ODM rebels in Western are reluctant to announce their defection because of hostility on the ground, a local daily has established.
They are Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba, Funyula’s Paul Otuoma and John Waluke of Sirisia. Ababu relinquished his secretary general post last Wednesday while Otuoma renounced his vice chairman position a week ago. Waluke resigned as Bungoma county ODM chairman. The three are yet to announce their defection from ODM. Ababu says he holds shares in the party and nobody should tell him when to leave. He is said to be facing hostility at the grassroots after he dropped the influential ODM position.
Ababu and others say they were frustrated and disrespected. Busia Governor Sosepeter Ojamoong and woman representative Florence Mutua have said the county is purely ODM. “Busia is ODM. We are ODM damu (We are ODM by blood). Let nobody express fear that my closeness to party leader Raila Odinga will give me advantage. Just come and face me instead of crying foul,” Ojamoong said in Migori town. He is said to have been referring to Otuoma, who has said he will try to unseat him. Budalang’i resident Leonard Okanda said Ababu is reluctant to officially defect from ODM because more than 90 per cent of residents support Raila.
“There is a feeling that Budalang’i is tired of Ababu’s leadership, that is why he feels there is reason to exit early before a backlash,” Okanda told a leading local daily on the phone yesterday.
“He is trying to re-engineer himself by covering himself under the umbrella of Luhya unity.”