Raila Odinga remains tight-lipped on succession

Siaya Senator Oburu Odinga appears to have stirred controversy with his recent comments on succession in Luo politics.

Speaking in Dholuo at a recent gathering, Odinga appeared to endorse National Assembly Minority leader Opiyo Wandayi as a potential successor to ODM leader Raila Odinga within the Azimio la Umoja movement.

Oburu has since retracted his statement, insisting that he does not have the authority to endorse any politician and that he was merely acknowledging Wandayi’s promising political future.

However, Raila’s silence on his own succession and whether he will seek the presidency for a sixth time has left many speculating about the future of Luo-Nyanza politics.

The region has regarded Raila Odinga as its political heavyweight for over two decades, following in the footsteps of his father, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.

In 2027, Raila will be 82, and his brother Oburu insists that a leader must emerge through merit rather than being hand-picked.

Many names have emerged in discussions about Odinga’s potential successor. The fact that Raila’s daughter, Winnie Odinga, has secured a position in the East African Legislative Assembly after the 2022 elections is seen as a significant step forward. Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga has remained a staunch supporter of Odinga in his political stronghold, as has Siaya Governor James Orengo, one of Odinga’s most trusted aides.

Outside Odinga’s immediate circle, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Interior and National Administration Raymond Omolo, former Nairobi governor Evans Kidero and ICT Cabinet Secretary Eliud Owalo have all been mentioned by political analysts as potential candidates. However, it may prove difficult for any of them to erode the deep-rooted support for Odinga or his chosen successor in his home turf.

Although 2027 is still some time away, Oburu’s comments on the matter have already raised eyebrows, even as Raila remains tight-lipped on the issue.

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