Various leaders have celebrated the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition leader Raila Odinga who turned 78 years today, January 7, amid confirmation of his intention to run for the presidency in 2027.
The seasoned politician was celebrated online by various leaders, including former President Uhuru Kenyatta, who referred to Odinga as his “brother and friend” in a birthday message.
The former head of state expressed that Raila was also his friend even as he wished him well in the new year.
“I would like to take this opportunity in the new year, to wish my brother and friend Raila Odinga a Happy Birthday,” read the statement in part.
He went on to add, “May God’s blessings and favour be upon you today and in the years to come.”
Odinga also received birthday wishes from Azimio co-principal Martha Karua, who referred to him as “Kenya’s foremost transformational leader.”
Homabay Governor Gladys Wanga thanked Raila for fighting for Kenyans saying,“Baba, Rt Hon Raila Odinga, we thank you for your contributions to constitutionalism, devolution, and the fight for a better Kenya and better lives for all Kenyans. Many of us have been and will continue to be inspired by you.”
His Orange Democratic Movement Party celebrated Odinga for being a selfless leader.
the party said, “To our Party Leader Raila Odinga, we are proud to be a part of your special day. You remain the most wonderful leader to the world of yesterday, today, and the future. As millions celebrate your birthday today as a special gift to our beloved country, we ask Kenyans to remain focused on rebuilding a united Kenya. Happy Birthday Baba.”
On Friday, Odinga addressed speculation about his potential presidential bid in response to demands from coast leaders to know if he would be running in the 2027 race.
He declared that he was “still strong enough to become Kenya’s president” and pledged to revive his political bases and clean up the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party ahead of the 2027 campaign.
The debate about Odinga’s 2027 bid was ignited by MPs, including Changamwe’s Omar Mwinyi, who asked the ODM leader to declare his position on the race.
Mwinyi stated that Odinga was the only leader capable of providing an alternative agenda and uniting Azimio ahead of the 2027 election. Odinga responded by expressing his commitment to cleaning up ODM and encouraging Azimio constituent parties to remain strong.
Odinga also addressed the recent declaration by Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka that it was time for Odinga to support his bid for the presidency.
While Odinga did not directly address Musyoka’s statement, he emphasized the importance of maintaining the strength of Azimio’s constituent parties, including Wiper and Jubilee.
Overall, Odinga’s 78th birthday celebration and confirmation of his presidential bid have generated significant attention and speculation about the future of Kenyan politics, as co-principal, in the Azimio camp Kalonzo Musyoka of Wiper has also vowed to mount a bid for the seat in the next general election.