Chaos erupted at a political rally in Migori on Saturday after an unidentified man hurled two teargas canisters at a political rally that was being addressed by Migori Senator Ochillo Ayacko.
Minutes after Dr Ayacko rose to address the rally at Ragana Ward in Suna West, the teargas canisters were hurled at the crowd.
Although there were no police officers at the scene, the senator’s security created a human shield around Dr Ayacko before calm was restored. The attacker escaped on a motorcycle.
“This is an extreme provocation that I cannot entertain going forward. My opponents have started feeling jittery and are out to stop our bid,” Dr Ayacko said.
He blamed the attack on his competitors whom he accused of “applying thuggery to heighten political temperatures.”
“They are applying violence to create an implication that we are war mongers. It is good they are sending early signals. I’m urging all my supporters to exercise restraint going forward as no amount of intimidation will stop my quest to succeed Governor Okoth Obado,” he said.
The incident comes barely a month after Migori County Secretary Christopher Rusana was attacked in a similar manner on November 26.
Elders drawn from Suna East and Suna West constituencies had gathered to endorse Mr Rusana’s gubernatorial bid.
“The attack has proven that people who keep saying I have no support base have panicked, lobbing teargas in this function shows we are strong and nothing will stop our march to form the next government,” Mr Rusana said while condemning the attack.
Without mentioning names, Mr Rusana accused his competitors of sending goons to disrupt the meeting.
“Nobody will be intimidated into making a choice at the ballot. The times for violence are long gone and I believe that people’s voices will speak louder at the ballot,” he said.
Mr Rusana, who has been Governor Obado’s close ally, said that he would vie for the Migori governor's seat an ODM ticket. He distanced himself from the People's Democratic Party associated with his boss Mr Obado.
Governor Obado’s succession race has attracted Migori Woman Representative Pamela Odhiambo, former Migori MP John Pesa, businessmen Owiso Ngao and Dr Philip Mwabe, all from Suna clan.
Others are former Cabinet minister Dalmas Otieno, County Assembly speaker Boaz Okoth and US-based university don Mark Ogutu.