Oburu denies endorsing Raila's political successor

"My statements have been misinterpreted to appear as if I have proposed and backed Wandayi."

In Summary

•Oburu during an interview in Kisumu said Raila was firmly, politically fit, overwhelmingly good and in charge.

•He said he has not anointed any politician to take over the mantle from Raila as the next Luo political kingpin.

Oburu Oginga
Oburu Oginga
Image: FILE

Siaya Senator Dr Oburu Oginga has denied endorsing the ODM party leader Raila Odinga’s successor, saying he has no such powers.

 Oburu on Monday said he has not anointed any politician to take over the mantle from Raila as the next Luo political kingpin.

Currently, he stated that there was no political vacuum which needed to be filled by anyone.

Oburu during an interview in Kisumu said Raila was firmly, politically fit, overwhelmingly good and in charge.

The reaction follows his recent sentiments that National Assembly minority leader Opiyo Wandayi was tipped as Raila’s political successor.

“My statements have been misinterpreted to appear as if I have proposed and backed Wandayi. This is far from the truth and should be disregarded,” Oburu said.

The senator said that he only encouraged Wandayi to work hard, adding that he did not anoint him.

“The minority leader is doing well in politics and he is among those in Raila's line to watch in future,” he said.

The power to anoint Raila’s successors was solely on the people and not him, Dr Oburu said.

“I’m clear in mind and only said that leaders emerge just like Wandayi, who is the Ugunja MP,” he said.

Oburu said several leaders would emerge in the region and country just like Wandayi, noting that there were many proactive politicians who would make good leaders.

He added that there were only anticipating interests in future to succeed Raila but for now, there should be no political alarm.

"In the region, we have many young and experienced old people who can still emerge. All of them have equal chances to lead," he noted.

The Siaya senator said Raila’s successor would emerge at the right time and not now.

“But it was interesting to mention people who are almost of Raila's age mates as possible successors wondering how?” Oburu said.

He added:

"How do you talk of Kisumu Governor Prof Anyang Nyong'o and Siaya Governor James Orengo, as possible successors.”

Oburu termed such succession talks as outrageous and not politically tenable.

“Despite everyone being entitled to his or her opinion and democratic rights, such discussion only undermines the leaders’ consciousness," he said.

Last week, the senator stirred political discussion after making a sensational statement on Luo succession politics. 

Oburu claimed that Wandayi was fit to succeed Raila as the next Luo Political Kingpin.

buru’s sentiments came at a time when succession politics in Nyanza has been seen as a stormy matter in the region with no politician speaking boldly over it.

He pointed out that Wandayi has proved to be a political master who understands the body language of Raila very well and always acts in his interests with exactness.

Oburu lauded Wandayi as a brilliant politician who has learned and mastered political skills in the footsteps of Raila.

“Wandayi knows what Raila is thinking about. Within a short period, people have seen his political prowess,” he said.

During a function at political activist Austin Makamu's home attended by Wandayi, he claimed leaders emerge and assume power.

Oburu clarified there was nowhere Luos sat down and endorsed Raila as their political kingpin.

“He is a self-made politician,” he said.

He said nobody elected or appointed him as the Community leader, adding that Raila only emerged as their kingpin.

Oburu’s praise of Wandayi has not pleased other politicians in the region with some reading bias and could lead to political division.

Nominated MP and ODM Chairman John Mbadi said the remarks were unwarranted when Raila was still active in politics.

He laughed off the praise by Oburu that Wandayi was fit, saying he was still young among the current senior political cohorts.

Mbadi noted that Wandayi was still very young in politics to unite everyone like Raila has done for decades.

“Such remarks are just wishful thinking which is far from reality,'' he said On his part.

Wandayi welcomed the praises and thanked Dr Oburu for seeing his political and leadership potential much earlier. 

"He is my senior and I am humbled by Dr Oburu's suggestions. I can’t shy from thanking him and I will do my best to realise the call," he said.

Wandayi noted that he will make a realisation to the suggestions by Oburu despite any political storms that might arise.

Raila has kept off the matter since his elder brother Oburu made the remark.

Political big names out and in the region seen as possible successors have stayed away from the discussion, especially with Raila still proactive.

They are not ready to speak on the matter and shied away from the discussion.

Nyong'o, Orengo, the vocal Embakasi MP Babu Owino, Homabay Governor Gladys Wanga and Migori governor Ochillo Ayacko have not commented on the issue.

Former Cabinet Secretary and Jubilee Secretary Raphael Tuju is not keen on the Luo succession debate.

"I am concentrating on my business. No politics at the moment,'' Tuju said.

Besides them, former Nairobi governor Evans Kidero and Migori governor Okoth Obado, in the Kenya Kwanza political outfit at one point were angling to become the next Luo kingpin.

However, they have not been vocal on the issue after their previous attempts were widely seen to have failed with the majority of residents in the region rallying their support behind Raila as their trusted and best leader.

Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo termed the succession debate as premature.

"It will be about what the people, feel, think, then decide. That succession is incumbent on the electorates,'' he said.

Kisumu deputy speaker Joachim Oketch alias Swagga said Raila was still strong and proactive.

He is the best leader that many young politicians from the region are looking after.

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