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ELECTION 2022

Raila to Ruto: No need for insults, let’s meet at the ballot

POLITICS
By Olivia Odhiambo | Dec 18th 2021 | 2 min read

ODM leader Raila Odinga speaks during the burial of Rosabella Jerono Mudavadi at Budira village, Vihiga County. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga has called on Deputy President William Ruto to offer politics based on peace and respect.

Speaking at a funeral in Paga village, Kisumu County, Raila, without mentioning Ruto by name, said the DP's campaigns should be void of insults and divisive talk.

“I have, already, told him [Ruto] to respect me, as I also respect him, and meet at the ballot. Let’s see if he can manage the contest,” said Raila as he expressed optimism that he will clinch the top seat in the 2020 General Election.

Raila went on to call on supporters in his Nyanza backyard to register as voters in large numbers when the second and final voter registration exercise kicks off in January 2021, and gear up for his fifth stab at the presidency.

“I want us to be ready, such that when I say move forward, we do it together. Let us be ready, because, this is like a war. We must have our weapons ready. Focus on strengthening our numbers down here as we wait for the general elections. Do not be afraid because I am not afraid,” said Raila.

According to IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati, the electoral body did not meet its target of registering 4.5 million new voters during the exercise conducted between October and November 2021.

Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi, who recently decamped to ODM from United Democratic Alliance (UDA), said Raila should garner 99 per cent of the votes cast in Nyanza come 2022.

“The minimum we should get is 99 per cent, from this region. If we do not come out in large numbers to register and vote for our presidential candidate, we will still lose. As for us, we will not disappoint Raila in Gusii land,” said Maangi.

A message echoed by Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyong’o, who rued Raila’s three chances at the presidency, and called on the region’s electorate to play its part to ensure the ODM leader wins the 2022 presidential race.

“We may shout and celebrate as much as possible before the event, but when the event comes let us dance as well. It is by casting that ballot early so that it is counted. In Africa, when you cast your ballot for your candidate, it may not be counted or it may be counted but fails to be announced and when it is announced it is done so for someone else. We have gone through that in ODM three times,” said Nyong’o.

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