A statement from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party indicating that Raila Odinga is among three members who will battle it out for the 2022 presidential ticket was a prank, the Party Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna has clarified.
In a statement issued on Friday morning, Sifuna said yesterday being April Fools Day the party’s communication team saw it as a perfect moment to pull some legs.
“Politics can be serious business. Politics is serious business every day of the calendar. Except April 1st. We took the liberty of joining in the day’s pranks with our communication yesterday knowing well our friends in media and politics would not know better,” said Sifuna.
“We see many, especially our political opponents swallowed it hook line and sinker. They came out guns blazing, frothing at the mouth, at an April fools misdirection. You need to lighten up, friends. It’s never that serious.”
The SG said the ODM leader did not apply for the party’s ticket.
“His long-held position is that he will not discuss 2022 until after the BBI (Building Bridges Initiative) process is done,” he added.
According to the SG only Kakakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and his Mombasa counterpart Ali Hassan Joho, who were listed alongside the former Prime Minister, sent their applications to the National Elections Board (NEB), meeting the March 31, 2021 deadline.
“At the close of the Application period, the Party received only two Applications from Hon. Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya and Hon Ali Hassan Joho. These will be processed in the usual manner by the National Elections Board,” said Sifuna.
Critics, however, opine that the process is just a formality as only Raila will be given the ticket come 2022 making it his fifth stab at the presidency.
The 76-year-old has run unsuccessfully for president four times -1997, 2007, 2013 and 2017- polls.
True statement on the process of identifying the party’s flag bearer for the 2022 general election… pic.twitter.com/zRHhW8GXVW
— The ODM Party (@TheODMparty) April 2, 2021