ODM presidential aspirant Jimi Wanjigi’s quest for the ODM presidential ticket has received a major boost after officials from 12 counties endorsed his candidature.
The officials endorsed his candidature as Mr Wanjigi demanded that the party’s National Elections Board re-open the contest for the presidential ticket following its suspension in February this year.
“We receive Mr Wanjigi into our regions to campaign after locking him out for a while. He has been using the wrong delegates. But he was not fed with the right delegates by the national office. It was very unfair to the office to deny any ODM member the rightful office bearers of the party. As mountain and Lower Eastern people, we were scared about wrangles. Today we are happy that he will use the set structures in the party and we as chairmen will welcome him to campaign among our delegates,” said Embu County chairman Moses Wamuru.
Among those who spoke on behalf of the group include Mr Wamuru (Chairman Embu and coordinator Upper Eastern), Rev John Njenga (Chairman, Nyandarua), Jacob Mwanza (Chairman, Machakos). Those who attended the meeting include Pius Kithome (Makueni), Peter Munyasia (Kitui), Daniel Mule (Machakos), Mwasia Njeru (Tharaka Nithi), George Kinge (Kiambu), KCN Kabiru (vice chairman Embu), Thomas Ng’ang’a (Murang’a), Fredrick Mwirigi (Meru), Ali Nur (Marsabit), Njagi Ngare (Kirinyaga), Halima Godana and David Ndede (Isiolo), Jack Munoru (Meru), Captain Juma Njagi (Tharaka-Nithi) and J.M. Mworia (Meru).
Mr Wanjigi thanked the chairmen for endorsing his candidature and repeated his demands to the National Elections Board to re-open the presidential ticket contest after its suspension in April.
“The presidential contest must be reopened now. We also expect a transparent process down to the MCA level. It must be transparent. It must be free and fair. We are in this to make sure the party is stronger not weaker. It is our right as members to demand free, fair, transparent nominations for all positions,” Mr Wanjigi said.
Mr Wanjigi also said that long-standing members of the party must always be accorded a seat at the front in party matters after a number of those attending the meeting said that they had been side-lined in recent developments.
“The members with me are founders. We are a party that is going to accommodate many. We must never forget our founders who have ensured that the party is strong 16 years. We like new friends, but we must not leave our old friends behind,” said Mr Wanjigi.
Those attending the meeting include county chairmen from Marsabit, Kiambu, Makueni, Tharaka Nithi, Machakos, Nyandarua, Makueni, Isiolo, Murang’a, Kirinyaga, Meru and Embu.
Mr Wanjigi said that his strategy for winning the top ODM seat involves persuading a majority of the delegates who will attend the National Delegates Conference and who are capped by the party constitution at 3,000.
The party’s National Elections Board suspended the process of identifying the party’s presidential flag bearer in April this year amid Covid-19 lockdown measures.
Mr Wanjigi announced his running for the presidency in July this year and has since been popularising his candidature among the party rank and file awaiting the decision by the ODM elections board to re-open the contest.