By Andrew Ombuni
Elected leaders from Western region have thrown their weight behind Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya’s 2022 presidential ambitions.
Vihiga Governor Wilbur Ottichilo and over 10 MPs led by Chris Omulele (Luanda), Kizito Mugali (Shinyalu), ANC nominated MP Godfrey Osotsi among others.
A host of 43 Members of County Assembly have also supported his bid. The MCAs were drawn from the National Super Alliance (NASA) affiliate parties of ODM, Ford Kenya, Wiper and Amani National Congress (ANC) from Bungoma, Kakamega, Busia and Vihiga counties respectively.
The endorsement dubbed ‘Ekwanda Declaration” was during a church service at ACK Ekwanda Parish in Luanda constituency.
Governor Ottichilo said as governors they were in full support of his presidential bid saying they were showing the way by coming together to support one of their own.
“We have gambled for long when it comes to presidency by leaders reading from different scripts but this time round we want to see Oparanya in statehouse. Let other Luhya leaders shelve their ambitions and support him for the top seat,”
“The electorate is always united but it’s the leaders who are not united for having vested selfish interests when calling for Luhya unity,” said Ottichilo.
Governor Oparanya on his part said he will not shelve his ambitions to selfish leaders who cannot be trusted with leadership.
“They have called me a political virgin but I can assure them I am not a virgin since I have been in politics for over 20 years and more so never lost in any election. I will not play second fiddle to anybody in Western region. I have my eyes fixed for the top seat and am ready to be president,” said Oparanya.
According to Oparanya, divisive politics will not help the region get presidency but focused leadership saying he will be on the ballot in 2022.
Luanda MP Chris Omulele said he going to marshal support for the governor in the constituency and ensure that he is on the ballot in 2022.
“I have a lot of respect for Mudavadi and Wetang’ula. We have tried them but they didn’t deliver and it’s time to try a new broom. Politics is a game of numbers and we must play our cards very well if we want one of us to be in statehouse,” Omulele said.
Mr Omulele said Oparanya has done a commendable job as Kakamega governor and that time had come for him to get promotion. “You cannot repeat in class 1 for more than two years-if that happens, we promote you by force,”
The MCAs led by Bernard Kitila, an MCA from Busia County, said they have faith in Oparanya‘s ability to lead the country to the right direction if elected president in 2022.
Mr Kitila said Oparanya’s development track record as Kakamega governor speaks for itself and even asked NASA leader Raila Odinga to support his quest since he has been faithful servant in his previous three failed stabs to the top seat.
Bungoma ODM Chairman Ali Machani Mutoko asked former senate minority leader Moses Wetang’ula and Amani National Congress (ANC) Musalia Mudavadi to swallow there pride and support Oparanya.
According to Machani, Mudavadi and Wetang’ula have been the senior most political leaders for over 10 years but they have failed to unite the region.
‘’ Oparanya has brought together 14 counties and have agreed to work together in streamlining economic growth of the Lake Region bloc. Wetang’ula himself has also been a minority leader but was ousted for being unfit told that office,’’said Mutoka.
Adding ‘’They have outlived their usefulness and its time we rally behind Oparanya if we want to be in state house after the exit of President Uhuru Kenyatta,’’.