• Youths and goons armed with jembe sticks and other crude weapons manned the gate and insisted on frisking and searching vehicles entering the venue.
• In the ensuing melee, the legislator’s vehicles had their windows smashed as youths attacked him and his supporters forcing them to leave the venue.
Former Suna West MP Joseph Ndiege and several supporters were on Friday rushed to a local hospital in Migori town after chaos rocked a meeting organized by opposition leader Raila Odinga.
Ndiege sustained assault wounds, his two vehicles - a Toyota Landcruiser V8 and Toyota Probox - were destroyed as he tried to access a venue where Raila was having a meeting.
From early morning, the Maranatha Hall in Migori town where Raila was intended to meet ODM party delegates and officials, elders and opinion leaders was marred with tension and violence.
Youths and goons armed with jembe sticks and other crude weapons manned the gate and insisted on frisking and searching vehicles entering the venue.
“We tried from early morning to access the venue to no avail, some of our supporters and even party officials were being singled out and beaten,” Jacob Masaga, an aide to the ex-legislator said.
Speaking at Ojele Memorial Hospital where the legislator and his supporters were seeking treatment, Masaga said they managed to enter the venue and when their leader was alighting, all hell broke loose.
"A goon came with a knife and tried to attack him, we managed to stop him but others swarm in attacking him, forcing him to retreat to his vehicle,” Masaga said.
In the ensuing melee, the legislator’s vehicles had their windows smashed as youths attacked him and his supporters forcing them to leave the venue.
This was shortly before Raila who was having lunch at the home of Ndiege’s political nemesis and Suna West MP, Peter Masara’s home within Migori town.
"We are in ODM and have been involved in the party affairs we wish for the party and Raila to tell us where he wants to take us," Masaga said.
Ndiege who was receiving treatment at the hospital refused to speak to the press.
Addressing the delegates, Raila who seemed to have been alerted of the chaos, called for tolerance among leaders especially in constituencies marred by leadership wrangles because the party is planning grassroots election early next year.
"Early next year, we will have party elections and we call current office holders and elected leaders to learn to accommodate each other, foster unity and avoid tension because we need to speak as one voice,” Raila said.
He said he was aware some regions have tension at grassroots caused by defection of officials and the election will help strengthen the party.
Migori Governor Ochillo Ayacko in his address to the delegates called for unity and peace especially in a function organized by Raila to ensure Migori is portrayed as a peaceful county.
Masara did not comment on the incident when he rose to speak.
In the last general elections, Masara retained his seat on ODM ticket with 23,579 votes to floor Joseph Ndiege who had 14,945 votes as an Independent candidate in campaigns that were marred by violence.
Ndiege was first elected on ODM ticket in 2013 in elections where Masara stepped down after being floored in the ODM nominations.
In 2017, he sailed through on an Independent ticket replacing Ndiege at the polls after being denied ODM ticket in chaotic nominations.