President William Ruto has eulogised the granny who flew the flag of his United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party in the Kisumu Woman Representative race in last year's elections as an "exceptional, hardworking and respected woman".
In a eulogy read on his behalf by ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo during Mama Filgona Ayugi's funeral service at Nyamasaria Primary School in Kisumu on Saturday, the President described her as "God fearing" and one who loved politics.
"She was responsible, caring, kind-hearted and served the community with focus and dedication," the President said.
He said Ms Ayugi, the mother of UDA activist George Ayugi, would be remembered as the founder of the Party for Development and Reforms before later joining the UDA party on whose ticket she contested the Kisumu Woman Representative seat in the August 9, 2022 election.
"Today, we honour a unique woman whose light will never fade," the Head of State said.
Ms Ayugi died at Kisumu Specialists Hospital at about 9.45pm on Sunday, November 5, aged 67.
The funeral, which was attended by Interior Principal Secretary Dr Raymond Omollo, Kisumu Senator Tom Ojienda, Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo, Green Congress of Kenya party leader Hilary Alila and UDA Nyanza regional manager Okoth Obado among others, was marked by calls for the region to work with the Kenya Kwanza administration on service delivery.
Dr Omollo said he would work with other leaders in President Ruto's government to ensure it delivers on its promises to the people.
"My role is to ensure that the President succeeds in delivering on his five pillars which include agriculture for food security, affordable housing, digital economy for more opportunities in communication, business and job opportunities and health," said Dr Omollo.
Mr Owalo also reiterated the need for Nyanza Region to work with the government of the day.
"Let us all unite as leaders who have been given the opportunity to work in President Ruto's government and ensure that as we serve all Kenyans, we also support our people to ensure that we provide them with job opportunities to improve their standard of living," said Mr Owalo.
Mr Odhiambo urged Luo leaders in government to employ the community in government positions.
"My brother Raymond, please ensure that you recruit our brothers and sisters into the police force so that the community can feel part of this government," the Gem MP said.
Mr Obado urged locals to join the UDA party and support government initiatives.
Mama Filgona Ayugi had braved hostility in Kisumu to contest the Woman Representative position in last year's elections on Dr Ruto's party.
In the hotly contested 2022 General Election, she unsuccessfully ran against ODM leader Raila Odinga's younger sister Ruth Odinga.
She came fifth with 7,825 votes. Ruth Odinga emerged victorious with 304,419 votes.