Raila urges Nyanza voters to turn out in large numbers on poll day

Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga

Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga during a political rally at Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium in Kisumu County on August 4, 2022. He urged his supporters in Nyanza region to come out in large numbers to vote for him.

Photo credit: Tonny Omondi | Nation Media Group

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition presidential candidate Raila Odinga Thursday made a last pitch to his Nyanza backyard as he implored them to back his fifth bid for the presidency.

Nyanza has 3.12 million votes, inclusive of Kisii’s 637,010 and Nyamira’s 323,283, which are often lumped together with the Luo Nyanza counties of Kisumu, Siaya, Migori and Homa Bay.

He said his ticket, which has Narc Kenya’s Martha Karua as his running mate, is Kenya’s best after the exit of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Mr Odinga and Ms Karua appealed to their supporters to mobilise their friends, neighbours and relatives to turn out in large numbers and make their votes count in next week’s General Election.

Reflecting on the events that followed the 2017 polls, Mr Odinga pointed out that his inauguration as the “People’s President” on January 30, 2018, and President Uhuru Kenyatta’s swearing in at Kasarani Stadium, divided the country down the middle.

“This brought about tension in the country as my supporters agitated for the division of the country into two, a move that saw ethnic tension between Kikuyus and the Luos, among other communities.”

Agreed to shake hands

For the sake of peace and cohesion of the country, Mr Odinga said they agreed to shake hands.

“This calmed the country and ensured initiation of development projects across the country,” he said.

Speaking during a rally Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium in Kisumu, the ODM leader cautioned his competitor and UDA candidate William Ruto against attacking and undermining President Kenyatta.

“Now that President Kenyatta is going home, he should be left alone to retire in peace. If you have a problem then you should face me and Martha Karua squarely,” he said. “Ruto is now panicking and blaming everyone, including Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho, chiefs and assistant chiefs.”

Support of Kenyans

He reiterated that they have the support of Kenyans and does not need the help of state officers to win the elections.

“We will win this through the votes of the people of Kenya. There is no doubt in my mind that the people will vote correctly by voting for Azimio,” said Mr Odinga.

He called on his supporters to come out in large numbers and ensure a 100 per cent voter turnout.

“As you go to the ballot next week, you should carry along those who are sick, the disabled and the youth to ensure everyone participates in their democratic right,” he stated.  “You should confirm people who have voted on August 9 by checking their fingers.”

Ms Karua said the Tuesday election will be historic as Kenyans remember the friendship that existed between Kikuyus and Luos when first President Jomo Kenyatta closely worked with Vice-President Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.

She pointed out that the election presents Kenyans with an opportunity to decide where the country will be headed in the next five years.

“On one side lies the people who threaten and abuse others while we promise to ensure peaceful coexistence among Kenyans, irrespective of their background,” she said. She promised that the Azimio government will firmly deal with corrupt leaders and protect the property of Kenyans.

Confidence in Azimio win

Ms Karua expressed confidence that Azimio will get over 60 per cent of the total votes cast.

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka reiterated that Mr Odinga is best placed to be the country’s next chief executive.

“Mr Odinga has been at the forefront of fighting for this country. This is the time for Kenyans to reward him by overwhelmingly voting for his bid,” he said.

Mr Odinga was crowned a Luo elder and blessed in a ceremony led by Luo Council of Elders Chairman Opiyo Otondi.