By Abdullahi Musa
To some he is Agwambo, to others, he is Owadgi Akinyi. To the Kalenjins he is Arap Mibei. To the Luhyas, he is Royalty from the lineage of Nabongo Mumia. To the Bukusu he is carries the Masinde Muliro torch of a free, just and liberated Kenyan-State. Behind him is a 38-40 tribe ethnic coalition support, compared to Uhuru’s 2.
Out of historical lessons learned, he has yearned for a united Kenya. He is effectively, the unofficial symbol of national unity. Whether its the Waiguru debacle or IEBC imbroglio, as Raila tongue enunciates, so does the nation pronounciate. Raila is the fulcrum of our national politics, the epicenter of our national consciousness, and the guarantor of our aspirations as a people.
Raila has the keys to unlocking our entrapment in a hole-country, which has refused to transform into a nation-state. Raila holds these truths as truly evident, that all Kenyans are created equal, all dwelling in “Unity, Peace and Liberty” as well described and inscribed in our national anthem.
Born in a household that was on a round the clock radar by the colonialists, and spied on round the clock by successive regimes, Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga, has been a victim of brutality by the powers that be, right from his childhood. And despite being in a position to sit pretty at the center of powers that be and amass himself wealth, status and comfort, Raila has dedicated his lifelong career to delivering the poor Kenyan masses from obscurity, mediocrity and poverty.
As a nation where successive regimes have sought to impose their dictatorial tendencies on the people, Raila has since the 80s under the shadow of Jaramogi, and later in the 90s, as his own man been the firewall that successive regimes have found tough to crack.
As the man standing in the way of their devious and mischievous ways, they have unsuccessfully dedicated entire state machinery towards maiming and taming him. He has won twice, his election stolen, but each time has humbled himself and agreed to serve the nation under any capacity. After all those who don’t agree to be led, cannot lead.
I have read, watched and understood this man to be an incredible man worth entrusting the reins of leadership of this country. All of us understand that Raila is the only one among-st the cast seeking CORD’s ticket, who knows what to do with the power when and if he gets it in August 2017.
Raila understands that this nation needs to be pushed out of the precipice of mediocrity and poverty. He has in numerous speeches highlighted why Kenya needs to catch up with the Singapore, Malaysia, and South Korea, nations which were at economic par with Kenya in the 60s. And at the foundation of stimulating unprecedented and sustained 10-12% annual growth is freedom.
Raila, as a victim of state emasculation and detention in the 90s, understands that individual freedoms mean free markets revolution, and growth, where individuals are allowed and given the incentives and resources to imagine, and explore those imaginations.
I don’t know what the other CORD principals would do, but Raila’s first 100 days’ agenda would be a period of massive overhaul of the Kenyan nation-state foundations, and reorientation of our nationalism with the ideals upon which the founders fought for independence.
Whether its Obama, Theresa May, Mandela, the measure of a leader is always going to be how much they understand the very articles of establishment of their nation at its founding, what they know about how the nation has deviated from those articles, and ultimately what their agenda is within 100 days to reorient the nation towards those ideals, and then institute an effective quality control and assurance mechanism to ascertain that his officers are on the same page in reclaiming Kenya’s lost glory and put Kenya on the path of sustained, unmatched and unprecedented economic growth, that will put our jobless youth to work.
I have listened to the entire crowd of presidential wannabees, and there’s not one who can look you in the eye, and tell you that they will rid this nation of cartels that threaten the very fabric of Kenya. And more importantly, none of them have the guts, and tried and tested history of unseating a sitting president. Raila led the struggle to defeat Kibaki in the 2005 referendum and then the subsequent 2007 election. And to date continues to be the shoulder upon which -the downtrodden and emasculated masses who are victims of Jubilee mismanaged, corrupt and inept economy- can lean on.
At a time when this country needs strong leadership devoid of corruption, Raila is the only man with the balls to guarantee that this nation is rid of all corruption cartels, that taxes aren’t evaded by the rich, that the Nairobi Stock exchange isn’t a hall for cleansing Eurobond/corruption money, and that all monies, stolen from Eurobond, NYS and stashed offshore are recouped back into the national coffers and reinvested into redeeming the youth from perpetual impoverishment and hostage by the corrupt and inept Kenyan regime.
In 2017, a Kenyatta is the incumbent, and only a political head to head matchup of Kenyatta vs Odinga, can excite the left wing bases of this country. It’s all about history.
The other is predictability. Having won every nationwide political contest since 2002, winning the 2005 referendum, 2007&2013 presidential elections, Raila is the only leader with a known voting pattern.
Looking at the 2013 math, its obvious that so long as he sweeps the Western voting block of Nyanza and Western, and guards against rigging, then retains the same voting pattern of his 38 to 40 tribes voting block, then he will easily romp home to victory by noon on voting day. The rest of the cast Kalonzo, Wetangula and Mudavadi haven’t delivered a national electoral voting map of Raila’s scale and magnitude, yet the stakes are so high for CORD to lose the 2017 election. Raila is the only man with a sure and tested path to victory in 2017. Anyone else is “kubahatisha”. NSIS will sponsor a ton of polling data to divert CORD from the trophy Raila presidency
As the eldest in the group, he is the only man who guarantees unity in the opposition. All the CORD presidential wannabees want a Raila endorsement, and campaign financing. And so if he endorses Wetangula for example, Kalonzo feels bad, if he picks Wetangula, and Wetangula would use that as an excuse to join Jubilee. If he picks Mudavadi, Kalonzo and Wetangula will claim Mudavadi is a Johnie-come-lately choking up their “patrimonial birthright”. And so a Raila candidature will unite CORD, as the other candidates would be disruptive, with the end result unknown.
Raila’s age also guarantees a succession plan, which is a major problem in Jubilee, where Ruto claims he is the only one entitled to succeed Uhuru yet we know Uhuru is intent on a third and fourth term, through removal of term limits. Raila can run to correct the wrongs in one term, then hand the leadership baton to Kalonzo, Weta or MaDvD. Raila can promise a one term presidency, but in their 50s and 60s, Kalonzo, Weta, or Mudavadi cannot promise the other, because they will want 2 terms.
Raila was PM for 5 yrs, executed some reforms which are anchored in the constitution, like the bill of Rights, which was Raila’s irreducible minimum. He wanted parliamentary system, but so long as the Bill of Rights wasn’t tampered with, he was willing to compromise, which is how our Bill of Rights is one of the most progressive in the world.
Raila is keen on operationalizing the freedoms as enshrined in the 2010 constitution, but which Jubilee has relegated to the back burner. Raila has a very concrete agenda as to what he needs as he finalizes a few aspects of a new republic that will be born in August 2017.
Maybe Kalonzo, Weta or Mudavadi may win in 2017, but that’s a gamble. The surest way for CORD to win would be the inevitable and incredible candidature of Raila Amolo Odinga. He has ran 3 times, won twice, and lost once. He can rule for 5yrs, and hand over the baton to Kalonzo, Joho, Weta or Mudavadi in 2022.