Opiyo Wandayi denies existence of ODM factions vying for Raila's job

National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi. [Samson Wire, Standard]

National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi has said there are no factions in the ODM fighting over the job of leader and that Party Leader Raila Odinga will continue to steer the party.

Wandayi dismissed claims factions had erupted one allied to former Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and another allied to former Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya saying even if Raila clinches the African Union Commission Chairmanship he will steer the party. He said even if Raila was to resign as the ODM Party Leader in the event that he clinches the post it will be a free for all to contest.

Speaking at Parliament buildings Opiyo said he has understudied Raila for the last 30 years and so he was up to the task of taking over the Party in the event there is a vacuum

Opiyo said he was disappointed that some quarters were linking him to one of the alleged factions which is not true.

“Being the leader of the Azimio Coalition in the National Assembly I denounce attempts to link me up with one of the non-existing factions in the ODM Party, I am the rallying point of Azimio legislators in Parliament, it is wrong for anyone to link me up with any factions,” said Wandayi.

He said that the ODM Party is a movement that will be in existence in the political landscape of the country for many years, telling off those who were out to promote divisions in the largest opposition party which was carrying out mobilization in readiness for the next general election.

Wandayi said that he is best placed to protect the party from capture by reactionary forces, which he did not name, calling for the end of the debate of their being divisions in the ODM Party which he said were not there but a creation of the imagination of certain individuals.

“At the moment let me put it clear that the question of anyone attempting to replace Raila as the ODM Party Leader is farfetched, but, if he steps aside once elected as the Chairperson of the Africa Union Commission, I am also equal to the task,” said Wandayi.

With Raila expected to leave the political scene if he clinches the AUC Chairperson several politicians in ODM Party have been aligning themselves to take over the party leadership position with Joho and Oparanya being mentioned as potential heirs.

During the ODM grassroot mobilization in Wajir last Thursday Raila mentioned Joho and Oparanya who are the Deputy Party Leaders as has having the potential to steer the party to greater heights should he take a break when elected as the African Union Commission Chairman.

Raila invited both Joho and Oparanya to the podium saying that he was confident in the two to lead the party which had a strong foundation and that it will not crumble just because he is not involved in the day-to-day running of its affairs since it has a countrywide network that is strong.

“I am very confident that Joho and Oparanya will lead the ODM party to greater heights since they have the experience and the party has a strong grassroots network when I will be away in Addis Ababa, I will be available for consultation when necessary,” said Raila.

 Joho and Oparanya are likely to contest for Presidency in 2027 with both of them seeking the ODM Party ticket since they have the blessing of their party leader to be in charge of the opposition party which has always emerged second in the Presidential election since 2007.

Oparanya has been active in the political scene since his second term as the Kakamega Governor came to an end in August 2022 and actively participated in the demonstrations organized by the opposition party and at one point he was arrested by the police.

Joho on his part has maintained a low profile since his second term as Mombasa Governor came to an end and did not take part in the Azimio planned demonstrations only to emerge recently when Raila declared interest for the African Union Commission Chairmanship.

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