Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya will serve as chairman of the Council of Governors for the second term after he was unanimously re-elected on Monday, January 20.
A report published by People Daily on Tuesday suggested that President Uhuru Kenyatta may have had a hand in the CoG chairman's re-election.
According to the publication, the head of state had convinced other governors to front Oparanya during a meeting he convened with them at State House, Mombasa on Thursday, January 16.
Quoting a source who sought anonymity, the publication reported that President Kenyatta viewed the Kakamega governor as less controversial compared to his predecessors, former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto and incumbent Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya.
"Oparanya was also seen to be friendlier to both President Uhuru and opposition leader Raila Odinga," the publication quoted.
Oparanya also warranted support from the commander-in-chief for his support of the Big Four Agenda during his inaugural tenure as the CoG chair.
Oparanya who is also the ODM party deputy leader has been an instrumental figure in the push for the implementation of the Building Bridges Initiatives and Uhuru's Universal Health Coverage plan.
On Saturday, January 18, he hosted the second BBI convention that was staged at the Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega. The meeting was graced by governors, senators, and several other leaders from across the country.
The publication reported that President Kenyatta had earlier informed governors that lobbying for the BBI would be worth their while, as it bore positions in the proposed extended executive.
"In the meeting, the president said some of us were serving our final term and we have a lot of experience that should not go to waste," the source is quoted in the publication.
Oparanya was re-elected unopposed after Mandera Governor Ali Roba stepped down from the race. Murang'a Governor Mwangi wa Iria maintained his position as deputy chair after Uasin Gishu's Jackson Mandago backed out.
Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana also retained his seat as chief whip.
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