The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party should not brand those calling for the ironing out of the contentious issues in the Building Bridges Initiative report as stooges of its opponents, a member of the Siaya County Assembly has said.
Leonard Otieno Oriaro, the member for Central Alego Ward lamented that some senior party officials are engaging in a smear campaign against two senators and a member of the national assembly from Nyanza region, simply because of their stand that some recommendations of the BBI were unconstitutional.
Addressing the media at the Siaya County Assembly compound on Wednesday, Oriaro said it was a fact that the BBI had given some regions, more so Nyanza a raw deal in its recommendations for creation of 70 new parliamentary seats, adding that statements that appear to paint Siaya Senator, James Orengo, his Nyamira counterpart, Okong’o Omogeni and Rarieda MP, Otiende Amollo as stooges of those opposed to the BBI are in bad taste and should be condemned.
“I am not happy with recent statements coming from a section of Nyanza leadership which were crowned yesterday by a statement from the ODM chairman, John Mbadi in the name of the party position, to which is aimed at throwing to dustbin three politicians from Nyanza, Okong’o Omogeni, Otiende Amollo and James Orengo,” said Oriaro.
Oriaro said the trio’s record in the second liberation and the reforms agenda in general was well known, adding that their recommendations must be taken seriously.
He called on the ODM leadership to sober up and stop rooting for cheap politics, adding that the same people now trying to condemn the trio had earlier agreed with them when they disclosed attempts by senior government officials to short change the former premier, Raila Odinga in the BBI.
“I want to remind the ODM chairman, John Mbadi that when Orengo and Otiende Amollo blew the whistle that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s men want to short change the former Prime Minister in the course of reforms, were you not the seconder who came up with the words that ‘we stand to lose nothing – it is you who will lose?’ Where have you got the guts to tell the likes of Orengo off?” posed Oriaro.
Oriaro, who said he was speaking on behalf of the silent majority in Siaya and Nyanza in general, urged Mbadi not to use his position to threaten people, but to bring together those with divergent views so that the party can benefit from the best ideas.
He at the same time called on the national assembly and the senate to ensure they panel beat the report and give Kenyans the best document to be voted for during the referendum.
“We know the BBI report had gaps. It is your responsibility to give us the best before it goes to referendum” he said.
By Philip Onyango