Religious leaders give ODM a 24 hour ultimatum
Religious leaders from Kisumu County have given ODM party’s national leadership a 24 hour ultimatum to disband the Kisumu Elections and Appeals Board ahead of the Monday 24th party primaries.
In a statement read on Monday by Archbishop, Dr. Washington Ogonyo (Power of Jesus around the World Ministries), Archbishop Winnie Owiti (Voice of Salvation and Healing Church) and Ahmed Salim (Deputy Chair Kisumu Interfaith), the leaders said the current Kisumu office bearers were biased and could not hold credible elections.
The leaders claimed that the local ODM Board was inclined towards Kisumu Senator Prof. Anyang’ Nyon’go and Nyando MP Paul Outa who were seeking the ODM tickets to run for governorship and senatorial seats respectively.
The said by openly declaring support for the two, the Board was creating a recipe for chaos in a region that is dominated by the Orange party.
The calls come barely a week after Kisumu Governor, Jack Ranguma, who is facing off with Kisumu Senator, Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o for the gubernatorial seat, called for disbandment of the office.
Similar calls have been made by former TNA Secretary General, Onyango Oloo who is seeking the ODM ticket to run for Kisumu Central Parliamentary seat.
The clergy asked ODM Party leader to heed to their call and consult all aspirants in order to raise credible people who were beyond reproach to manage the primaries.
They threatened to call all clergy from the County to a meeting where unspecified action shall be taken against the party if their call was not heeded to.
Reverend Billy Odundo (Christ Eternal Assembly) asked the party to include the clergy in the Elections Board to ensure that the exercise is conducted in a free and transparent manner.
The leaders distanced themselves from siding with any politician saying they were concerned about the nominations because over the years, similar mistakes had been made leading to loss of lives.
“We are shepherds that is why we have come up openly to tell ODM, which has 95 per cent presence in Kisumu, that we want them to put their house in order so that our people don’t suffer as a result of election related violence,” said Archbishop Dr. Ogonyo.
Archbishop Owiti said it was unfortunate that the local ODM Elections Board had decided to merge some polling stations, an unwise move since most voters who were unable to walk long distances to vote shall be locked out.
By Chris Mahandara