ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna on Friday, April 2, clarified that ODM leader Raila Odinga would not be seeking the party's presidential nomination ticket for the 2022 general election.
In a rather surprising statement, Sifuna indicated that a prior statement indicating that Odinga had submitted his papers for the presidential ticket to the National Election Board (NEB), was just an April Fool's day joke.
"Politics can be serious business. Politics is serious business every day of the calendar. Except for 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," Sifuna's statement read in part.ODM leader Raila Odinga during an impromptu visit in Nairobi on Thursday, April 1
Further, he poked fun at his political opponents for taking the bait, saying that they came out guns blazing, frothing at the mouth, at an April Fool's misdirection.
"So here is the position. Raila Odinga did not apply for the Party's ticket. His long-held position is that he will not discuss 2022 until after the BBI process is done," he stated.
He added that the party had received only two applications. One from Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya and another from his Mombasa counterpart Ali Hassan Joho. Both are deputy party leaders.
The party had set March 31st as the deadline for potential candidates to submit their papers to the party's election board ahead of a vetting exercise.
The announcement by ODM on April 1, led a number of leaders allied to Deputy President William Ruto to make fun of the situation.
"This is good news, Raila will be in the race for the presidency. Whoever doubted this is ignorant in Kenyan politics. Now the cerelac coalition should name their’s next week, if their nanny allows," Soy MP Caleb Kositany stated.
"ODM deadline for those interested to be Presidential Candidates on the party ticket lapses at Midnight. The Hustler Nation Intelligence Bureau (HNIB) does not need to tell you the obvious. ODM will declare that X, will be the ODM Presidential Flag Bearer," Dennis Itumbi stated.Soy Member of Parliament Caleb Kositany speaking at a past event.
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