Raila, ODM confirm stand on facing DP Ruto in 2022 after Nation’s controversial headline

Sunday Nation headline read "Race is on: Raila to face Ruto in 2022 poll"

File image of  a section of ODM party leadership at a past Parliamentary Group Meeting

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, through the Orange Democratic Movement party has confirmed his stand on contesting for the Presidential elections in 2022.

The clarification came after the Sunday Nation published an article with the headline to the effect that the former Prime Minister has declared his candidature in the 2022 presidential elections.

The article, titled “Race is on: Raila to face Ruto in 2022” elicited a swift response from the party which termed the story as false and misleading, making it clear that at no point in his speech did the former Prime Minister declare his candidature in the 2022 race.

A statement released by ODM read in part that “The ODM Party wishes to alert the public to the false and erroneous reporting appearing in today's Sunday Nation paper, to the effect that Party Leader HE Raila Odinga has declared his candidature for the 2022 Presidential race”.

“At no time during his speech at the burial of the late mama Eva Donde did the Party leader discuss the 2022 Election.

“It is clear there are elements within the media keen on peddling falsehoods with the intention of stoking public disaffection with initiatives by the Party Leader and HE President Uhuru Kenyatta to bring the nation together and bridge longstanding rifts.” Added the statement.

The statement reaffirmed Odinga’s commitment to the handshake deal with President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“Indeed the only matter he touched on was the impending Party grassroots elections scheduled for next year, in accordance with the Party Constitution.

H.E. Raila Odinga remains committed to partnering with the President in building a lasting legacy, and has said numerous times that he is opposed to any discussions revolving around the 2022 elections, given that there is a serving President whose term he respects.” Read the statement in part.

Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo who attended the burial in Gem where Odinga is alleged to have made the remarks also dismissed the piece published in today’s copy of Sunday Nation.

“This is Rediculous! I Was at The Funeral Of Mama Eva Donde! Rt Hon Odinga DID NOT Say any such thing! What’s Nation Seeking To Achieve...?” Wondered the MP.

Odinga is alleged to have told the gathering that he has changed his strategy while waiting for the opportune time to ascend to the seat and complete the journey to Canaan.

"You have seen me change tack. This is a strategy. There are several ways that can lead us to where our ambition is," Odinga asserted.

"That is the reason why I decided to work with my brother President Uhuru Kenyatta to ensure we fix the problems facing the country, such us politics of exclusion, negative ethnicity, electoral injustices and corruption," Odinga reportedly told the gathering.

"We will eventually get to Canaan — the land of plenty where our youth will get jobs, schools, health facilities, water, electricity and roads will not be a problem. That is where we seek to take the country," he added.

Revamping the party ahead of 2022

As part of the strategy, Odinga revealed that Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) was revamping itself ahead of the 2022 General Election with grassroots elections planned for next year.

"I want to ask all the current party officials to know that all the positions will be declared vacant, and we invite those who wish to be elected as new officials to prepare as we conduct the exercise next year.

"I want you to know that we have only one party that belongs to us and the party is ODM. I ask you to continue supporting it,” he said.

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