Even Kenyatta became President in his 70s, Amos Wako tells 'young' Raila

Busia Senator Amos Wako addresses residents of Ugenya Constituency on March 3, 2018. /LAMECK BARAZA
Busia Senator Amos Wako addresses residents of Ugenya Constituency on March 3, 2018. /LAMECK BARAZA

Opposition leader Raila Odinga is "too young" to heed Jubilee sympathiser's "misguided" call for him to leave the political scene.

This is what Bungoma Senator Amos Wako said on Saturday when he asked the 73-year-old ODM leader to stay put and ignore people saying he is too old for active politics.

Wako said Raila should not exit the scene before the next general election as all admirable African leaders became Presidents in their seventies.

“At what age did Nelson Mandela become the President of South Africa? At what age did Jomo Kenyatta become the President of Kenya?" he asked in Ugenya.

Mandela was born in 1918 and ruled South Africa from 1994 to 1999 while Kenya's founding father was born in 1891 and led from 1964 to 1978.

Raila has vied five times for the top seat. He could vie again in 2022 as his dream is to lead Kenyans to a promised land without vices such as corruption, land injustices and unfair distribution of resources.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto are among those who have asked him to step back.

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The Senator noted that

even in the Bible, Moses took over the leadership struggle when he was 78 years old.

"Raila is not yet there," he said, adding that if Biblical leaders were allowed to serve in their seventies, nobody has the moral fibre to tell the Nasa chief to

retire at his "tender" age.

He said Raila can remain politically active even after the next national poll.

"Raila

has proven to be the best politician in Kenya. Those wishing for his retirement do not have the country's best interests at heart."

Wako further noted the need for leaders with wisdom, even with the push for younger ones to take over.

“The two sets of leaders will help each other achieve [all kinds of goals]. Older leaders have experience so they will guide young ones," he said, adding this would be best scenario for developing countries such as Kenya as "young people with their high speed" can lead countries in the wrong direction.

Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo also asked

the orange party boss to stay put and give Kenya the political direction it needs.

Odhiambo noted that the retirement decision is personal so external forces with hidden agendas should not get involved.

“Our President Raila Odinga will retire at the right time. For now we still need him to drive the country in the right direction," he siad.

"Those behind calls for Raila's retirement have

no clue on where the country should head let alone their own political careers."

Some Western leaders are of the view that Raila's possible 2022 ambition will complicate matters so he should retire for one of their own to get in position.

Others note the agreement among Raila, Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Musalia Mudavadi (ANC) and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula (Ford Kenya) does not allow Raila to be on the ballot in 2022.

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