Nyanza leaders step back from Odinga’s campaigns

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Leaders from Nyanza who have been actively engaged around Raila Odinga’s presidential bid are taking a backseat, as the ODM leader assembles a new team of allies from other parts of the country for his new campaign team expected to reflect the face of the nation. According to reports, the new team being assembled will be running the former prime minister’s Azimio la Umoja campaigns.

”Jakom (Raila) feels that we should step back and give room to our new friends to run the show. It is not that we have abandoned the rallies,” an ODM lawmaker confided to a local publication, sentiments which were supported by the party’s chairperson John Mbadi.

Read: Cornered Mudavadi under pressure to back Odinga at the polls

”Raila has acquired new friends and those new friends should be given space to move around with him. If we are talking of Azimio la Umoja and you still see Mbadi and the rest around him, then where is that Azimio la Umoja,” the Minority leader in the National Assembly says.

Saboti MP, Caleb Amisi says the move by Mr. Odinga to bring new people around him, as his presidential bid gains momentum was a strategic one and that the former prime minister will not just be a president for Nyanza people.

“We appreciate their (Raila’s Nyanza men) continued support and being the bastion of Baba’s support but we also need to align ourselves to the realities of the modern centuries and thinking of the modern young person. You are going to see even more of those faces in the coming days because that is where the majority of Kenyans are,” Amisi said.

Read: President Uhuru cautions Mt Kenya against politics of deceit and empty rhetoric

In the past month, leaders outside Nyanza who have been at the forefront and accompanying Raila to campaign rallies are Governors Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega), Lee Kinyanjui (Nakuru), James Ongwae (Kisii), Hassan Joho (Mombasa), Nderitu Muriithi (Laikipia) and MPs Kanini Kega (Kieni), Maina Kamanda (Nominated), Abdulswamad Nassir (Mvita), Teddy Mwambire (Ganze), Stanley Muthama (Lamu West) and Caleb Amisi (Saboti).

Former presidential candidate Peter Kenneth, Nyeri Deputy Governor Caroline Karugu, business magnate S.K Macharia and ODM secretary general Edwin Sifuna have also been part of Odinga’s entourage.

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