Evans Nyakundi and James Magayi
Embattled Migori Governor Okoth Obado took a swipe at his critics over the weekend as his public alliance with Deputy President Willian Ruto intensified.
Obado joined Ruto in public rallies in Nyamira on Saturday, where the DP commissioned road construction projects, and the two leaders were together yesterday in Nyeri for the Dr Wahome Gakuru Memorial Half Marathon.
This close relation has drawn criticism from leaders, especially from former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s turf of lake-side counties. Ruto is perceived as Raila’s nemesis in the 2022 succession politics.
“My coming here today is to show solidarity with you and help the Deputy President cement the unity, which we all cherish,” he said in Nyeri.
Obado had on Saturday set the tone by seeking his electorate’s blessing to associate with Ruto.
“As your servant and governor, I want permission to accompany the Deputy President everywhere so that my people can get development projects,” he said.
He also aimed a veiled jab at his critics and party leader Raila Odinga during the occasion, blaming them for his predicament.
“There are people who want to shove me into the crocodile’s mouth. Please pray for me so that I’m not swallowed by the reptile. We must condemn these crocodiles,” Obado said on Saturday after dismissing Raila’s popular analogy of the symbolic journey to Canaan in reference to last year’s polls.
These happenings are expected to raise political tones in Migori where resistance against Raila’s popularity has taken root.
Obado, who was elected on an Orange Democratic Movement Party (ODM) ticket, faulted Raila and some opposition members for “politics that cannot help locals realise development”.
His sentiments were echoed by Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro, who said he will join Ruto’s camp in his 2022 presidential bid.
Obado said political leaders of Raila’s calibre have come of age and should, therefore, quit and pave way for Ruto, who he termed as a development-conscious leader.