Ruth Odinga statement on Raila Luo region succession politics ruffles feathers

Ruth Odinga

Kisumu Woman Rep Ruth Odinga.

Photo credit: File I Nation Media Group

A recent statement by Kisumu Woman Rep Ruth Odinga suggesting that nobody from the lake region can fit into the shoes of ODM leader Raila Odinga, has continued to ruffle feathers. 

A section of politicians from South Nyanza are now accusing the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga family of trying to dictate Luo Nyanza politics.

The politicians accused the legislator of recklessness saying it was not right for her to put the region in a campaign mood just one year after the 2022 General Election.

Ms Odinga had stated that she is yet to see that a politician who can succeed her brother as the luo kingpin.

Her statement seemed to be in response to calls by some politicians from the region asking the opposition leader to retire from politics and let another person succeed him.

Among those being fronted to take over from the former prime minister include Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi.  

But Ms Odinga argued that only her 78-year old brother was qualified to be a presidential candidate from Nyanza.

A group of United Democratic Alliance (UDA) termed Ms Odinga’s as an attempt by the Odinga family to extend their political dominance in the four Nyanza counties (Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay and Migori) where majority of leaders are members of ODM.

South Nyanza UDA coordinator Kennedy Ondiek scoffed at the legislator’s remarks saying that it was wrong to declare that nobody from Nyanza can be president besides Mr Odinga.
"Her statement implied that people from Nyanza who are aspiring to be president in the next election should shelve their ambitions and allow Raila to take the lead. We are telling her that this region has people who are educated and are ready to lead the country as head of state," he said.
Mr Odinga has made five unsuccessful attempts at the presidency.

It is not clear if he will be on the ballot in the next election but the statement by his sister Ruth leaves a lot to speculation.
Mr Ondiek accused the Odinga family of manipulating the politics in luo Nyanza by imposing grassroot leaders on the people through shambolic party nominations..

"We have lifted the family to a level where multiple members are representatives at different Houses. It is now time that they let other people lead," Mr Ondiek said.

Mr Odinga has been accused of using his influence to decide who should be elected in the regions where his party ODM enjoys fanatical support.
Mr Ondiek said this act blocks most people with good leadership skills from contesting and winning political seats.
"They have not provided opportunities for upcoming leaders to contest and win because they always decide who should lead," he said.
UDA coordinator in Suba North constituency Bruce Ogweno also criticised Ms Odinga remarks terming them as unfortunate.

"During campaigns, an aspirant from the lake region may be told of how they should not lead because of statements made by the Odinga family who insist that the only presidential candidate should be Raila," Mr Ogweno said.
He argued that there are so many young people who are aspiring to take over leadership and therefore it was wrong for the legislator to say that no one can be president from Nyanza apart from Mr Odinga.
[email protected]