Former Nasa brigade to miss Raila's event
| Dec 10th 2021 | 3 min read
National Super Alliance (Nasa) former principals have indicated they will give ODM leader Raila Odinga’s Azimio la Umoja convention a wide berth.
Two of the former Nasa principals – Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi and his Ford Kenya counterpart Moses Wetang’ula – yesterday said they will skip the political extravaganza to attend to “personal matters”.
Fellow One Kenya Alliance (OKA) principals also remained tight-lipped.
Mudavadi yesterday confirmed that he had received an invitation from organisers of the event being held at Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani in Nairobi.
“I have just received an invitation about an hour ago but I will not attend. I wish them success in the convention because it is expected that Raila will declare his intention to vie. It will be his day in the sun and we wish him well,” said Mudavadi.
“As noted herein, the invitation was addressed in my personal capacity as ANC Party Leader and not OKA Principal. Regrettably, I will not be able to attend because of personal engagements. Raila Odinga is a worthy competitor, I wish him well...,” he tweeted.
Wetang’ula said he will not attend as he received invitation when he already had other public engagements in his Bungoma County.
He said he will be attending the homecoming of the newly appointed Catholic Archbishop of Nairobi Philip Anyolo.
The Bungoma senator said he will also attend the funeral of an MCA in his county on the day Raila will be hosting 60,000 guests and supporters.
“I am not attending because I received the invitation rather late. The invitation reached my office two hours ago and there was no earlier indication that I was going to be invited,” said Wetang’ula.
ODM Director of Elections Junet Mohamed said the party sent invitations on Monday. He said they had invited all OKA principals – Mudavadi, Wetang’ula, Kanu’s Gideon Moi and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka.
“We have invited all of them. You can only confirm if someone is attending by seeing them at the venue tomorrow,” said Junet.
Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli and Jubilee Joint Parliamentary Group Secretary Adan Keynan described the event a turning point for Uhuru’s succession contest.
Atwoli, who is part of the invited guests, said the event will provide political direction moving into next year’s polls.
“The meeting is the beginning of a political direction a majority of Kenyans will take. It will provide direction that will drastically influence the 2022 succession,” he said.
Atwoli said workers will be at the forefront championing for Azimio la Umoja to ensure a united country.
“No other political party has invited us for such a function apart from the Azimio la Umoja group. It is workers who suffer the most after every five years due to election-instigated violence. We will support the unity bid,” said the Cotu boss.
He described Raila as a great political mobiliser while challenging his opponents to watch the pace.
“He is the only man who can give Kenyans a holiday outside the gazetted ones. Tomorrow (today) there will be nothing happening in Nairobi apart from the event at Kasarani and his opponents have to attend or watch,” said Atwoli.
Keynan, who spoke at the launch of a book by Somali writer Abdimajid Omar at KICC, said Raila’s Azimio la Umoja crusade was in tandem with the national unity agenda, a critical cog of President Kenyatta’s legacy.
He said Raila’s track record defending devolution had endeared him to marginalised communities.
“Asked in whose hands we are safe after President Kenyatta, I, having listened to my people, find our safety in an Odinga presidency,” he said.
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