Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya is ready to withdraw his candidature for the Presidential seat if ODM Raila Odinga also vies.
The former Chairman of the Council of Governors during an interview on Monday night said he will consider vying for another political seat if Raila gives a fifth stab at the presidency.
Giving his reasons for backing out, Oparanya said the ODM boss is his long-term ally and he won’t consider staging a political battle against him. He added he also has a lot of respect for Raila which is why it will be wise to withdraw his candidature.
“If my party leader stands, I’d rather go for another post instead of opposing him. We have worked together with Raila since 2005,” Governor Oparanya told TV47.
Oparanya also claimed the outcome of the BBI will inform his next political move in the event ODM pick Raila as the Party’s Presidential flag bearer.
Oparanya also revealed it is him and his Mombasa counterpart Ali Hassan Joho who applied for the ODM party’s presidential ticket.
Raila did not submit his papers to ODM considering his run for the country’s top seat.
ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna on April 1 announced his party leader had applied for the presidential ticket but he rescinded his statement saying he played fools day stunt that is marked on that day.
It is therefore not clear yet whether the National Elections Board (NEB) of the party will reopen the window for application to accommodate more aspiring presidential hopefuls.
But Oparanya in recent days has been accused of courting Deputy President William Ruto. The two met in Maasai Mara raising a lot of speculations.
The rise in speculations was fueled by Oparanya’s comments on BBI which were interpreted as open rebellion. In his comments, Oparanya said that BBI is not economically viable and tenable.
Also meeting Siaya Senator James Orengo and Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo who openly rejected some sections of the BBI raised a lot of questions about his loyalty.
But to calm the rumors, Oparanya has re-announced his loyalty to Raila, which is by giving up his own political ambitions.