A supremacy battle has erupted in the backyard of Azimio coalition leader Raila Odinga, pitting Siaya Deputy Governor William Oduol against Alego Usonga MP Samuel Atandi.
The two politicians from Alego Usonga Constituency engaged in an altercation at a funeral on Saturday, triggering a fight between their supporters.
Mr Atandi, who broke his one term jinx after being elected in 1992, is serving his second term and was one of Governor James Orengo’s allies during campaigns before the August 9, 2022 General Election.
Mr Oduol was hand-picked by the Orange Democratic Movement as Governor Orengo’s running mate in the elections due to his influence and the support he enjoyed in the county.
Mr Atandi has argued that he played a more significant role in mobilising voters in Alego Usonga compared to other leaders from the region.
The recent spat between Mr Orengo and his deputy saw elders from Alego Usonga issue an ultimatum to the county boss, asking him to accommodate Mr Oduol and work with him.
The elders said they would mobilise residents to take part in demonstrations against the county boss if he failed to heed their calls to stop sidelining his deputy.
The remarks from the elders angered Mr Atandi, who accused Mr Oduol of undermining Governor Orengo.
“I worked so hard in Alego Usonga to convince teachers and other professionals to stand with the current county administration. That is the reason I will not allow anyone to begin undermining the governor before he delivers on his manifesto,” Mr Atandi said while issuing CDF cheques at Sidok Secondary School in Alego Usonga.
He condemned the elders and leaders in Alego Usonga, accusing them of fuelling wrangles in the county government.
“There are people fighting the governor, saying he has sidelined his deputy. I want to tell you these are people out to intimidate Mr Orengo and also fight me because I was Mr Orengo’s point man in Alego Usonga,” he said.
“Don’t listen to them. Mr Orengo is serving everybody in Siaya because he means well for all the residents of Siaya. “Ahead of the August 9 polls, I took Mr Oduol to Governor Orengo and worked so hard to have him considered as the running mate to Mr Orengo. The problem he is facing today is that he has decided to work against his boss and that is unacceptable.”
Mr Oduol stood his ground, saying all the projects initiated by former Governor Cornel Rasanga in Alego Usonga must be completed for communities to benefit.
“We are not going to allow our projects to be taken away. Alego Usonga votes played a crucial part in ensuring the current county administration is in office. The stadium and the governor and the deputy governor’s residences, together with the tarmacking of the road from Segere to Ogaso are projects the people of Alego Usonga will fight for,” said Mr Oduol.
He noted that as the deputy governor, he is the kingpin of Alego Usonga.
“You sent me to be your point man. I am the leader of this region,” he told mourners at the funeral.