Former Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) for East Africa Community, Ken Obura, has thrown a spanner in the works after refusing to step down for Kisumu governor, Anyang Nyong’o, in the August 9 race.
Obura, a close ally of Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader, Raila Odinga, dismissed the existence of consensus talks, maintaining that he will be on the ballot with or without ODM.
The former CAS wants the party to go ahead and conduct the nominations that are slated for Tuesday, April 19.
Obura was responding to a party circular that indicated it would conduct the primaries for the positions of Senate, Woman Representative, Members of the County Assemblies (MCAs) and four parliamentary seats.
By omitting the gubernatorial position, ODM was indirectly confirming reaching consensus amongst contestants and this would eventually lead to a direct nomination.
Governor Nyong’o - who is seeking a second term - is also a very close ally of Raila, and is poised to receive a direct nomination for his loyalty to the party.
Obura, however, states he will not back down, further criticising those claiming talks between him and the governor were ongoing, adding that such talks should only be in his favour.
“They are peddling a lot of rumours out there that there is consensus between myself and Nyong’o. The only consensus between myself and the governor is that he should agree to step down and support my bid,” Obura was quoted as saying by Citizen Digital.
Obura added that “we are willing to wait because ODM has not communicated which one of us is the candidate. Going by the rules the party has chosen, that of scientific opinion polls, I should be the candidate.”
Obura was accompanied by Nyong’o’s predecessor, Jack Ranguma, former Kisumu County Assembly Speaker, Onyango Oloo, and Kisumu Senator, Fred Outa. The three announced in February that they were shelving their bids in support of Obura.
Nyong’o has not reacted to the news but is banking on the party and his loyalty to its leader to be given the direct nomination.
As things stand, it is a wait-and-see situation.