• While there is nothing wrong with some of them nicknaming him ‘Baba’ or in using any other glorification upon him, they should not do it to the point of sounding and looking like imbeciles.
That Raila Odinga has an unapologetic mass of fanatical following from a certain constituency, is not in question. But that some of his followers are borderline blasphemous, is up in the air.
While there is nothing wrong with some of them nicknaming him ‘Baba’ or in using any other glorification upon him, they should not do it to the point of sounding and looking like imbeciles. They should not be seen to perceive their leader as eternal.
Raila should resist those who praise him in an excessively, hollow manner. In mind springs such politicians like the so-called ‘Super’ Senator Johnson Sakaja of Nairobi, who recently went overboard in trying to endear himself to the ODM leader. Sakaja is, however, not alone in this as many, who previously avoided and even called Raila names, are now bending over to accommodate him; all in the spirit of the handshake.
To reword Shakespeare, Sakaja, who clearly had come to praise Raila and not bury Okoth, referred to him by all his nicknames including ‘Baba, Agwambo, Jakom, Rao and others I cannot recall. Apparently, Sakaja, like many others, has realised that Raila is now calling the shots in the Jubilee government, albeit implicitly and it wouldn’t hurt to tag on his tailcoat.
As Sakaja thus praised the ODM leader, who was seated a few meters away, Raila smiled from ear to ear. A humble leader would have been embarrassed by such undue praise. At the same function, some other speaker unabashedly referred to Ida Odinga as ‘First Lady’, which from her smiling face appeared to please her immensely.
In many public functions, Raila’s sycophants have referred to him knowingly as ‘Prime Minister’ instead of former PM and to his wife as ‘First Lady’, but he has never seen it fit to raise a finger of correction to those erroneously showering him with superfluous acclaims.
In the spirit of the now much-touted handshake, and despite the fact that Raila was illegally sworn-in as the people’s President (whatever that means), he and his wife should correct public speakers who refer to them by these names. He should respect “my younger brother’s” wife by pointing out that Margaret Kenyatta is actually Kenya’s First Lady. Maybe that way, some of us would start believing that the handshake was indeed genuine.
Then at a rally to unveil potential ODM candidates for the Kibra parliamentary seat, a young aspirant, who I hear is also some reggae DJ, misjudged the podium and went down on his knees before Raila, begging for his blessings. Raila just watched as the young man in dreads profaned himself, seemingly mistaking ‘Baba’ for Jah.
I don’t know what faith Raila professes, but what happened that Sunday was repulsive, especially to people who are God-fearing. It’s only before God that mortals must kneel in worship and Raila should have stopped the young man ‘on his knees’. Despite the huge following, he must humble himself before God and the people who vote for and expect leadership from him.
Just a thought: In the spirit of the ‘handshake’, I would have expected Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party to stay away from the Kibra by-election. That Jubilee has chosen to field a candidate and Raila is not making a fuss about, is telling. Also telling is the recent allegation that Jubilee secretary general Raphael Tuju is Raila’s strategist for 2022. Is someone trying to spoil it for ANC?