ODM leader Raila Odinga is preparing his political weapons to strengthen his bid to checkmate President William Ruto’s administration and deliver what he describes as electoral justice.
Yesterday, Raila, who made his first public speech after cancelling parallel Jamhuri Day celebrations planned by Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition, said it is not yet over.
This came as he moved to consolidate support from his Nyanza support base and rallied residents and elected leaders to support leaders charged with delivering devolution to ensure it is a success.
His message was clear: He is still in the fight for the long haul.
Raila told his supporters that the quest for electoral reforms in the country will not be a walk in the park.
He said Azimio has a strong plan on how to keep the government in check and urged his supporters to remain steadfast. The plan, he says, will be unveiled in the New Year.
“This is not over. In the new month, I will give a statement and tell you the direction we are going to follow. Kenyans cannot line up from dawn and vote and then someone comes and changes everything,” said Raila.
While drawing examples from the fight for the first and second liberations, the ODM leader said nothing comes easy and he does not expect the fight for electoral and economic justice for Kenyans to be a smooth ride.
The former Prime Minister continued with his criticism of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), which he claimed bungled the August 9 General Election.
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Raila said the truth about the events that denied him a win in the August presidential election will come out.
He threw his weight behind the four IEBC commissioners who are subjects of a probe by a tribunal on their actions during the events that led to the announcement of the presidential election results.
“The Cherera Four knew what they were saying,” said Raila.
He was speaking in Awendo, Migori County, at the funeral ceremony of former Awendo Councillor Ochieng Ruku, who was among the founder members of ODM party.
Backed by a loyal team of allies, the ODM leader waded into a number of issues that has been seeping into his Nyanza backyard, including the talks of divisions between South Nyanza and Central Nyanza.
The ODM leader said the Luo community is united and faulted those saying the two regions are different.
“There is no Luo that is this side that didn’t come from the other side. Luos from one county are related to Luos from another county,” he said.
Raila is keen to ensure his Nyanza backyard remains intact and is firmly in his fold as he leads the charge to counter Ruto’s administration.
In the recent past, a crop of leaders have emerged from the region to challenge his dominance and have been calling for a shift in the region’s leadership.
Among those who have been critical of Raila’s mainstay in the region’s politics include former Migori Governor Okoth Obado, former Kisumu Senator Fred Outa, former Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma, a host of former MPs and former Lake Basin Development Authority Chairman Odoyo Owidi.
In his speech yesterday, although the ODM leader did not answer the leaders, he called for a united Nyanza even as he also vouched for development.
He urged governors and MCAs in his Azimio fold to ensure they deliver for the people and called for a good working relationship between the Executives and the County Assemblies.