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Raila Odinga: I won’t vie for presidency if Mama Ida decides I am tired

By Sammy Waweru February 15th, 2024 2 min read

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga stirred laughter in Mombasa on Tuesday, February 13, 2024, when he claimed that his wife, Ida Odinga, will be among those who will decide if he will vie for the presidency in 2027.

The opposition leader, however, has not publicly declared if he will battle it out with President William Ruto, who will be seeking his second and final term.

According to Odinga, if Ida says he is tired of vying for the top seat in the country, he will comply with his wife’s directive.

“If Mama Ida says Baba (Raila Odinga’s nickname) is now tired and cannot proceed, that will be okay. I will pave the way for others,” he said while addressing Kongowea residents, amid laughter.

In the next general elections, in 2027, if Raila is on the ballot, it will be his sixth attempt to contest for presidency.

He unsuccessfully vied for the first time in 1997.

In 2007, 2013, 2017, and 2022, he also unsuccessfully vied.

Also read: What Raila Odinga needs to do to win the African Union Commission Chairmanship

Odinga told Mombasa residents during his recent tour to mobilise people to register with the ODM party that he is ready to support any candidate within his party and the Azimio coalition, which he is leading, if he won’t be nominated as the presidential candidate.

ODM has been recruiting members at the grassroots level across the country, and soon it will hold party elections for its officials.

“We will conduct grassroots elections to elect delegates to choose the party leaders. The constituency and county officials elected will go to the national delegate’s convention, and they will elect all national leaders, including a new party leader,” he stated.

“If they elect Baba, well and good, if not, it is okay. That is democracy. People should not say Baba is an automatic candidate for the presidency. Hassan Joho and Wycliffe Oparanya are the deputy party leaders of the ODM, and they are equally entitled to vie for the party leadership,” reiterated the former Prime Minister.

Joho (former Mombasa Governor) and Wycliffe Oparanya, also a former Governor (Kakamega), are the deputy party leaders for ODM.

Odinga said that the ODM party’s presidential candidate will be subjected to the table for the delegates to appoint who will best fit.

ODM, Wiper, and Jubilee (JP) are the major parties forming the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Coalition, and Raila stated that he is ready to support any candidate who will be unanimously endorsed.

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta is the JP leader, while Kalonzo Musyoka heads the Wiper Party.
Mr Kalonzo, Joho, and Oparanya have already declared their interests to battle it out with Dr Ruto (Kenya Kwanza).

Raila’s allies support him in trying to oust President Ruto in 2027.