Isiolo North MP Hassan Odha has maintained that he has no regrets for losing the Jubilee Party ticket to his predecessor Mr Joseph Samal, terming the loss a blessing in disguise.
The first term MP who was elected on KPP ticket in 2017 is defending his seat, which has attracted a total of 16 aspirants, as an independent candidate.
Mr Odha said had he been given the ruling party’s ticket, he would have had a lot of baggage to campaign for a particular presidential aspirant but running as an independent will enable him get votes from supporters of both Azimio’s Raila Odinga and Kenya Kwanza’s William Ruto.
“I am so happy that I was denied an opportunity to run on the Jubilee ticket as it would have cost me a lot of votes and become a baggage to me. I will now concentrate on my own campaigns,” he said after he was cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to run in the August 9 General Election.
The legislator admitted having previously had difficulties explaining to his supporters why he had to run on Jubilee and not another party.
Individuals, not parties
He expressed confidence of being re-elected, saying Isiolo residents do not elect parties but individuals.
“I am appealing to our people to elect me back so that I complete the work that I started in 2017. My score card speaks volumes and I know I have achieved a lot compared to past Isiolo North MPs,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chama Cha Kazi's Osman Shariff Abukar, who is seeking to unseat MP Odha, called for political tolerance and peaceful campaigns, saying peace goes beyond elections, which are seasonal.
“Our people should remain united and shun leaders out to divide them. I have committed to engage in peaceful campaigns because Isiolo is more important than all of us,” he said.
He appealed to residents to make wise decisions at the ballot by electing leaders and not parties, saying voting blindly will deny them development and opportunities that they have been yearning for.
“I will, if elected, focus on empowering the common mwananchi, youth, women and special groups for a better Isiolo,” Mr Shariff said.
Elect credible leaders
Mr Odha asked voters to elect non-corrupt, development-oriented, learned and peaceful leaders in the August elections.
“We want leaders who will unite all the communities in Isiolo and be responsive to the needs of all,” he noted.
Others in the race include Party of National Unity's Mwenda Thuranira, Abshiro Halakhe of Kanu, Fatuma Ali of Ford Kenya and Upia Party's Mohammud Abdikadir Guyo.