• He said the region can register two million new voters if all those who have attained 18 years and above heed the call.
• The ODM boss said his ‘Azimio la Umoja’ agenda is aimed at improving the lives of the people, and this can only be realised if the youth are part of the initiative.
ODM leader Raila Odinga has urged youths in Nyanza to register as voters ahead of the 2022 general election.
He said the region can register two million new voters if all those who have attained 18 years and above heed the call.
The ODM boss said his ‘Azimio la Umoja’ agenda is aimed at improving the lives of the people, and this can only be realised if the youth are part of the initiative.
Raila asked political leaders in the region to mobilise eligible youths to get national identity cards and register as voters to enable them to participate in next year's polls.
“You cannot win the presidency race by mere talk and without adequate votes. Let the youth in Nyanza take the issue of voter registration seriously, so we can go to war with a full army,” he said.
The ODM leader spoke at Omoche village in Rangwe on Saturday during the burial of Robinson Nyacharo - the father-in-law of Rangwe MP Lillian Gogo.
He urged the youth to change their attitude that they are being urged to register as voters to benefit politicians.
Raila said an ID card is necessary when one is looking for a job or when seeking government services.
He said he will declare his candidature at the right time.
Raila was accompanied by Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang', MPs Peter Kaluma (Homa Bay Town), Florence Mutua (Busia Woman Rep), Tom Odege (Nyatike) and Samuel Atandi (Alego Usonga).
Others included former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero, EALA MP Oburu Oginga and former Kasipul MP Oyugi Magwanga.
Kajwang' and Magwanga appealed to politicians in the region to focus on Raila’s presidency instead of wrangling over the political seats they should go for.
“Let us put in place joint efforts in ensuring residents are registered as voters. These small seats are a minor issue,” Kajwang said.
Kidero asked senior politicians from Nyanza to help Raila look for votes outside the region.
“My fellow politicians should focus on wooing voters for Raila outside Nyanza instead of concentrating on Nyanza alone,” Kidero said.
Oburu criticised Deputy President William Ruto's bottom-up economic agenda and accused him of failing in his role.
He said Ruto did not do much when he was Agriculture minister during retired President Mwai Kibaki’s regime.
“There is nothing Ruto can promise Kenyans now because he promised us the digital economy, but he is now back with the wheelbarrow agenda. This is a sign of failure,” Oburu said.
Odege and Atandi argued that Raila’s presidency will strengthen devolution. They said this will spur development in counties.
“Raila is a pioneer of devolution and his leadership will devolve more funds to counties,” Odege said.
ODM secretary general Edwin Sifuna and Woman Rep Mutua asked residents of Nyanza and Western to support Raila's bid.
“Some people were saying Raila would not get entry into the Western region, but he was there on Friday. Western voters are behind Raila,” Sifuna said.
Edited by A.N