Africa-Press – Kenya. Outgoing Mombasa Governor and the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) deputy party leader, Hassan Ali Joho, has expressed optimism that he will beat Raila Odinga to clinch the party’s presidential ticket ahead of the 2022 elections.
Joho, who was at Mwakishimba village in Taita Taveta during the burial of Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja’s aunt, Henrietta Shako, said that he is ready to battle it out with Raila in the party’s primaries.
He defended his position to run for the country’s top seat saying that no Kenyan should doubt his capability to lead the nation since he had successfully done so as a Member of Parliament and as a Governor.
“When I was vying for the Kisauni parliamentary seat and the Mombasa gubernatorial position, some doubted my leadership qualities. I have efficiently led the county to prosperity,” Joho noted.
Joho, who is serving his second term as the governor of the coastal county, says he is ready to face off with his Kakamega counterpart, Wycliffe Oparanya and businessman Jimmy Wanjigi, all who have expressed interest in becoming the party’s flagbearers in the 2022 presidential elections.
“Nobody should rule me out of the presidential race. I am capable of leading this country to greater heights,” Joho added.
His remarks followed earlier statement by Governor Samboja at the same ceremony that Raila was best suited to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Samboja described Raila as a statesman, likening him to the former South Africa President, Nelson Mandela.
“The former Prime Minister has fought for this country, and everybody knows. Kenyans should reward him by voting him in like what South Africans did to Mandela. He will not only steer the country to the next level but reform it,” said Samboja.
At the ceremony, Joho also endorsed Samboja for re-election as Governor of Taita Taveta County, saying he has a vision for the county and the Coast region at large.
Joho, who has been off the political arena for about two months, gave assurance that the ODM party is still strong and popular in the coastal region.
He further highlighted that the party was looking for partnerships with other like-minded parties ahead of the election and called for unity among the coast region in order to have strong bargaining power come next year.
“We are looking for like-minded partners to help solve pertinent issues affecting the region like historical land injustices meted out against the communities by successive governments,” he highlighted.