Chaos erupted at a political event in Migori County on Friday after an unidentified man hurled a tear gas canister at a crowd as an aspirant for the governorship seat was launching his bid for the position.
Migori County Secretary Mr Christopher Rusana was officially launching his gubernatorial bid when the tear gas canister was hurled at the crowd at Namba, on the outskirts of Migori town, sending those in attendance fleeing in different directions.
Elders and politicians drawn from Suna East and Suna West constituencies, who had gathered to endorse Mr Rusana’s bid, fled in different directions but calm was restored after police intervened.
“The attack is a clear indication that some people have started feeling jittery. It has proved that people who keep saying I have no support have panicked. Those behind the attack have realised we are strong and nothing will stop our march to form the next government,” said Mr Rusana.
He accused his competitors of sending goons to disrupt the meeting and vowed that now amount of intimidation will stop him from campaigning to succeed Governor Okoth Obado.
Mr Rusana has served as Governor Obado’s close ally but maintained that he was firmly seeking the governorship seat on an ODM ticket. He distanced from the People’s Democratic Party associated with his boss Mr Obado.
Governor Obado has parted ways with the ODM and drummed support for Deputy President William Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid.
“I am on course to ensure our party leader Raila Odinga secures 98 per cent of the votes in the county. Do not be hoodwinked by strange party’s trying to make inroads here in Migori. ODM is the way to go and that is where I will run for the county’s top seat,” he said.
Mr Rusana urged residents of Migori to forgive him if he had wronged them in the past.
Former God Jope Ward Representative Mr Ochieng’ Abwao said the Suna clan had unanimously endorsed Mr Rusana’s bid and vowed to popularise his candidature and ensure he clinches the seat in next year’s polls.
Governor Obado’s succession race has attracted Migori Woman Representative Pamela Odhiambo, former Migori MP John Pesa and businessmen Owiso Ngao and Dr Philip Mwabe, all from Suna clan.
Others are former Cabinet minister Dalmas Otieno, Migori Senator Ochillo Ayacko, County Assembly speaker Boaz Okoth and US-based university don Mark Ogutu.