After United Democratic Forum Party Leader Cyrus Jirongo pledged never to honor Raila Odinga’s request to withdraw from the contest for governor of Kakamega, tension spread across the Azimio la Umoja camp.
Speaking on Saturday as he rallied support for his campaign in Lugari, Kakamega County, Jirongo said he would not permit the ODM leader to displace Azimio affiliate parties in other areas in order to make room for his ODM contenders.
This occurred following the adoption by the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition Council of a rationalization plan that will compel other constituent parties to harmonize candidates in an effort to fight growing sibling rivalries in their strongholds.
Azimio thinks that by doing this, he will have a better chance of winning several seats and avoiding competition from Kenya Kwanza-aligned candidates.
For ODM Party candidate Ferdinand Barasa in the Kakamega county governor’s contest, Jirongo had been urged to withdraw.
Jirongo, a coalition member, cautioned Raila to stay away from Western Kenya, noting that the area has its own parties and that ODM should only focus on gaining seats in the Nyanza region.
He stated they would support Raila Odinga for president, but that they should respect them and refrain from imposing his ODM party and its candidates on them locally.
“Hiyo ni uoga, mtu akija hapa na propaganda awaambie Jirongo na fulani na wameskizana. ODM iende Nyanza sisi tuko na vyama vyetu, Mimi Raila hawezi niambia niwachane na Chama yangu ya UDP ati anataka.
Furious Jirongo said, “Tunapatia yeye kura moja ya urais na sitaki anisaidie huku, watu wake wa ODM wakae Nyanza, atuheshimu huku.”