ODM leader, Raila Odinga, said on Saturday, 11 January 2020, that the call for a referendum was irresistible asking Kenyans to support and vote for the constitutional amendments.
Speaking at a funeral in Bondo, Usenge village, the former Prime Minister stated that the Building Bridges Initiative report’s recommendations would be subject to voting to welcome a new beginning and enhance a peaceful coexistence of all communities in the country.
Mr. Odinga was in the company of James Orengo (Siaya County Senator), Samuel Atandi (Alego Usonga, MP) and Gideon Ochanda (Bondo, MP). Also in attendance of Mzee Elisha Ojwan’g Otondo’s burial were Dr. James Okumbe, who is the president Court of Appeal, Justice William Ouko and other leaders.
Odinga stated that the BBI would help in tackling corruption as well as other mischiefs that have bedeviled Kenya since her independence.
“Kenyans are still stuck with the problems of poverty, illiteracy, and disease 56 years since we gained independence, and these are the things we plan to deal with through the BBI,” Odinga said.
He also promised Kenyans a new dawn, saying that the march to the Promised Land had just started sincerely.
“We have begun the new journey that is geared towards finally liberating the country. The old clothes that we have been wearing must be discarded. We must embrace new thinking,” he added.
The ODM leader said that China had its economic leap in only 20 years, and it liberated 300 million citizens from poverty, becoming a middle-income economy country.
“We can achieve the same feat in Kenya if we tackle corruption and unite the country to focus on development,” he said, adding that the team behind BBI was ready to face those opposing the campaign at the referendum.
Mr. Odinga said they would use the BBI to evaluate the political might of their opponents, and that he was confident that Kenyans would support and vote the BBI report in a referendum.
These come after the Senate Minority Leader, James Orengo, hinted that it was possible to hold a referendum before June 2020, remarks suggesting that the decision was a fated conclusion.
On the contrary, Deputy President, William Ruto, and his followers have been opposing the call for referendum designating it as a waste of public resources.
Ruto said there was no need for a section of leaders to rally throughout the country, mobilizing the public to back the BBI report when it wasn’t in dispute.
During the BBI report consultative forum held in Kisii on Friday 10 January 2020, the ODM party led the team campaigning for BBI recommendation to be adopted.
Mzee Elisha Otondo was the second chair of the Siaya County Council, which is nonoperational now.