'Jimi Wanjigi is not Raila Odinga’s competitor,' Edwin Sifuna says
Orange Democratic Movement Party (ODM) Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna has dismissed
assertions that Businessman Jimi Wanjigi poses competition to Raila Odinga.
Sifuna sternly stated that the Businessman and 2022 presidential hopeful should not be compared to his party leader Raila Odinga in regard to the party’s nominations.
Speaking in an interview at KTN’s News Hour on Wednesday, Sifuna explained that Wanjigi did not submit his application to the party before the closure of the process and thus he was locked out of the nominations.
“The process was closed on March 31, 2021, and Wanjigi did not apply during the period. The only people who applied are two and they have pulled out to support somebody else,” Sifuna stated.
“I don’t think you can describe Jimi Wanjigi as Raila’s competition he has written a letter to the party requesting that the process be reopened then we can make a decision towards that,” he added.
The one-time senatorial aspirant further explained that ODM was operating within the rules and that is why Wanjigi is deemed to have been locked out by the aspect of time.
“Political parties have their own rules which they play by constitutionally. There are organs of the party that have powers which set rules,” stated Sifuna.
He added; “The same organ that set that deadline is the organ that Jimi Wanjigi wrote a letter requesting the period be extended.”
At the same time, Sifuna expressed confidence that the former premier was more than a match to Wanjigi saying; “The only person who I have seen gain traction when the discussion about the viability of the candidate has been Jakwom.”
“Even within the party, even if Jimi Wanjigi was to be in charge of that process there is no possible way that he can be able to beat Raila Odinga in whatever field,” added Sifuna.
In addressing issues to do free and fair nominations, he went forth to state that even if the United Nations was the one to oversee those elections, Odinga would still emerge victorious arguing that Wanjigi had not been able to convince anyone in the party of his capability.
“He has been unable to convince me and show me the pathway to victory. Out of about 38 people, there is only one person I have seen following him,” said Sifuna.
Sifuna consequently affirmed Odinga’s supremacy in politics as compared to Wanjigi saying that he was confident that he would change the lives of Kenyans politically and would be able to emerge victorious in the 2022 elections.
“Before you will be able to put together the sort of support that would propel you to the presidency, it is not a joke. It is something that people have to see you in such a light over a very long period,” Sifuna explained.
He stated; “This is someone who has been able to earn the people’s trust over a period of more than 40 years of public service; you cannot just compare that with someone who just shows up and claims that he wants to run, he needs time, we need to see him as MCA.
He however pointed out that even though, he is hopeful Odinga would declare his presidential race on Friday to the satisfaction of many, if he unexpectedly endorses Wanjigi, it would be a surprise even to him.
“We don’t know what Raila Odinga is going to say on Friday, he can as well say Jimi Wamjigi to continue,” he said.