In what is the clearest indication so far yet of a major rift in the Orange Democratic Movement party between party leader Raila Odinga, and his deputy Wycliffe Oparanya, governor Oparanya has now come out to demand what he believes his party leader should do prior to ODM nominations.
Oparanya is one of the confirmed candidates for the ODM presidential ticket alongside Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho, and the Kakamega governor’s demands will no doubt cause a domino effect in the party. Joho, who has in the past promised to not only commit himself to an ODM contest, but also support the eventual winner, is expected to respond to Oparanya’s demands.
Further compounding the situation is the fact that the party leader himself, Hon. Raila Odinga, remains a wild card, and is yet to confirm or deny his participation in the presidential race come 2022.
Oparanya was speaking in Kakamega over the weekend when he began by recapping his history with Raila Odinga.
He reminded his audience that he had always supported Raila Odinga over the years and that time has come for Raila to also return the favour.
All this is coming in the heels of a fierce debate between the Deputy President’s camp and ODM over Oparanya’s exact role between the two parties.
A couple of weeks ago after Oparanya was sighted having been in a meeting with the deputy president and, hours later, with Raila, rumours emerged that Oparanya was possibly acting as a bridge between the two.
However, the debate took a new turn when the deputy president disclosed during an interview that he had met severally with Oparanya, and their meetings had nothing to do with Raila. This attracted a pushback from the ODM party which reiterated its faith in their deputy party leader, and claimed that Oparanya had always briefed the party’s Central Committee on all his meetings with Ruto.
Importantly, Oparanya spoke over the weekend in the company of Rashid Echesa who is a close Ruto ally.