In his second public rally to mobilise supporters to oppose President William Ruto’s leadership, Azimio La Umoja leader Raila Odinga on Sunday warned the head of state against underestimating him.
Odinga, who lost to Ruto in a tightly contested presidential race in August last year, gave an address at the Jacaranda Gardens in Nairobi, where he told the president to look at Kenya’s historical precedence, especially his role as an opposition leader.
Odinga particularly pointed out his influence in Kenya’s second president Daniel Moi’s Nyayo regime and urged Ruto and his deputy, Rigathi Gachagua not to take him lightly.
“Ruto and Gachagua have been threatening me, saying all manner of things about my protests. I want to tell Ruto, you don’t know about us. Go ask Mr Nyayo. The power of the people is the voice of God,” the former prime minister said.
The rally saw the Azimio leader push for implementation of the conditions he gave the Kenya Kwanza administration during his last week’s rally, among which is the demand that President Ruto and all leaders in the government resign.
Odinga, who maintains that the 2022 polls were rigged in favour of Ruto, repeated his demand that the entire Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) infrastructure be subjected to an audit.
“It is not for personal gains but for the people of Kenya. Kenyans must be able to go to an election, vote and the ballot announced as it was cast,” he said.
He also announced that he will be taking his rallies to the counties in the coming days, saying “we want Kenyans to stand firm. We will go to every corner of this country; Machakos, Nakuru, Kakamega, Kisii, Kisumu, Kiambu and then come back to Nairobi,” Odinga told supporters.
President Ruto and DP Gachagua have in the recent days publicly dismissed criticism from the Azimio leader as a strategic ploy to land him in a political truce with the Kenya Kwanza administration, similar to his ‘handshake’ with retired president Uhuru Kenyatta on March 9, 2018.
Odinga’s team has denied the claims. They say they want an implementation of the nine-point agenda their leader gave last week.
“I want people to understand that Baba does not want a handshake, he has no need of a handshake with useless people who do not have a plan. They are plan-less and without any sense of direction,” Jubilee Party Secretary-General Jeremiah Kioni said on Sunday.