'Selfless and committed Pan-Africanist': Azimio endorses Raila for AU Commission top job

'Selfless and committed Pan-Africanist': Azimio endorses Raila for AU Commission top job

Azimio leaders led by Raila Odinga during a past press conference. PHOTO | COURTESY

The Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party has formally backed the recent declaration of intent by its leader Raila Odinga to submit his bid for the African Union Commission Chairperson position.

In a statement released on Friday, the coalition expressed confidence and optimism that the former Prime Minister was the man for the job, consequently calling for his consideration.

The opposition party cited what it termed as Mr. Odinga's unwavering commitment to respect for the rule of law, democracy and the general welfare of the people as the pillars of his candidature.

"As Azimio coalition, we welcome and congratulate our party leader for the bold step of putting his name forward for consideration of this most important role to the African continent and its people. We fully support his decision and we shall back his candidature to our fullest capacity," read the statement.

"From the onset, Mr. Odinga has played a crucial and selfless role in the democratisation of our nation. His sacrifices towards achieving socio-economic development, inclusivity, and stability of our Republic are well documented. He has always put Kenya first. These are qualities that we believe are needed for the next Chairperson of the AU Commission."

Azimio thus appealed to the continent to consider Mr. Odinga saying he stands out as a zealous statesman with the qualities needed to fill in the gap and take Africa forward.

"As we all know, Mr. Odinga has a long-standing history of commitment to Pan-Africanism. We believe that as the AU Chairperson, he will leverage his Pan-Africanism vision of identity and inclusivity, to achieve ‘an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena,’” noted the party.

"We are confident that Mr. Odinga’s candidature for the position of AU Chairperson will garner overwhelming support from all comers of our continent. His broad appeal and international name recognition as a statesman, committed to Africa’s progress, makes him the right and best candidate for the job."

While also calling for the support of the East African region, the outfit recalled Mr. Odinga's recent role as the AU High Representative for Infrastructure Development saying the position enabled him to travel across the continent and understand the needs of the people.

"We believe that Mr. Odinga is eminently qualified for the job. Having been the AU High Representative for Infrastructure Development, he has traversed the continent, interacted with her people and understands their wants and needs," added the statement.

"We are aware that it is East Africa's turn to head the AU Commission, and we do pray that the East African Community (EAC) will support this bid of one of their most illustrious sons."

The opposition boss on Thursday expressed his interest in the AU Commission leadership role saying he had a myriad of consultations with his friends prior to the decision.

"Should the leadership of Africa want my services I am ready and offer myself to be of service to this continent. I'm ready yes to go for the chairmanship of the African Union," said Mr. Odinga during a press address then, flanked by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo who backed his bid.

He expressed his determination to address issues affecting the African youth noting that if he was to clinch the seat, he would transform the face of Africa and realign it to become an economic superpower.

"As a Pan-Afrcanist I believe strongly that Africa is playing in the league that it should not play. That Africa deserves better," he noted.

"This is something we need to reverse and it can only be reversed if we as a continent marshal all our resources for the faster socio-economic growth of our continent."


Citizen Digital Raila Odinga Azimio AU Commission

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