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Joho 'abandons' Raila at the hour of need

Riziki Hamadi
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ODM Party Leader Raila Odinga with members during Parliamentary Group (PG) meeting, March 13, 2018. [Photo/Raila Odinga]

ODM Deputy Party Leader Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho on Tuesday failed to attend the party's Parliamentary Group (PG) meeting, days after the party leader Raila Odinga met President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Joho supported the Friday last week meeting held at Harambee House, which saw the two political nemesis pledge to work together.

Joho said: "I wish to express my support for my party leader the Rt. Hon. Raila Amollo Odinga in his efforts towards unity, peace and justice in Kenya. I pray that God gives him strength and wisdom to deliver a brighter future for all of us in this country. 

I also wish to extend a hand of cooperation to our colleagues from the competing coalition. It is in the interest of every Kenyan that this Kenyan project succeeds. As we come with a clean heart and open hands, please remember, an open hand cannot shake a clenched fist."

"To our coalition partners, there’s a time for peace and a time for war. This is the time for peace. Not all of us may have fought in the times of war, but all of us MUST fight for peace. The time for war has come and gone," he added in a statement.

ODM leaders converged for the PG meeting following a NASA coalition principals' summit meeting in Machakos on Monday, that saw the four principals - Raila, Musalia Mudavadi, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula discuss the surprise meeting that created confusion in the opposition coalition.

The four later agreed that there should be a structured dialogue, hence the need to converge for a PG with their respective parties before reverting for another way forward summit meeting.

Raila led his party members including elected leaders for the PG at Orange House but two of his deputies, Joho and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya were missing.

It is however not clear whether they communicated that they would snub the crucial meeting.

On February 23, Joho joined his party leader for the party's National Governing Council Meeting (NGC) at the same venue in Nairobi where he greatly campaigned and vowed to popularize it.

They also resolved to intensify and deepen the new phase of the struggle, with Joho saying the Jubilee government had reversed all the gains of the country's democracy by media shutdowns, harassment of the Judiciary and civil society. 

During the PG, the issue of national reconciliation was discussed at length. 

Members unanimously endorsed the process as they continue with the journey of rectifying the ills that have affected the nation for far too long.

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