5 Potential bigwigs who’ll succeed Raila Odinga in Luo Nyanza?
Azimio la Umoja party leader Raila Odinga has led the Luo community for the better part of the past three decades, since succeeding his late father Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.
But he’s almost approaching 80, and whether he likes it or not, the popular Kenyan politician is in his sunset years on the political stage. And since nature hates a vacuum, he’ll have to be replaced one way or another.
So who are the possible candidates?
The Embakasi East lawmaker is a young politician who is intelligent, outspoken, loved, and hated in equal measure. He was widely cheered during the burial of the late Education CS George Magoha’s burial in Siaya, a testament to his popularity. He’s one of the few that could have Mr Odinga’s blessings to inherit him. That said, the second-term MP still has a long way to go to be a national leader.
Felix Odiwuor aka Jalang’o
His rise has been meteoric from a fishmonger to an actor, to a radio presenter, media personality, and now the Lang’ata MP. He is extremely popular around the country, which could be the reason why President William Ruto has already tried to lure him. But he’s a political novice, barely six months into his new job who heavily depended on Mr Odinga to win his electoral seat. Though they have now rubbed off shoulders the wrong way, Jalang’o could lead Luo if he learns the political hoops.
The eloquent and intelligent ICT Cabinet Secretary is President William Ruto’s blue-eyed boy in Luo Nyanza. Incidentally a former Odinga aide, Owalo was handed a plum position in Cabinet and has been running errands for the Head of State in the region. He recently landed in a military chopper in Siaya, not a mean feat, and was the one who read the President’s speech at the late Prof George Magoha’s funeral. The downside is Owalo has never been voted to any political office.
Miguna Miguna –
Learned, abrasive, and controversial, Miguna is perhaps more popular on Twitter as compared to on the ground. He has been leading an online rebellion against Mr Odinga, his former boss, without tangible results so far. His stint at joining elective politics ended in a resounding defeat on two separate occasions, so at face value, he has a long way to go.
If perhaps, Raila Odinga has to choose his successor, it would be Winnie, his last-born daughter. Winnie got into this position as a possible successor by default, following the untimely death of her elder sibling Fidel, and the unfortunate sickness of her sister Rosemary. She’s close to her dad, trailing him all over the local political scene and international trips. Significantly, she’s been sent on an ‘internship’ at the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) in Arusha, Tanzania, to learn the political ropes. Her case could as well be a Jaramogi to Raila to Winnie succession.