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ODM questions Jimi Wanjigi motive as fight for presidential ticket looms

By Judah Ben-Hur | September 24th 2021


ODM Presidential hopeful Jimmy Wanjigi at St Theresa catholic church Kibuye in Kisumu county on September 19, 2021. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna plans to present to the National Executive Council (NEC) businessman Jimi Wanjigi’s quest for the party presidential ticket.

NEC opened the window for presidential hopefuls to apply for the party’s ticket, but suspended the process on April 1 to await a ruling on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) case. Court of Appeal upheld judgement declaring BBI unconstitutional.

“I will submit to the National Executive Council in the next two weeks so that the process can be reopened so that he can apply,” Mr Sifuna said.

Speaking on Spice FM yesterday, the ODM secretary-general questioned Wanjigi’s intentions of opening ODM offices during his campaign tours across the country.

“He has ulterior motives, that he will tell us when the time is right. He has not presented himself for the presidential ticket,” he said.

Sifuna spoke days after Wanjigi said no one had responded to his letters questioning the manner in which the party plans to conduct grassroots elections to pick delegates who will ultimately elect the presidential flag-bearer.

“The party’s nomination rule 7 clearly states that the National Election Board shall issue a notice of not less than 21 days with respect to all party elections due and it shall publish such notice in at least one daily newspaper with national circulation and one announcement vide the electronic media,” the businessman said in a statement to The Standard.

“When the secretary general confirms that election of officials has taken place in various branches and counties across the nation, where were these advertised? Why are they being conducted in undercover fashion and to whose gain? This is not an underground movement; it is the Orange Democratic Movement,” he said.

Interestingly, ODM party leader Raila Odinga has not submitted his application for the presidential ticket, leaving governors Hassan Joho (Mombasa) and Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega) as the only applicants. Joho has since stepped down in favour of Raila.

Wanjigi has launched countrywide campaigns for the party ticket.

Recently, the businessman raised concerns over the party’s grassroots elections during a press conference in Embu.

“I would like to remind Raila that the ODM constitution lays it out very well in Article 6 that all national officials shall be elected by the national delegate’s conference,” said Wanjigi.

Yesterday, Sifuna claimed that Wanjigi is a man who subscribes to the party, but only chooses to follow rules that favour him.

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