Senator Sam Ongeri is now enjoying status of being one of Raila Odinga's most trusted advisor, even with the fact that he was a former critic.

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Throughout Kisii and Nyamira Counties, Raila gives Ongeri his ears more than any politician, a significant indication that he has assumed a key role.

Previously, Raila relied on former Kitutu Masaba MP Timothy Bosire and Governor James Ongwae. Despite their reduced roles, he does however listen to them still.

Recruited in 2016 from TNA, Ongeri has gone ahead to play critical advisory role in Raila's team, a fact that he admitted recently during Dr Hezron Manduku's funeral.

"The country was breaking apart. I hosted Dr Fred Matiang'i, and we all agreed to tell our leader. I went ahead and told Raila about it, there was a handshake afterwards," he said.

A source close to Mr Odinga says Ongeri's ability to face issues without fear is the main reason why he was recruited to the inner circle team.

Ongeri, he says, commands respect from among Gusii leaders, a move that will help him easily unite the Abagusii people when it comes to 2022 polls.

"Prof is not a sycophant. He will tell you off when you're wrong. A serious politician needs such people for prosperity. He also commands respect from among local politicians," he said.

For months, Ongeri has been working closely with Dr Fred Matiang'i, with a possibility of the interior Cabinet Secretary working with Raila also in the offing.

Prof Ongeri is said to be keen with a possibility of running for Kisii gubernatorial seat in 2022 in the race to succeed Governor James Ongwae.