• MPs Abdulswamad Nassir (Nyali) and Mishi Mboko (Likoni), say some people are interested in being in Joho’s shoes but are too shy to speak out.
• Say those who feel Joho is not qualified to lead the country should step up and speak out instead of using sideshows.
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho’s allies want anyone from the Coast region with presidential ambition to step up and declare it.
MPs Abdulswamad Nassir (Nyali) and Mishi Mboko (Likoni) say some people are interested in being in Joho’s shoes but are too shy to speak out.
Instead, they say, they are using other means to discredit Joho’s candidature.
“We are on a mission to save the Coast region. We must have our own (presidential) candidate. If you feel you have your own candidate, bring them on,” Nassir said on Monday.
He spoke at Buxton after Joho launched the Buxton ECDE, which will be running the early childhood robotics programme.
The initiative is meant to equip early learners with the requisite innovation skills from an early stage.
“We will put your candidate and our candidate on a weighing scale to see who has more weight in terms of popularity, means and support. Then we will support the winner,” Nassir said.
Joho has declared interest in succeeding President Uhuru Kenyatta but is facing criticism from leaders at the Coast region.
Nassir's and Mboko's remarks are believed to have been directed at Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi, who on Saturday criticised Mombasa politicians for declaring that they would not abandon ODM for the yet-to-be-declared Coast party.
It is Joho and Nassir who have declared they will not abandon ODM in favour of a proposed home-grown party.
“We are in ODM and will be vying for the presidency on an ODM ticket,” Nassir said.
Kingi has been championing for a Coast-based political party to be the vehicle that the region uses to achieve unity.
On Saturday, he said even he has invested a lot of his resources in the Orange party but is ready to abandon it for a Coast party.
However, Mboko on Monday dared Kingi to square off with Joho to find out who is better placed to represent the Coast region in the presidential race.
“If anyone else (from the Coast) wants to vie (for the presidency), let them come up and we weigh them,” said Mboko.
She said Joho has traversed the country and gained popularity in Wajir, Kisii, Nyanza, Central, Western and other parts of Kenya.
The Likoni legislator said time has come for someone from a minority community to lead the country.
“If a minority gets the seat, Kenya will have relative peace because most of the problems will go away,” Mboko said.
Joho said people are judging him because he comes from a minority community.
“So you are judging me because my crime is that I was born in Mombasa? I’m I not a Kenyan like anyone else? Don’t I have rights?” said Joho.
He said his quest for the presidency is unstoppable and no amount of judgement will
“We will go round the country. We will talk (to people). We will argue. We must be on the ballot,” said Joho.