The heat on who will replace Raila Odinga in the luo community takes a new twist.

Siaya Senator Oburu Oginga has denied claims that he recommended Ugunja Member of Parliament Opiyo Wandayi to succeed ODM leader Raila Odinga as the political leader of the Luo community.

In a statement, Dr. Oginga, who is Raila’s elder brother, clarified that he has never appointed any politician to take the post, when the ODM leader retires from politics.

“There is no political leadership gap in the Luo community to be filled at this time. Raila is still holding the power and he is doing well,” the senator said.

Oginga said the statement he made last week was concealed without any information.

The Siaya senator was quoted as saying: “Leaders grow like mushrooms and that’s how Opiyo grows and nothing will stop him from getting top leadership because now we have left it to him. These are the people who will now guide us and give us direction.”

Dr Oginga said when he addressed an event in Ugunja constituency on August 23, 2023.

Dr. Oginga continued: “We have seen him shine and what we should understand is that leaders are not chosen, where did the Luos sit and choose Raila as their leader?”

In addition, the senator described Wandayi as a smart politician who has learned politics from Raila.

Dr. Oginga’s statement was seen as a jab and hidden about Raila’s legacy and his possible retirement from politics towards the 2027 general election.

This is why a few days after Oginga made the statement, the leadership of the Council of Elders of the Luo Community held a meeting on August 25 where circles say the issue was discussed in detail.

The meeting was held at the Pinecone restaurant in Tom Mboya street and was attended by the chairman of the council Ker Odungi Randa, his deputy James Ayaga and others. Similarly, there was the chairman of the union of parliamentarians from the Seme Member of Parliament, Dr. James Nyikal.

But in his statement, Dr Oginga said it was regrettable that his statement of August 23 was interpreted as having approved Wandayi to be the successor of Raila who is now 78 years old.

He explained: “What I did was just to encourage Wandayi to work hard. I did not ordain him. I said he is doing well and is one of Raila’s people who should be watched carefully in the near future.”

Dr. Oginga said that the issue of replacement should not raise debate or concern at this time because “it will come up in the future.”

We have many young leaders who can grow politically like Raila did. They all have the same chance to lead,” he said while emphasizing that Raila was not chosen by anyone but “raised himself”.

But he explained that leaders who are close to Raila’s age have a narrow chance of becoming his successor.

“Why did you add about Kisumu Governor Professor Anyang’ Nyong’o and Siaya Governor James Orengo, as people who are being touted as successors. They can’t because they are too old,” he said.

Dr. Oginga added that some of those who are proposed as Raila’s successors because they are “politically immature”.

Perhaps the political Senator was referring to some politicians whose names are also mentioned as being among those who are considered to succeed Raila as the political leader of the Luo community.

They are Embakasi MP Babu Owino, Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo, Raila’s daughter Winnie Odinga and Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga.

Others who may have failed according to Dr. Oginga, on the basis of supporting rival political factions are; Former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero, ICT Minister Eliud Owalo and Secretary in the Ministry of Security Raymond Omollo, Felix Oduor (Jalango)

Oginga’s statement comes at a time when the politics of inheritance has gained momentum in the Luo Nyanza area has turned into a hot heat, with many politicians reluctant to talk about it in public.

But the senator’s move to praise Wandayi did not please some politicians from the Luo Nyanza area who claimed he favors the minority leader in the parliament.

They warn that the situation could bring divisions and political tensions in the region which has maintained political unity for a long time behind Raila.

ODM chairman John Mbadi, who is also the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Accountability (PAC) claimed that Oginga’s statement was made in bad faith.

”The special member of parliament dismissed the Siaya senator’s statement that Wandayi is sufficient to succeed Raila Describing the Ugunja member of parliament as “a political figure among politicians from the Luo community at this time.

Wandayi is still young in politics to be able to unite all leaders from Luo Nyanza, as Raila has done for many years. Claims that he can be the leader are just dreams that cannot come true,” Mr Mbadi who is a former member of parliament for Suba South said.

But in an interview with Nation Reporters, Wandayi thanked Dr. Oginga for recognizing his political and leadership abilities.

“I accept Dr. Oburu’s proposal with a warm heart and I thank him for that. I will prepare myself to receive the call asking me to take over the political leadership of the Luo Nyanza area,” the Member of Parliament said.

Wandayi is serving his third term as Member of Parliament for Ugunja. In the 12th parliament he served as the chairman of the PAC committee for a period of five years.

In 2022, he expressed his intention to contest for the governorship of Siaya, but sources said that Raila advised him to withdraw in order to make way for James Orengo.

This time, Wandayi, 52, holds the position of Director of Political Affairs in the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button