The 2017 general election temperature has cooled down and now the 2022 elections cloud is slowly forming. Election losers in the previous election are slowly wooing voters to consider them come the next election. Those who won are working hard to ensure they are re-elected for the same post or even a bigger one. Key of which is the race to Statehouse and Raila Odinga is a major determinant.
President Uhuru Kenyatta is working to build his legacy before his second term ends. Deputy President William Ruto is keen to realize his presidential ambitions come 2022. And what of Raila Odinga? What is he up to? No doubt this is one of the big questions in the minds of many. Raila odinga literally changed the Kenyan political game plan with his handshake with President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Here is why Raila Odinga is very vital in 2022 presidential race:
He has a very huge following
Raila Odinga has over the years built a huge following that is very loyal to him. Actually he is the politician with the largest following in Kenya as at now. One unique thing about his supporters is that they are diehard soldiers who diligently follow him wherever he goes. If he will not vie for the top seat in the 2022 general elections then whoever he will endorse will stand a better chance of winning. Those who aspire to be president come 2022 have no choice but to approach him and seek his support.
He is yet to declare his interest in 2022 presidency
Whether Raila Odinga will vie again in 2022 for presidency is a big mystery. People are speculating, some say he will others say he will not. Some think he is building his 2022 presidential capital through the handshakes. Other say he is simply building his legacy before he retires from active politics.
Whether he will vie in 2022 or not is the game changer for the 2022 presidency. In his party ODM, if he will not vie then his deputy party leaders Mombasa governor Hassan Joho and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya stands a better chance. In the National Super Alliance, if he will not contest then his co-principals Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetangula stand better chances.
He is the biggest threat to DP William Ruto
Raila Odinga tops the list of politicians giving Deputy President William Ruto sleepless nights. He is the biggest hindrance to his presidential ambitions. All along DP Ruto has been warming up to take the mantle of leadership from President Uhuru after he completes his second term in 2022. With the huge support Jubilee party had countrywide and having won two consecutive general elections, DP Ruto knew 2022 will be a walk in the park.
Then came the handshake and messed things up. The cozy relationship between him and President Uhuru started diminishing. The President started to side with Raila and that is a serious political problem. Now Raila is working with President Uhuru who is supposed to endorse DP Ruto in 2022. Things currently are so complicated in the camp of DP Ruto and Raila is in the center of it.
He has reconciled with his political “enemies”
One of the major setbacks Raila Odinga had in his political journey was powerful enemies. This denied him crucial votes from certain corners of this great nation. A new dawn came with his handshake with President Uhuru Kenyatta which took many by surprise. Like that was never enough, he followed it with a handshake with retired President Daniel Moi. And thereafter other handshakes with former President Mwai Kibaki, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and Gatundu South Member of Parliament Moses Kuria.
This reconciliatory endeavor brought out his statesmanship and won the hearts of many. Now his supporters from all over the nation can declare their support to him without fear. Raila is currently welcome to freely access any part of the state to seek political support. He can as well seek endorsement from any of his new allies.
He has managed to unite the nation
Disunity and divisive politics used to be the order of the day in Kenya. There existed clear cut boundaries between political parties and tribes. Ever since Raila started the reconciliatory campaign, the boundaries have faded and politicians from different parties can now freely interact without bitter exchange. Tribal alignment has reduced and the atmosphere of unity is sweeping through the whole country.