Ruth Odinga: No one is fit to fill Raila's big shoes, yet

Kisumu Woman Representative Ruth Odinga, ODM leaders Raila Odinga and Siaya Senator Oburu Oginga.

Kisumu Woman Representative Ruth Odinga, ODM leaders Raila Odinga and Siaya Senator Oburu Oginga.

Photo credit: File

The Jaramogi Oginga Odinga family has stoked a fresh debate over the Luo succession politics after Raila’s younger sister, Ruth, maintained that the doyen opposition leader was still the region’s supremo.

Ms Odinga, the Kisumu Woman Representative, defended her brother against calls by some critics that he should retire from politics.

But Ms Odinga pointed out that no one is comparable to Mr Odinga, as she called on other politicians from the region to seek help from the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition boss.

"No one can be president from this region apart from Raila. I have looked around to check whether anyone meets his qualities but I have found none," she said.

Ms Odinga, who spoke on Thursday at Mirogi Boys High School in Ndhiwa Constituency, Homa Bay County, called on the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader not to succumb to pressure from any quarters.

The event, dubbed Mama County Back to School Programme, was organised by Homa Bay Woman Representative Joyce Osogo and attended by Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga.

Ms Odinga stated that her 78-year-old brother has all the qualities of leading this country despite not succeeding in his five previous attempts.

“No one from the lake region can take over from him and vie for president and win. Raila is the only person who, despite not being president, was given an opportunity to use a door used by high profile dignitaries and sit next to heads of state. It means that he is still powerful," she said.

Mr Odinga’s sister spoke in reference to the just concluded Africa Climate Summit held at Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi, where Mr Odinga was received by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua.

She called on people from Nyanza to accord the former prime minister  the necessary support, saying he has what it takes to “liberate” the Luo community and other Kenyans.

“Raila should be the person to look up to and leaders supporting him should continue doing so," Ms Odinga said.

Their brother Dr Oginga, who has since retracted his statement, has however stated that he has no powers to anoint his brother’s successor.

“I only encouraged Wandayi to work hard and did not anoint him in any way. All I said is that he is doing well and he is among those in Raila’s line to watch in future,” he said while attending a function in Ugunja.

Dr Oginga pointed out that there is no political vacuum yet to be filled by anyone, adding that Mr Odinga “is still firmly on the steering wheel and is doing good,” he said.

The Siaya Senator termed his younger brother as a self-made politician who had worked hard for his status, noting that he did not have to be endorsed by members of his community.