Inside Politics

‘Raila has unmatched leadership qualities’ – Kidero

Wednesday, February 28th, 2024 15:07 | By
Former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero
Former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero. PHOTO/@KideroEvans/X

Former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero has heaped praises on Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition leader Raila Odinga following his bid for African Union Commission chairmanship bid.

Speaking to K24 TV on Wednesday, February 28, 2024, Kidero termed the opposition leader as a man with a strong personality and unmatched leadership qualities.

"Raila himself has a strong personality and has unmatched leadership qualities. Raila has been a leader for a long time and has got influence and that is still going to continue whether he is the chairman of the AU," Kidero stated.

Kidero, a former member of Raila's ODM party seems to have developed a new dalliance with the opposition chief, years after they broke ranks. Kidero left the ODM party and vied for Homa Bay gubernatorial seat in 2017, losing to ODM's candidate Gladys Wanga.

This comes even as more leaders allied to the Kenya Kwanza administration come out in support of the former prime minister, who has been a thorn in the flesh for the current government.

Raila declared his candidacy for the position on February 15, 2024, as he seeks to replace the incumbent, Moussa Faki.

During the declaration, Raila said he was the right candidate for the AU Commission chairmanship.

“Today, I want to make it public that I am ready to go for the chairmanship of the Africa Union. I am ready and offer myself to be of service to this African content when called upon. I believe that Africa is playing in a league that it should not play in and that it deserves better,” Raila said on February 15, 2024.

Already, Raila and President William Ruto seem to be engaged in lobbying other friendly states to support the opposition chief's bid, starting with East African neighbours.

Recently, Raila and Ruto flew to Uganda where they met the country's President Yoweri Museveni, who declared his support for Raila.

"Several days ago, I accepted an invitation from President Kaguta Museveni of Uganda for a joint meeting with President William Ruto today to discuss the deepening of regional integration within the East African Community," Raila stated.

"Crucially, at the urging of President Museveni, we also discussed my candidacy for Chairperson of the African Union Commission. I am very grateful to President Museveni for strongly endorsing my candidacy and to President Ruto for fully backing it."

President William Ruto With Raila Odinga
President William Ruto With Raila Odinga. PHOTO/@RailaOdinga/X

The AUC chair is elected on a four-year term renewable once and serves as the Chief Executive Officer, Legal Representative of the Union and the Accounting Officer of the Union.

The current AUC chair comes from Chad in Central Africa and there is a debate on electing the next Commission boss from East Africa.

Raila receives support

The former Prime Minister also received backing from former Nigeria president and AU Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Olusegun Obasanjo.

“We believe that people who have held the positions of head of government like at PM level will be able to knock on the door of incumbent PMs, Presidents without much ado. Such people would probably be the right persons armed with other attributes at this particular time,” he said.

The campaign to replace the current AUC chair Moussa Faki is set to officially begin once all interested candidates submit their applications by May this year.

Suitable candidates are required to have a Master's degree in a wide rage of academic fields including Law, International Relations, Economics, Diplomacy, Management, Business Administration, Political Science, Social Sciences or a closely related field from a recognised institution.

According to the AU, a PhD in Law, International Relations, Diplomacy, Management, Business Administration, Political Science, Social Sciences or closely related field from a recognized institution is an added advantage.

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