‘I want to leave this position of ODM chair’ – Mbadi declares amid cracks in Raila’s party
Nominated MP John Mbadi, who doubles up as the Orange Democratic Movement party chairman, has now declared that he is ready to relinquish his leadership role in the opposition outfit.
The firebrand lawmaker who was recently entangled in a power struggle with Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi and Embakasi East MP Babu Owino over parliamentary leadership positions, now claims that he has done his bit in his 9-year stint as ODM chair.
Mbadi's defiance started after the Azimio coalition handed Wandayi the National Assembly minority leadership position. Having served as the minority leader in the 12th Parliament, Mbadi was confident that he would retain the lucrative post.
To quell the war, ODM leader Raila Odinga offered Mbadi the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairmanship. This also kickstarted a war of words, with Babu Owino alleging that the committee leadership position was reserved for him.
The MPs still sustained their attacks on Mbadi over his conspicuous absence from ODM Leader Raila Odinga's rallies.
"Those who think being chairman is so important to them let them offer themselves to lead, I am very ready to leave the position to them, right now I am the chair but I am not dying to be the chair, I have done by bit they took away my position as the minority leader.
"I am still alive, they can still take away the chairmanship, but I will still be alive. I want to repeat it for the record, I want to leave this position of ODM chair,” Mbadi said.
The outspoken MP stated that Raila is aware that he is ready to hand over the party leadership role. He noted that the process has only stagnated due to a lack of a vice chairperson to take over should he resign.
“I am not a person to run away from the office before we get good succession, I want to be succeeded, and still I will serve the party in whatever capacity. You know some people think being a chair is something I am dying for, far from the truth, I have done my bit.
"The same people at one point did not want me to attend the rallies, so since when did they discover that my attendance to rallies is important? I have other forums to address the party issues. I am better off even in parliament articulating issues of the party," Mbadi said.
ODM MPs meet Ruto
Mbadi's declaration comes hours after a section of ODM lawmakers pledged support for President William Ruto after a meeting in State House.
The ODM legislators who met the President and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua at State House include: Gideon Ochanda (Bondo), Elisha Odhiambo (Gem), Mark Nyamita (Uriri), Caroli Omondi (Suba South), Shakeel Shabir (Kisumu East), Felix Odiwuor alias Jalang’o (Lang’ata), Paul Abuor (Rongo) and Kisumu Senator Prof Tom Ojienda.
Responding to the rare meeting, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party through its communications director, Philip Etale alluded that the meeting did not come as a surprise to them as they have been closely monitoring activities involving some of the leaders.
"The visit to State House this morning by a section of ODM members of parliament has not come as a surprise to the party and the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Movement. The party has been monitoring closely the behind-the-scenes activities involving some of them and today was just the climax," the statement reads in parts.
Etale alleged that the meeting was just one of the schemes that aim to deviate from key issues affecting Kenyans instead of offering clear insights into the problems and solutions.
"They have started spending stolen money to hoodwink some of our leaders with the aim of trying to scuttle our activities. Such meetings are aimed at diverting Kenyans' attention from issues they face, ranging from the high cost of living, unbearable school fees for their children, and corruption," he stated.