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Kenya Breaking News

Raila Odinga dashes to Coast to counter William Ruto gains

Raila Odinga

ODM leader Raila Odinga has landed in Mombasa for a series of political engagements days after President William Ruto toured the region.

Raila, the Azimio la Umoja coalition boss, arrived at the Coastal city Thursday night and was received by Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Nassir.

“Welcome to Mombasa Baba. I welcomed my party leader at Moi International Airport ahead of his visit for the next few days,” the governor twitted.

Raila did not, however, indicate the specific areas he was going to visit.

“Touchdown Mombasa, it feels awesome being back home. Happy New Year folks,” Raila said.

The ODM leader’s visit comes a few days after President Ruto traversed parts of the region and held meetings with leaders.

It was during his visit that he (Ruto) delivered his new year’s message of goodwill to Kenyans.

Ruto was received by Nassir and Kilifi governor Gideon Mung’aro.

During his visit, Nassir and Mung’aro- who were elected on the ODM ticket- accompanied Ruto to public events including his tour of Galana Kulalu.

The appearances of the two governors with Ruto irked some ODM stalwarts who felt that they were getting too cosy with the President.

Party officials issued a statement on Thursday warning governors that while they were free to work with the President, they should not fall into his political tricks.

The party said elected governors, MPs, senators, and MCAs are free to work with the government to the extent that they bring development to their electorate.

“We don’t always tell our members what to do because we believe that as elected leaders, they know what is right and wrong,” ODM secretary general Edwin Sifuna said.

In November last year, the president made a development tour of Mombasa County where he was received by the county chief as well.

In his address during the meeting, Nassir vowed to closely work with the national government so that Mombasa reaps more national projects.

Observers see Raila’s latest trip to the Coast as one aimed at countering Ruto’s forays and consolidating his support of the region.

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