ODM leader and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Sunday received a rousing welcome in Murang’a County where residents mobbed him and demanded that he speaks to them after attending a church service in Kigumo.
Addressing the enthusiastic crowds Raila told them that the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) was not dead but was on half time and that it contained very good items for the Mt Kenya region.
Employing a parable to hammer the point home, Raila said the breaking of the cooking stick was not the end of cooking suggesting that all was not lost as far as BBI was concerned.
The Court of Appeal suspended the BBI process after agreeing with the High Court that certain legal processes had not been followed, but the Attorney General Paul Kihara and the BBI Secretariat have moved to the Supreme Court to challenge the findings.
He said BBI was meant to cure skewed distribution of resources where certain regions in Kenya received more resources from national coffers than others even though they had less population.
Raila pointed out that Murang’a County was set to lose two constituencies – Mathioya and Kangema without the BBI.
The ODM leader also lamented that the one-man-one-vote-one shilling principle that Mt Kenya residents were demanding was also in abeyance with the BBI.
He told the people that when he was there earlier in the year for the collection of the BBI signatures, the residents turned out in large numbers and appended their signatures to the document that made him very happy.
Raila gave the example of Kiambu County which with a population of 2.5 million receives Sh 9 billion while Mandera County with a population of 800,000 people received Sh 12b which he said was unfair.
“We are not saying that we take money away from Mandera. No. What we are saying is that every county to get a fair share of the national resources according to their population,’’ said Raila.
The warm welcome that Raila got in Murang’a was a far cry from what the tangatanga political rag tag group associated with Deputy President William Ruto had predicted after alleging the ODM leader was a hard sell in the region.
Pundits said the region was warming towards Raila because they feel Ruto has been undermining President Uhuru and that he had become the official opposition even though he was the deputy president.