The August 2022 general elections in which Dr. William Ruto emerged the winner and fifth president of the republic of Kenya literally marked Luo kingpin Raila Odinga’s retirement and last stab at presidency given his advanced age.
Odinga’s lose to President Ruto, a man who is 22 years younger than him was celebrated by his opponents, allies and seasoned politicians from his Nyanza turf whose careers he frustrated in the 30 years he was the region’s kingpin.
He frustrated the ambitions of the current ODM chairman / nominated John Mbadi among other Luo politicians like Dr. Miguna Miguna, Dalmas Otieno, Jack Ranguma, Eliud Owalo, Evans Kidero, Ologo Aluoch, John Pesa, Okoth Obado, Nicholas Gumbo and Fred Outa among others.
Odinga also used his political dominance to silence or frustrate members of the clergy who had divergent opinions, businessmen and journalists who also celebrated his August 9th defeat which has since opened a mantle of succession politics in Luo Nyanza.
Former Suba South MP John Mbadi has been fighting a silent war within ODM from the time Odinga forced him to shelve his gubernatorial ambitions in favour of the current Homa Bay County governor Gladys Wanga who was handed a direct ticket.
But being a coward that he is, Mbadi could not challenge or go against Odinga order but instead resorted to backing independent candidates in Luo Nyanza as he cautioned ODM party candidates not chest thump for securing the tickets but to get out and campaign.
He was openly against ODM calls on voters to embrace the six-piece voting pattern in which voters were urged to only select candidates from the ODM party in all the six positions in the General Election – from MCA, MP, Woman Rep, Senator, Governor to the President.
In rare cases where he did not back independent candidates, the ODM chairman leaned towards contestants who vied on other Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition member parties.
Hon. Mbadi had served as an MP and backed Odinga for three terms but was forced to shelve his ambitions in favor of Wanga who had only served for two terms.
He joins the likes of Dr. Miguna Miguna who was betrayed by Odinga and forced into exile in Canada, Dr. Evans Kidero and Dalmas Otieno who were sidelined for going against the ODM wave in Nyanza.
For the likes of Mbadi, Raila Odinga’s defeat and exit from the political stage opens a new era in Luo Nyanza politics where ambitions will not killed and Odinga sycophants will not be forced on the electorate.
He is currently in the national assembly as a nominated member but is most likely to give a stab at Homa Bay County top seat in 2027 when Odinga’s influence is expected to zero or less effective.
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