’s presidential ticket and have submitted their papers to the National Elections Board.

Raila who is yet to submit his papers told mourners in Rangwe that he would not confirm his candidature until it was clear to that he has enough voters to support his bid.

Speaking in Dholuo, Raila said: “Some say that I have already declared my presidential ambition. That’s not true. I said last time when in Nakuru that we have to start afresh as a united country in what I christened Azimio la Umoja. Until you register as voters, I won’t declare. The numbers won’t matter if you don’t register.”

Wanjigi’s candidature has aroused interest since he is a businessman who led a private life and only participated in politics from the strategy rooms but was thrust in the public limelight in the 2017 General Election where he backed the defunct NASA.

The businessman has urged Raila shelve his presidential ambition and support the change of leadership in ODM.

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