Elected ODM politicians in Mombasa have endorsed Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir to succeed Governor Hassan Joho in the forthcoming general elections.
Led by Likoni MP Mishi Mboko, Badi Twalib (Jomvu), Woman Rep Asha Mohammed and Senator Mohammed Faki, the legislators said they will campaign for Mr Nassir and their party leader Raila Odinga ahead of the 2022 polls.
Changamwe MP Omar Mwinyi is the only ODM elected leader who is yet to declare his support for any of the five gubernatorial aspirants led Mr Nassir (ODM), his Kisauni counterpart Ali Mbogo (Wiper), Mombasa Deputy Governor William Kingi (ODM), businessman Suleiman Shahbal (ODM) and former Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar (UDA).
The five are angling to succeed Mr Joho, who is serving his last term.
Governor Joho said he will not endorse his deputy Kingi, his closest and longtime ally Nassir or Mr Shahbal, who are battling for the ODM ticket. He urged the three to square it out during party primaries.
Ms Mboko said Mr Nassir is fit to take over Mr Joho’s mantle due to his experience in leadership. She further urged the electorate to support Mr Odinga for the presidency.
“This region is ODM’s bedroom, we will stick with Mr Odinga through thick and thin. He gave us State appointments when he was Prime Minister. He gave us Mr Joho as assistant minister, Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi as a minister and further nominated Agnes Zani, Zuleikha Hassan and I,” said Ms Mboko.
The MP termed Mr Nassir as “people’s defender who has fought for the rights of the aggrieved”.
Senator Faki said ODM is a strong party with a huge following in the region. He said among the aspirants angling for the governor’s seat, Mr Nassir is accessible, a servant leader and a people’s person.
“But for us to win we must ensure everyone is registered as a voter. We want leaders who will bring change in Mombasa and the entire country. The 2022 race is near, let us ensure we vote in our party leader Raila for the top seat. And in Mombasa, our candidate is Mr Nassir,” said Mr Faki.
Speaking during a political rally in Likoni, the leaders praised Mr Nassir for his ‘exemplary performance in Parliament’, saying he has been fighting for Coast people.
“In Parliament, he is the chairman of the Public Investment Committee, where he has done a tremendous job. If we vote for him, our resources will be protected,” added Mr Faki.
Mr Badi said his Mvita counterpart is the preferred candidate due to his development record as an MP.
Mr Nassir urged the residents to register as voters in large numbers.
“When I was warning how the Standard Gauge Railway will kill Mombasa’s economy and leave youth jobless, I was told I was lying. Today, those who criticised me are going around lying to Kenyans. I began fighting for the rights of Mombasa people even before I was elected MP,” said Mr Nassir.
The gubernatorial aspirant said Kenya is safe under Mr Odinga’s custody. “Mr Odinga has promised to appoint four youth in his Cabinet, we are urging him to ensure Mombasa gets a slot. This country needs economic liberation,” he added.