ODM Explains Why Raila Backed Dialogue Calls Fronted by Ruto

A side-to-side image of Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga and President William Ruto at KICC, Nairobi.
A side-to-side image of Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga and President William Ruto at KICC, Nairobi.
Raila Odinga

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) on Wednesday clarified its party leader's political stance after the opposition supremo backed President William Ruto's call for national dialogue.

This comes in the wake of recent discussions aimed at addressing pressing national issues, particularly those raised by the Gen Zs protesting against several issues of national importance.

At a signing ceremony held on Tuesday at KICC, Raila Odinga called for a comprehensive national conversation to address the critical issues affecting the nation and also called on the climb down of rising revolt against the government.

"The Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga called for a national conversation on the issues being raised by the youth of Kenya and other voices on how we can create a more perfect nation that takes care of its citizens," said ODM National Chairman and Nominated MP, John Mbadi.

From right Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga, National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang'ula, President William Ruto and Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi at KICC.
From right Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga, National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang'ula, President William Ruto and Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi at KICC.
Raila Odinga

Mbadi emphasized Raila Odinga's consistent role in steering the country away from potential crises. 

"In making the call, the Party Leader did what he always does. Raila Odinga always helps the country pull back from the precipice whenever we find ourselves there. There can be no doubt that as a country, we are at a crossroads and approaching a precipice. One of us has to be magnanimous and patriotic enough to help call the country to order. Once again, Hon. Raila is being called names," he stated.

Highlighting the discipline and organization within ODM, Mbadi affirmed the party's support for Raila's call for dialogue. 

"As a party, we are an organized and disciplined organization. We believe in order. We believe in command. The Party Leader has spoken. I have also had a chance to meet and speak with him to explore the matter further. We are in agreement that his call is in the best interest of the country and will help address the emerging issues in a structured and coordinated manner," Mbadi added.

Mbadi underscored the importance of accountability and timely action in addressing national issues. 

"His proposal will ensure accountability, including timelines within which the issues agreed on must be realized. We therefore call upon all party members and formations to align with and support the party's position. We must also align and demand the immediate addressing of the issues being raised by the youth and a cross-section of Kenyans," he urged.

The ODM Chairman also addressed the criticism directed at the National Dialogue Committee (NADCO), reaffirming its significance. 

"What was signed yesterday is the first bill passed by Parliament based on the recommendations of the National Dialogue Committee (NADCO). More are on the way. NADCO was therefore not a futile exercise as some alleged. Hon. Raila was right in supporting NADCO. We believe he is now in calling for national conversation," Mbadi asserted.

Mbadi further cautioned against underestimating the resolve of ODM and its supporters. 

"But the country and our detractors must make no mistake. As ODM, and as Baba's people, we have been on the streets and in Maandamano before. We never shy away from fighting. But we know when to retreat and we know when to advance, for the sake of the country. Consequently, nobody should lecture us about maandamano. We have been there and we can return there but only when Baba tells us," he warned.

The nominated MP called for unwavering support for Odinga's latest initiative. 

"For now, let us support Baba's call for a national conversation. We have no reason to doubt his latest proposals are good for the country," he concluded.

The ongoing dialogue between Raila Odinga and President Ruto represents a critical juncture for Kenya, as the nation seeks to address deep-seated issues through constructive and inclusive conversations with the young people that will begin on Monday, July 15.

Azimio la Umoja brigade led by Raila Odinga at past press address on national issues at their headquarters in Nairobi.
Azimio la Umoja brigade led by Raila Odinga at past press address on national issues at their headquarters in Nairobi.
Raila Odinga
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