There is a push and pull at the ODM party as members targeting governor positions in the 2022 General Election flex muscles with each other.
This has left party leader Raila Odinga in a dilemma as he juggles between the loyal contestants and those that will give him political usefulness.
Some members are targeting the seats that will be left vacant, with others warming up to a face-off with sitting governors.
The contestants are fighting to get an endorsement from Raila, but others want to do it alone, without his endorsement.
In Siaya, James Orengo is staring at a face-off with Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi over the governor’s position.
This has caused a major rift between Orengo and ODM chairman John Mbadi. The latter has been said to be favoring Wandayi, hence the latest onslaught in the party.
On the other hand, Kisumu county politics has posed a challenge to Raila as two contestants yearn for an ODM ticket.
Here, the current Governor, Anyang Nyong’o is keen on retaining his sit as Raila’s sister Ruth Odinga eyes the same position.
Kisumu Senator Fred Outa has also tossed himself in the ring, seeking to outdo Nyongo in 2022.
The dilemma also spreads to Mombasa County where Raila is flexing his muscles with Governor Ali Hassan Joho.
With both parties having a powerful influence in the coastal region, Joho is keen on mentoring businessman Suleiman Shabal to take over the County leadership.
He has locked hones with Raila’s men in the region who want him to hand over the mantle to former Kilifi North MP, Gideon Mung’aro.
Homabay County stands as a big dilemma for Raila as his 3 powerful allies seek to succeed Governor Cyprian Awiti.
One is ODM chairman John Mbadi who has lately become the most trusted ally of Raila, especially when it comes to matters BBI.
Homabay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga, who is an integral member of Raila’s ‘girls’ squad’ also seeks an endorsement from her party leader to vie for the County top job.
However, both Wanga and Mbadi have a big opponent, who is also part of Raila’s inner circle. Former Nairobi Governor stands as a big challenge in the Homabay race due to his big financial and political influence.
These ambitions, together with BBI politics have led to a deep rift inside the ODM party, putting Raila at crossroads.