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CORD leader Raila Odinga must avoid attacks on MPs in tour

By Enock Onsando | July 19th 2016

CORD leader Raila Odinga has started his week-long charm offensive on the vote-rich western region to counter Jubilee influence.

This visit comes against the backdrop of rebellion by over nine local MPs who have vowed to ditch ODM.

It also comes after resignations by party secretary general and Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba  and Funyula’s Paul Otuoma, who served as ODM vice chairman.

Ababu and Otuoma accused the leadership of ODM of frustrating them and making it difficult for them to do their work. The lawmakers also accused Raila of undermining them by visiting their constituencies without their prior knowledge.

And after resigning, Namwamba vowed to frustrate Raila’s efforts to maintain his foothold on the region. They have also threatened a mass walk-out, together with their supporters unless ODM addresses the issues they have raised.

And Raila is also faced with a fresh challenge of ensuring seats left by Namwamba and Otuoma are retained in western region, and specifically in Busia County where the duo hails from.

However, Raila must be careful. Otherwise, his tour will not achieve the desired results. Personal attacks on rebel MPs will be his unmaking. He will be expected exercise a lot of political maturity by understanding everyone has a right to join the party of their choice.

The departure of Namwamba and Otuoma did not come as a surprise and may not affect CORD. However, things will change if Raila goes ahead and insults them. The ODM leader will only be emboldening the MPs and this will mean more trouble as he seeks to consolidate his support in the region.

At the same time, Raila should stop threatening and giving ultimatums to the rebel MPs. This is only worsening the situation as the rebels and their supporters wait to see what ODM is capable of doing.

Raila should also know MPs from Nyanza are a liability. They don’t add any value to his presidential ambition. He must therefore ignore them during this tour, lest they worsen matters for him through careless talk or attacks on rebel MPs.

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