Babu Owino: I’m ready to succeed Mbadi as ODM chair
Member of Parliament for Embakasi East Babu Owino has said he is ready to take over from nominated MP John Mbadi as ODM’s chairman.
The youthful MP made the declaration on Tuesday evening after the current party chair loudly protested that he is ready to quit his post.
The former Suba South MP, who has served in the position for the last nine years, has been under fire for missing party leader Raila Odinga’s Azimio rallies.
Mr Odinga, who is ODM party and Azimio coalition leader, has held a number of public rallies in Nairobi, to discredit President William Ruto government.
Mr Mbadi, who was convinced to drop his Homa Bay governor ambitions in last year’s elections, has been at loggerheads with some of ODM’s members.
“It is not that I have to be the chair throughout. Nine years I have been the chair is just enough. If elections are done and someone takes it there is no problem. If any ODM members feel that they need another chairperson, I have no problem with that,” Mr Mbadi told Nation.Africa on Tuesday.
Nevertheless, the politician reiterated that he still remains a staunch member of the opposition party.
In response, Mr Owino, who has in the past squabbled with Mr Mbadi, said it is now his turn to lead the party
“We wish you well Hon. John Mbadi as you step down from ODM Party Chairmanship. It is now my time to take over from where you have left and steer the party to greater heights and prosperity. Youth Power,” Mr Owino wrote on his official Facebook page.
Last September, Mr Owino caused a storm in ODM over what he termed as betrayal. He lamented that he had been promised appointment as the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chair, but the position was then handed over to Mr Mbadi.
Mr Owino’s declaration is the latest twist in the storm that is brewing within ODM after a section of party lawmakers visited President William Ruto at State House on Tuesday morning.
The political leaders who met the president and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua at State House were led by Kisumu Senator Prof Tom Ojienda. The delegation comprised MPs Gideon Ochanda (Bondo), Caroli Omondi (Suba-South), Elisha Odhiambo (Gem), Shakeel Shabir (Kisumu East), Paul Abuor (Rongo), Mark Nyamita (Uriri), Walter Owino (Awendo) and Felix Odiwuor alias Jalang’o (Langata).
ODM Director of Communication Philip Etale responded to the development with claims that the MPs are trying to undermine Mr Odinga, adding that their objective to press the Kenya Kwanza government to resign will go on.