Raila Odinga di eternal candidate wey dey hope to get lucky di fifth time

Presidential candidate Raila Odinga for di Kenya 2023 general elections

AFP
Presidential candidate Raila Odinga for di Kenya 2023 general elections

Although Raila Odinga come from one popular family for Kenya, yet di political crown no reach im side throughout im long political career years.

Na just di same way e no reach im papa, wey serve as vice-president afta Kenya gain independence from UK.

At di age of 77, Odinga dey make im fifth attempt for di presidency for di 9 August elections.

Di closest he get near power na for 2008 wen dem appoint am prime minister.

Mr Odinga get passionate followers and im fans nickname am as “Baba” (Father), “Agwambo” (Act of God) and “Tinga” (Tractor) – wey dem pick from im party symbol for 1997 elections.

E be supporter of England Arsenal football club.

Mr Odinga dey always form new political outfit for every election.

E dey contest dis election under di banner of Azimio la Umoja, Swahili word for Pledge of Unity.

And e dey try win over supporters of outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Di two men wey represent di two biggest political dynasties for Kenya – be fierce rivals for di 2017 election.

But dem make up di following year for one highly publicised event wey pipo label Di Handshake.

Mr Odinga and Mr Kenyatta shake hands to end a long-running political feud

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Mr Odinga and Mr Kenyatta shake hands to end a long-running political feud

Raila Odinga campaign promises

Mr Odinga don promise to advance Mr Kenyatta development agenda and improve di lives of vulnerable Kenyans by giving dem 6,000 Kenyan shillings ($50; £40) monthly stipend from one new social protection fund, if dem elect am as president.

E say dem go get money for di fund by cracking down on widespread corruption.

Mr Odinga don also promise to provide affordable healthcare through wetin e call “Baba Care”, as e promote himself as a fatherly figure for a nation of more than 56 million.

E neva clear if dis go be di last attempt of di 77 year old to shoot im shot for presidency.

E bin describe im 2017 presidential bid as im “last bullet”.

But e explain why e change im mine for one interview wit BBC Focus on Africa TV’s Sophie Ikenye for March 2022, e say na Kenyans “ask am to run for president again because of di great faith” dem get in him.

Female running mate

Mr Odinga with im running mate, Martha Karua, for one campaign event

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Mr Odinga wih im running mate, Martha Karua, for one campaign event

Raila Odinga don chose former Justice Minister Martha Karua as im running mate.

Dis dey historic as na di first time a presidential front-runner go chose a female deputy.

Together dem dey fly ticket wey dia campaign team don compare to dat of US President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris.

Odinga dey bank on key regions of central, western and coastal Kenya to give am more dan 50% of di vote. 

History of di Kenyatta and Odinga relationship

President Uhuru Kenyatta dey campaign for im former nemesis Raila Odinga (R)

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President Uhuru Kenyatta dey campaign for im former nemesis Raila Odinga (R)

Mr Odinga na di political heir to im father, Jaramogi Odinga.

Na im be Kenya first vice-president afta independence, but leave goment for 1966 afta e get fall out wit then-leader Jomo Kenyatta, papa of di current president.

Jaramogi Odinga bin want closer ties wit di Soviet Union and China, while Jomo Kenyatta prefer alliance wit di US and oda Western powers.

Dia differences get worse afta Jaramogi Odinga dey imprisoned for 18 months until im release for 1971.

Raila Odinga also na former political prisoner, and hold di record as Kenya longest-serving detainee.

Im struggle against one-party dictatorship make dem detain am twice (from 1982 to 1988 and 1989 to 1991) during di rule of Jomo Kenyatta successor, Daniel arap Moi.

Dem bin first sentence am to prison sake of say e try to stage coup for 1982, wey push am go di national stage.

Mass mobiliser and master strategist

Raila Odinga

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Raila Odinga

Afta dem introduce multi-party democracy Odinga repeatedly fail for im attempt to win power, e often dey tok say dem cheat am of victory.

Dis lead to one of di biggest crises for Kenya history, when he dey convinced say then-President Mwai Kibaki tiff di 2007 election.

For di post-election violence wey follow, 1,200 pipo die and more than 500,000 run from dia homes.

Afta mediation tok-tok wey  former UN chief Kofi Annan, e collect di post of prime minister for one coalition government.

But im relationship wit Mr Kibaki scata by wetin e cal “supremacy wars”.

For di 2017 election, e lost to Mr Kenyatta for di ballot box, but win for di Supreme Court, wey nullify di result because of di widespread irregularities e bin raise.

Mr Odinga however boycott di re-run, e cite failure to create a level playing field.

Dis pave way for di re-election of Mr Kenyatta, while Mr Odinga – wey dey reputed to be a master strategist and mass mobiliser – declare himself “di people’s president” for one huge rally for di capital, Nairobi.

Im supporters follow im call to boycott di large number of businesses of di Kenyatta family to show dia anger at di president’s re-election.

Dis na just one of many protests dem stage over di decades to show dia political and economic grievances.

Some turn violent, wey lead to di loss of lives and massive disruption to di economy. 

Violence afta di 2007 election na di worst for Kenya since independence for di 1960s

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Violence afta di 2007 election na di worst for Kenya since independence for di 1960s

Profile of Raila Odinga

But since di 2018 reconciliation between Mr Odinga and Mr Kenyatta, Kenya neva witness any major protest, despite widespread anger on top di rising cost of living.

Di rapprochement see di two men launch di “Building Bridges Initiative” to make far-reaching changes to di constitution, including reviving di post of prime minister.

Mr Kenyatta endorse Mr Odinga, over im own Deputy President, William Ruto.

Mr Odinga dey married to Mama Ida and together dem get four children – di late Fidel, Rosemary, Junior and Winnie.

Dem name Fidel afta Cuban leader Fidel Castro and Mr Odinga bin explain one time say e chose because dem born im son for di height of di Cold War and “Mr Castro bin stand against di US for di Vietnam war”.

E continue di dynastic tradition, and dey groom im eldest son as his successor, but Fidel die at di age of 41 for 2015.

For 2017, im daughter Rosemary declare interest to run for member of parliament to represent Africa biggest slum, Kibera, wey her papa represent for 20 years.

But she step down from di race, citing health concerns.

Mr Odinga na wealthy man by Kenyan standards and get interests in liquid gas cylinder manufacturer, the East Africa Spectre, and ethanol production through di Kisumu Molasses Plant.

E come from the Luo ethnic group – di fourth largest for Kenya. E hope to become di first Luo to clinch di presidency wey don long elude di Odinga dynasty.