Inside Politics

Joho explains why he is best suited to succeed Raila

Monday, March 18th, 2024 17:54 | By
Former Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho hugs ODM party leader Raila Odinga
Former Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho hugs ODM party leader Raila Odinga. PHOTO/@HassanAliJoho/X

Former Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho believes he is the best opposition politician in the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party to succeed Raila Odinga.

Speaking on Monday, March 18, 2024, Joho says that he has been loyal to the Orange Party since it was formed and has never wavered.

This comes at a time when Raila has announced his candidacy for the African Union Commission (AUC) chairmanship to replace the outgoing chairperson Mussa Faki.

"There are fundamental factors that we have over the period been able to learn from our party leader and our father Raila Odinga. We have already inherited courage, democracy, values of putting Kenyans first and fighting for citizens," Joho said.

"Since I ventured into politics, I have been under one person, Raila Amollo Odinga. Since I started my politics in 2004, I've never left (Raila). So I know the values Raila holds. I heard someone say I came recently. I am a founder member of ODM."

The former Mombasa Governor says he has sacrificed a lot due to his loyalty to the party, including risking his life for pledging loyalty.

"No one in this country has gone through political turmoil in this country for standing with ODM and Raila Odinga more than me," he added, saying that the opposition party should form the next government.

Joho's plan for 2027

Joho, who announced that he intends to run for President in 2027, says he will do so under an ODM ticket.

"If I am to run for president, and I have already announced, I will only run under the ticket of ODM. I have leaders from the western region that we are engaging. We have to form a team of equals, like-minded leaders who believe in a course who understand where we want to go as a party and as a people to liberate our people. There will be a first among equals but we will engage," he added.

Raila endorses Joho, Oparanya

Recently, Raila announced that Joho and former Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya are fit to succeed him in case he gets the AUC job.

Speaking on Thursday, March 7, 2024, Raila said that his exit from local politics should not kill the opposition party, which has existed for nearly 20 years.

"I'm here with Governors (Wycliffe) Oparanya and Ali Hassan Joho. They will come together (to lead ODM). A party with a strong foundation cannot crumble just because one person has left. I am confident that these (two) will continue driving the party agenda even though I'll be in Addis Ababa. If they want advice, I am ready. ODM will remain intact," Raila stated.

This comes two weeks after Ida Odinga, Raila's wife, endorsed John Mbadi to take over in case the opposition supremo left local politics.

Speaking in February, Ida said that Raila has trained a lot of lieutenants in local politics who could take over from him if he gets the AU job.

Terming Mbadi as Raila's heartbeat, Ida said that the politician does not need more training from Raila, who is now eying the AU job.

“Nothing is lost so far. He (Raila Odinga)’s a Kenyan. And he’s not the first Kenyan to seek employment from abroad. He says he’s organized great ladies and gentlemen who can stand firm (here in Kenya) in his absence. Am I lying Mbadi (John)? Raila has been training you for many years…. Do you still need more training?” Ida posed.

“That’s Baba’s heartbeat,” Ida added amidst hearty cheers from the crowd.

In response, Mbadi said Raila's bid for the AU job could benefit Kenya, terming the job as important not only for the opposition chief but also for the country.

“There should be no issue if Raila Amolo Odinga goes to head the African Union Commission. We know what he wants and the importance of the job, We might greatly benefit from his position as the AU leader,” Mbadi said.

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