CORD leader Raila Odinga has sent out a special message to Kenyans as they celebrate the 53rd Jamhuri Day.
In his 803-worded statement to media houses on Monday, December 12, 2016, Raila Odinga obliquely expressed optimism that the democratic change sweeping countries in West Africa region would land in Kenya during the 2017 General Election.
The CORD leader is putting together a team that would seek to defeat President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2017 elections..
“Africa’s first coming was the fight for independence during which Africans were largely on their own against colonial masters. Then came the fight against the one party and military dictatorships, which coincided with the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall.
“We are entering a third stage in Africa’s transformation. Like the struggle for independence, Africans are spearheading this third struggle…Africans seem to be tired of corruption and are looking for leaders who will fight it openly and honestly,” stated Raila Odinga.
He added that the growing trends where Heads of States are losing elections after just one term is attributed to the people’s desire to openly show their displeasure with existing regimes and the desire for change and accountability.
“They understand that the key to fighting corruption is a President or a Prime Minister who is genuinely committed to eradicating the vice; who commands the confidence of the people; and is prepared to lead from the top.”
“That is why presidents and prime ministers are being punished at the ballot.”
Mr Odinga made reference to several countries in West Africa where presidents have been defeated after one term saying it shows that democracy is taking a firm root in the continent.
“Of interest to me was the fact that citizens rejected a coup in Burkina Faso early this year, Nigeria elected President Muhammadu Buhari, making him the first opposition candidate to defeat a sitting Nigerian president through the ballot, and the defeated incumbent, Goodluck Jonathan, conceded defeat.”
“Ghana has done it again. Voters threw out an incumbent after one term, and the loser has conceded defeat.
“A week earlier, voters in the Gambia rejected a president who once said he intended to stay in power for a billion years,” CORD leader Raila Odinga stated.
He called on Africans to “complete the democratic transition that started in the 1990s” saying doing so would ensure public goods and resources are put to much better use by the government.
“Voters are determined to minimise inequalities between ethnic, racial, religious or regional groups. They are resisting policies that marginalise sections of the population,” said the ODM leader.
“Voters are realising that, as members of one nation, they rise or fall together and are, therefore, insisting on forging ahead together through equitable access to opportunities and services like education, health care, water, electricity and jobs.”
“People are demanding that natural resources, including land, water, forests and oil, must be shared fairly by all and must benefit the citizens, not the leaders. Voters are rejecting ethnic division and discrimination and opting to promote nationhood.”
His message came hours after President Uhuru Kenyatta led the country in marking Jamhuri Day at Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi, a function that was snubbed by leaders from the Opposition.
In his speech, President Kenyatta called on Kenyans to embrace unity as the country heads to the elections slated for August 8, 2017.