BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,25TH FEB,2022-Orange Democratic Movement Party Leader Raila Odinga has formally been given the nod to vie for the Presidency and join the Azimio la Umoja Movement.
The top decision-making organ, the National Governing Council (NGC) adopted a resolution to have Odinga be the party’s presidential flag bearer.
The Council has also adopted a resolution to formally allow ODM to join the Azimio La Umoja Coalition Party with the former Prime Minister as its presidential flagbearer.
During the council meeting, Governors Hassan Joho and Wycliffe Oparanya who had applied to be the party’s presidential flag-bearers formally withdrew their candidatures in the race in support of Odinga.
“I formally withdraw from the race because I cannot compete with my father. Raila has been my mentor since I joined politics in 2004,” Joho said.
“Raila is my senior brother, and he had more experience than I have and so I will support him,” Oparanya said.
The party’s National Delegates Conference (NDC) will on Saturday meet at the Kasarani stadium and formalise Odinga’s candidature.
The resolutions were read by the party’s Secretary General Edwin Sifuna and adopted by the delegates through a vote of acclamation.
According to Suna East MP Junet Mohammed, ten parties allied to the Azimio La Umoja Movement have supported Odinga’s presidential bid.
Parties that have so far held their National Delegates Conferences (NDC) and endorsed Odinga includr Narc Kenya of Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu, United Democratic Party (UDP) of Cyrus Jirongo, PNU that of Peter Munya.
The ruling Jubilee Party is on Saturday expected to also endorse Odinga during its National Delegates Conference.
Odinga who presided over the council meeting thanked the delegates for endorsing his bid and vowed to deliver on his campaign pledges if he manages to ascend to power in the August polls.
“I was reluctant to vie but the people on the ground told me to give it another shot during my countrywide tours. I am hopeful that this time round we shall deliver,” he said.
The elections will be Odinga’s fifth attempt at the Presidency.
The African Envoy of Infrastructure committed to safeguard President Uhuru Kenyatta’s legacy and finish the projects that he wouldn’t have completed when he retires from office.
“I will continue from where the President would have stopped, that is my commitment,” he said.
President Kenyatta has since endorsed Odinga as his preferred successor and on Wednesday he rallied Mt. Kenya leaders at the Sagana State Lodge to back his bid.
President Kenyatta and Odinga who have shared a cordial relationship since their handshake in March 9, 2018 are expected to formally unveiled the Azimio La Umoja Coalition Party in two weeks time.
With the coalition in place, Odinga said proper structures will he assembled at the grassroot level to ensure the Coalition wins a majority of the seats.
“Our aim is to ensure that we win seats across the country underscored the Coalition,” he said.