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Why Luo elders are bitter with Raila

A faction of the crisis-riddled Luo Council of Elders has told ODM leader Raila Odinga to unite the community if he wants to be president of Kenya.

A group of elders from Homa Bay, Siaya, Migori and Kisumu on Sunday said contrary to popular belief, the Luo were no longer one voting bloc.

Speaking at Alaw Rachuonyo in Homa Bay during the coronation of Mr Nyandiko Ongadi as ‘Ker’ or council leader on Sunday, the elders demanded an audience with Mr Odinga.

“We do not want to force our son to meet us but he must note that apart from the fact that we can offer him words of wisdom, we can also shower him with blessings,” said Mr Odote Wanga from Ndhiwa.

They said unfortunate incidents like those witnessed during the recent ODM grassroots polls divided the community and should be avoided.

“Must we continue to sit back and watch as politicians run amok and shame our community?” asked Mr John Rasare Gome.

SECOND FIDDLE

Mr Oguma Opiyo from Nyakach said despite having played a vital role in bringing independence and multipartism to Kenya, “our sons continue to play second fiddle in the leadership of this country”.

“Oginga Odinga left the presidency to Jomo Kenyatta. His son Raila said ‘Kibaki tosha’ but ended up frustrated. For how long are we going to be kingmakers?” asked Mr Ondu Agai, a former Kisumu Town mayor.

He said the time had come for the community to truly embrace multi-party politics.

“Why must Luos be told to be in only one party?” he asked.

Mr Okang Rollo narrated the tribulations they faced when forming the council and urged fellow elders to resist interference from politicians.

They dismissed an elders’ faction led by Mr Willis Otondi as a creation of politicians.

REST OF HIS LIFE

According to the elders’ constitution, Mr Nyandiko will be ‘Ker’ for the rest of his life.

He will be assisted by a council of 24 members, half from south Nyanza and the rest from central Nyanza.

The elders extended an olive branch to Mr Otondi and his group “for the sake of Luo unity”.

In his acceptance speech, Mzee Nyandiko took issue with leaders who who did not recognise their role.

However, governors, senators, MPs and MCAs invited to the ceremony did not turn up.

The only leaders in attendance were Dr Mark Matunga and Prof Phoebe Akinyi Nyawalo.

Ker Nyandiko was, however, quick to forgive the absent politicians.

SYCOPHANCY

“I am aware that many of them would have loved to be present but your guess is as mine as to why they have not,” he said without elaborating.

Dr Matunga and Prof Nyawalo challenged the elders to lead by example.

“Our elders must shun the culture of sycophancy if they expect to be respected,” Dr Matunga said.

Mzee Nyandiko who was flanked by his four wives — Jenipher, Helida, Lillian and Elsa — swore to serve the community dilligently.