Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga on Wednesday stepped in to manage disquiet over the party’s move to handpick Ochillo Ayacko to carry its flag in the October 8 Migori Senate by-election.
This is after he convinced five ex-ODM candidates to back Mr Ayacko for the seat left vacant following the death of Mr Ben Oluoch Okello.
Those that agreed to back Mr Ayacko are former Migori MP John Dache Pesa, former Nyatike MP Omondi Anyanga, Mr Eddy Okech, as well as the late senator’s son Mr Willis Oluoch, and his cousin, Mr Mark Okundi.
Mr Odinga told those disgruntled with the party’s choice of Mr Ayacko to feel free to express their discontent, but using the right channels.
He specifically addressed Migori Governor Okoth Obado, saying he had the right to disagree with the party, but should, in the end, back its choice.
“ We have no official complaint from Governor Obado, we have only seen him in the media complaining about the party’s democratic process. He has the right to disagree with the party, and our channels are open to hear him,” Mr Odinga said at Orange House, the party headquarters, on Wednesday.
Mr Odinga went on: “I am not suggesting any disciplinary action against him, but we want to ask our members to support the candidate that the party has picked for the Senate seat.”
Mr Obado had opposed the manner in which Mr Ayacko, who ran against him in a bitter gubernatorial contest in 2017, was handed the ticket.
Some senior officials of ODM, including political affairs director Opiyo Wandayi, had threatened to initiate disciplinary action against the governor.