Raila Blames Ruto After Facing Hostility at Turkana Festival

Orange Democratic Movement party leader Raila Odinga has condemned the chaos that forced him to flee from his event in Lodwar, Turkana, on Friday. 

The opposition leader, however, alleged that President William Ruto orchestrated the plot after touring the region and launching the Turkana Festival, where he incited local leaders against him. 

“The governor was finding that he was not aware. Of course, he was very aware, and I know that he gave assurances to Mr. Ruto that he will not allow us to speak here today,” Raila alleged that Turkana Governor Jeremiah Lomorukai colluded with Ruto to bar him from the event.

Lomorukai, an ODM politician, ditched Raila for Ruto yesterday while pledging to aid the President in securing his legacy. 

Photo of Raila Odinga in Lodwar town on October 13, 2023


Raila Odinga


Nonetheless, Raila promised Turkana residents that he would return for a mega political rally as he was not deterred by the threats and open rebellion he had faced. 

“We have big plans as Azimio for this region, which we should start implementing,” Raila commented in a press briefing following the chaos.

He also assured the audience that he didn’t need permission to visit Turkana and was pushing mega developments for the region.

“It is the height of political hypocrisy to refuse me even to greet the people,” he claimed but did not divulge how he would ensure the region is developed being an outsider in government. 

The former Prime Minister was whisked away from a rowdy crowd after a section of Turkana Jubilee politicians confronted him. The irony of the attack was that Jubilee is a sister party to Azimio Coalition, which Raila leads. 

Turkana leaders claimed that Raila had neglected the region and openly vowed to continue supporting Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA), a gesture that did not augur well with the crowd. 

After calm was restored, Raila addressed the constituents outside the venue, highlighting his next course of action. 

He was earlier expected to deliver keynote addresses on devolution, touching on its benefits and why it should be boosted for more development in the devolved units.

Now, in its seventh edition, the festival showcases the culture of the Turkana people and depicts region as the cradle of mankind.

President Ruto and other leaders attends the Turkana Cultural and Tourism Festival in Lodwar Town on October 12, 2023.


Joel Mulwa

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