• April 20, 2024
  • Last Update April 20, 2024 5:28 PM
  • Nairobi

Joho, Oparanya told to take charge of ODM


By Peter Ochieng

Former Mombasa governor Ali Hassan Joho and former Kakamega county boss Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya have been urged to take charge of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), in the absence of party leader, Raila Odinga.

The former governors are ODM’s deputy party leaders.

Odinga has declared his bid for the African Union Commission (AUC) chairman seat, ahead of elections in early 2025.

As such, various leaders among them Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi and his Embakasi East counterpart Paul Ongili alias Babu Owino, have been touted as possible candidates to succeed Odinga.

ODM chairman John Mbadi while addressing the press on Wednesday said those fighting to replace Odinga are pretenders to the throne, since ODM has two deputy party leaders who are supposed to take charge in Raila’s absence.

He urged Joho and Oparanya, to take a front seat in ensuring that the party remains intact.

“In the absence of the party leader, there are two deputy party leaders. Some of our members are operating as if in the absence of the party leader there is no party leadership, ODM has leadership, we also have the chairman but we work together,” noted the nominated MP.

“I fear that the actions and utterances of the last few days are not in the best interest of the party and those of the party leader who is keen on an orderly, inclusive and impactful agenda of the party,” he added.

If Odinga lands the AUC post, he may be locked out of local politics as his focus will be on the entire African continent.

His bid has already been endorsed by President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza administration, and former Nigeria President Olussegon Ombasanjo.

Mbadi urged those jostling to succeed Odinga, to tame their ambitions.

“I am just reminding our members, that you could be jumping the bridge and the river is too wide. Kindly, restrain yourselves and do it in a manner that you are not disruptive, ambitions can be very disruptive to a political party; they might not build a party if not tempered, I am equally very ambitions but it must be moderated.”

In addition, the ODM party chair indicated that the planned grassroots elections scheduled for next month could be postponed, because of lack of an elections committee.

He said the final decision on the matter will be communicated on Tuesday, next week.

“There could be some challenges to that, because our elections coordinating committee is not in place, so we may not have party elections in April. But we will decide that next week and indicate when we will have elections.”

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