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September 25, 2018

Don’t use Baba’s name to campaign, aspirants told

The Eddy Oketch billboard in Migori town on August 29/
The Eddy Oketch billboard in Migori town on August 29/

ODM has warned Migori senator aspirants not to use party leader Raila Odinga’s name or image in posters ahead of the October 3 by-election.

Migori ODM chairman Philip Makabong’o said only former Cabinet minister Ochillo Ayacko, who is the party’s candidate, is allowed to use the name or picture of Raila in his campaign materials.

He said Ayacko’s rivals have published posters and billboards with the word ‘Baba’, which is used to refer to Raila.

Makabong’o spoke to the Star on Monday in Migori town.

Ayacko’s rival Federal Party of Kenya candidate Eddy Oketch has erected two billboards in Migori town written “wan te wan jokababa” (All of us are Baba’s people).

Green Congress Kenya candidate Peter Jobando has designed his posters with his initials and the name ‘Baba’ in a box.

“We are keenly watching the two candidates and others in the race. We warn them against using the name ‘Baba’ in their campaign materials. The only political Baba known in Kenya is Raila Odinga and he is not associated with those parties,” Makabong’o said.

He said ODM is not associated in anyway with the two parties.

The party official said they are keen in tabling criminal charges bordering on electoral offence to have the two candidates struck out of the race by the IEBC for using the name ‘Baba’.

“We are aware some aspirants have been using ODM and Raila’s names to seek votes. We are watching them. No candidate should include Raila’s image on his posters to seek votes,” Makabong’o said.

Oketch could not be reached on the phone for comment. Jobando laughed off the threats, saying it is absurd to associate the name ‘Baba’ with the former Prime Minister.

“I have ‘Baba’ in my posters. It may mean my biological father or my father in heaven. Or it may mean anybody to voters. This should not be used by my scared opponents,” Jobando said.

The aspirant said instead of dwelling on “minor issues”, he has been busy campaigning from door-to-door to look for votes.

Meanwhile, Ayacko has been meeting with ODM officials across all eight subcounties and is expected to launch his campaign programme on September 3 before starting full campaigns three days later.

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