Inside Politics

‘Hakuna mahali Baba ataenda’ – Oparanya tells ODM supporters Raila will be on the ballot in 2027

Sunday, March 3rd, 2024 15:42 | By
'Hakuna mahali Baba ataenda' - Oparanya tells ODM supporters Raila will be on the ballot in 2027
ODM Party Deputy Leader Wycliffe Oparanya during a past function. PHOTO/Wycliffe Oparanya(@GovWOparanya)/X

ODM Party Deputy Leader Wycliffe Oparanya now says opposition leader Raila Odinga will not retire from local politics any time soon.

While addressing ODM supporters in Suba South constituency, Homa Bay County, Oparanya alluded that the party leader would be on the presidential ballot in the 2027 General Election despite his current bid for the African Union Commission (AUC) chairmanship.

The former Kakamega Governor called on the electorate to turn up in large numbers and vote for Raila when the time comes.

"Ni wangapi watapigia Baba (Raila Odinga) kura? Hakuna mahali Baba ataenda, atabaki humu humu. Akienda kule African Union nikutembea tu. Dunia mzima Baba ni mmoja!" Oparaya stated in Swahili.

Loosely translated; "How many will vote for Baba? There is nowhere Baba will go, he will remain right here. If he goes to the African Union, it's just a walk. There is only one Baba in the whole world!"

At the same time, he asked the residents not to re-elect the area MP Caroli Omondi, whom he accused of betraying the ODM party leader. He drummed up support for the former area MP John Mbadi to recapture the seat from Omondi, who is among perceived ODM rebels working with President William Ruto's Kenya Kwanza administration.

Oparanya's remarks come days after Raila ruled out retirement from local politics amid his AU bid.

Speaking during the opening of the Marani Vegetable Aggregation and Marketing Centre in Kisii County on Thursday, February 29, the former prime said securing the coveted seat would not deter him from contributing to local political affairs during his free time.

He also assured his supporters that he would not hesitate to avail himself should they need his services in the local political scene.

“If Kenyans will need me for any other job I'll be available, I will take a break from the AU and come deal with the job Kenyans have given me,” Raila told Kisii residents.

In an apparent reference to the Azimio coalition's 2022 presidential campaign manifesto, Raila noted that there was need to deliver on what he promised Kenyans.

"I will come back to work for Kenyans because what we had said we would do I must deliver," the opposition chief added.

He argued that the continental role would not be an issue because Ethiopia is just a few hours from Nairobi, thus allowing him to fully participate in local affairs during the weekends.

"Baba is not going anywhere. It only takes two hours to fly to Addis Ababa. I will sleep here in Kisii, leave by plane at 8 am, arrive there by 10 am and work, and then return on Friday," Raila stated.

The regulations of the continental body, however, bar the holder of the office, from engaging in active politics.

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