I’m ready to shelve presidential ambition – Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho

Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho addressing ODM members at the Wild Waters in Nyali during Raila Odinga’s Azimio la Umoja popularisation event on September 18, 2021. [Standard]

Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho has said he is ready to shelve his 2022 presidential ambition and support ODM leader Raila Odinga.

Joho made the remarks at the Wild Waters in Nyali, Mombasa on Saturday, September 18, when Raila Odinga met ODM members to popularise his Azimio la Umoja ideology.

“I’m ready to shelve my presidential ambition. I do not fear doing that,” he said.

Joho said there was a reason Coastal people have, over the years, rallied behind Raila Odinga.

“I strongly believe that our only path, as Coastal people, to State House is through Raila Odinga,” he said.

He, however, stated that he could still be on the ballot box if ODM finds him suitable.

“ODM’s presidential candidate can either be Raila Odinga or myself,” said the county chief.

Responding to those asking where he has been in the political scene of late, the county boss said he was keeping a low profile to avoid contracting Covid-19.

“Even though I have been fully vaccinated, I have been maintaining a low political profile to avoid contracting or spreading Covid-19. But soon, you’ll see me hitting the ground running.”

He said he was optimistic that Raila Odinga will be elected President in 2022.

“I’m, however, urging Odinga to bring on board Coastal leaders. We do not want to continue being distant observers or followers, but participants in governance at national level,” he said.

In February 2021, Joho surprised ODM diehards when he indicated he would challenge Odinga to the party’s ticket in the 2022 presidential election.

The governor, who is serving his second and final term, even asked Odinga to support his bid.

Joho said he was the best-suited person in ODM to fly the party’s ticket in the upcoming elections.

The Saturday, September 18 event at Wild Waters was attended by, among others, Governors Granton Samboja (Taita Taveta) James Ongwae (Kisii), Dhadho Godhana (Tana River), Kilifi Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi, Kwale Senator Boy Issa Juma, Gender ministry CAS Rachel Shebesh and Coastal MCAs.