Oparanya expresses interest in ODM leadership amidst Raila's potential AUC role

Oparanya expresses interest in ODM leadership amidst Raila's potential AUC role

Former Kakamega Governor and ODM deputy leader Wycliffe Oparanya in a file image

Former Kakamega Governor and ODM deputy leader Wycliffe Oparanya has declared his intention to succeed Raila Odinga, who is seeking the African Union Commission chairmanship. 

Speaking in Butere Constituency on Saturday, Oparanya confidently asserted his readiness to lead the party, citing his extensive leadership experience.

"In the event Baba heads to Addis Ababa and secures the presidency of over fifty nations, which could potentially happen by next February, we will have ample time to prepare. I am prepared to seize this opportunity and lead ODM," stated Oparanya.

Oparanya emphasised his qualifications for the leadership position, citing his experience as a Member of Parliament, Minister, and Governor. 

Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa echoed these sentiments, praising Oparanya's wealth of experience.

Support for Oparanya's candidature also came from Vihiga Senator Godfrey Osotsi and Butere Member of Parliament Tindi Mwale, who pledged their backing and expressed confidence in ODM's strength and unity under Oparanya's leadership.

 Meanwhile, Raila has expressed confidence in clinching the African Union Commission (AUC) chairperson position. 

While addressing a crowd after opening Marani market in Kisii, Raila said he has won endorsements from Presidents within the East African region and beyond. 

“I met Ruto and Museveni, I went to get Museveni’s vote, then I met Ruto. They agreed that they will vote for me. Museveni said he will propose my name,” Raila said on his recent visit to Uganda. 

In a bid to capture support from East African Heads of State, Raila said he will be heading to Kigali for talks with Rwanda’s Paul Kagame. 

“Next week I will meet Kagame, Mama Suluhu has said she will support me, Salva Kiir has accepted. The other day I was with Ramaphosa, he said yes, Tshisekedi has said yes,” he added. 

Raila told Kisii residents that he is ready to compete with other candidates who will show interest in the position, and if he is defeated, then it is well with him. 

Kisii Governor Simba Arati said he was in support of Raila’s bid, that will help the continent achieve its dream in development, economic and infrastructural growth. 

“Baba, we are supporting you and urge everyone to do it with an open heart not just because they fear your presence in the country. Let everyone support your bid and we shall all be happy”, he said.

On Wednesday, Odinga allayed fears that the AU job will block him from actively participating in Kenya’s politics. 


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