REMARKS OF RT. HON RAILA ODINGA AT PRESENTATION OF ODM CERTIFICATES TO UNOPPOSED CANDIDATES; MONDAY APRIL 3, 2017.
I am greatly proud to preside at this event at which we award our party certificates to some of our hardest working and strongest aspirants and set them free to focus on the big battle of August elections.
Some of you have been honoured by your constituents because of the dedication with which you have served the party.
A number of you are converts from zones that have seen the Jubilee lies and decided to join the change movement.
I congratulate each of you for this achievement and welcome you to ODM and to NASA.
The countdown to August elections and the end of Jubilee begins today.
This day sets you free to do more for the party and for Kenya.
It sets you free to begin laying out meticulous plans for the August elections where we must get majority of MCAs, members of National Assembly, senators and governors. Ultimately, we must win the Presidency.
On this day therefore we set you free to begin hunting for our presidential votes and your votes.
You get your papers in the week that the party begins its primaries. The primaries are critical to our plans for August and for the country after the elections.
I urge you to be the party’s ambassadors, helping ensure that the nominations are free, fair and credible.
We must run a campaign and a nomination process that is honest and which strikes a chord with party followers and with Kenyan people in general.
This week therefore marks the beginning of the challenge we have been asking the National Elections Board to be prepared for.
We are returning power to the people. The people must be allowed to choose their leaders in a way that confers confidence in the party and which motivates them to come out and vote for ODM and NASA in August.
The nomination victory must never go to the most violent man or woman.
It must never be turned into an auction where the highest bidder is declared the winner.
I have said it before and I will say it again.
The National Elections Board must crack the whip on election violence, fraud and bribery in these nominations.
This means the Board must itself be above reproach and where mischief is seen to have been tolerated, somebody must be held accountable for it.
Anything short of a clean nomination exercise will only undermine our chance in August. I want to appeal to our youth to stand up for this party and refuse to be used in schemes that only undermine our real worth. The youth are the vanguard of ODM, they must refuse to be used to cause violence.
As voters and candidates, we must not lose focus of the bigger picture.
The nomination exercise is not an end in itself. It is just but a necessary step in the journey of many steps aimed at making Kenya work for everybody again.
The other step in that journey is the general elections in August.
That election is equally not an end but a means to an end. The end we must all focus on is how to get Jubilee out of the lives of Kenyans and put Kenya back on track. This means NASA must win in August and that journey begins in earnest with the nominations.
We must therefore see the bigger picture of the nation and not just ourselves. Those of you who have been awarded their certificates today and those to be awarded in the weeks ahead will be tasked with getting out our message across and making people vote for that message.
It is my expectation that our people will read the signs right and elect leaders who believe in our agenda for the country and who have the courage to stand by that agenda through thick and thin.
I want to assure Kenyans that we have a better chance than ever of winning elections in August and I am confident that we will win.
The party that promised everything is right now caught in the web of lies that it spun.
Jubilee is having a difficult time explaining what happened to the promises.
Whatever the kind of budget they put out now, there is nothing Jubilee can do in the next four months to alleviate the pain and suffering it has caused Kenyans.
Nothing. They can only invent more lies.
Nothing will fix our debt burden between now and August.
Nothing will change the fact that the number of Kenyans facing starvation has risen from 1.7 million last year to 2.7 million in 2017.
Nothing will change the fact that Jubilee administration has sent appeals for food aid all over the world and the administration is seeking to import yellow maize without explaining to Kenyans what happened to the one million acre irrigation it promised.
Nothing will stop the corruption and plunder that has gone on for four years. In fact, corruption will only deepen.
As surely as the sun rises from the East, Kenyans can expect that the planned importation of maize will be a scandal.
Jubilee never disappoints when it comes to corruption.
Nothing will change the fact that Jubilee took over a nation of Ksh.1.5 trillion debt and pushed it to Ksh.4 trillion and rising in four years.
The chicken are coming home to roost for Jubilee. Kenyans are looking up to us to save them from this incompetence and corruption.
We cannot let them down.
The only thing standing between us and winning the next election is ourselves.
Jubilee knows it is going home.
It is putting all its hopes for re-election on only two things; a fallout in NASA, which will not happen and rigging the elections in August which we will not allow.
We must conduct ourselves with decorum, maturity and honesty in the nominations, get done with it and focus squarely on sending Jubilee home in August for the sake of Kenya.
God bless you.