Vihiga governor Wilbur Ottichilo possibility of winning 2022 county top position cannot be ruled out according to political analysts.
This is based on various factors in Vihiga county politics. One, it has to do with Senator George Khaniri factor in the unfolding political matrix. Initially, talk on the ground was that Khaniri was going to run for governorship on an ODM ticket.
For starters, Khaniri was elected on ANC ticket as senator 2017. After being elected on ANC ticket whose party leader is Musalia Mudavadi, Khaniri started aligning with ODM leader Raila Odinga. The move raised eyebrows in ANC and Vihiga politics on the basis, the senator was eyeing ODM ticket to go for governorship.
However, others say, Khaniri decision befriend Raila was to help him land a plum position in parliamentary service commission. This was the time Khaniri was spotted in the company of Raila and Mombasa governor Hassan Joho, to visit the former president Daniel Moi at his Kabarak residence.
Since then, Khaniri has shifted base and is working with Mudavadi. Khaniri decision to work with Mudavadi was based on two fronts. First, was the thinking Mudavadi would be favoured Uhuru Kenyatta successor.
If it was bound to happen, Khaniri expected to use ANC ticket to run for governorship. Insiders in the senator’s camp say his calculation was to carry the Maragoli vote since with Mudavadi presidential ticket, a Maragoli was not likely to be favoured with ANC governorship ticket.
Among Maragolis, Sabatia MP Alfred Agoi is scheming for governorship 2022 on ANC ticket. With Maragoli support and backing of Tirikis in Hamisi constituency, Khaniri saw himself winning the coveted governorship.
Khaniri’s current political events in the county and body language seem to suggest that he is not going for governorship.
He has kept his supports guessing with word that he is likely to defend his senate slot on ANC ticket. Others even say that he will run senatorship ODM ticket after a section of Mudavadi handlers openly stated the senator hangs on Mudavadi to win but immediately divorces him only to wait an election year to befriend Mudavadi again.
Analysts say even if Khaniri runs for governorship, it will be blessing still to Ottichilo.
Why, one may ask, has Khaniri fallen out with a number of ODM key players like his Kakamega counterpart Cleophas Malala? The possibility of him getting ODM ticket after declaring in public during the burial of former PS Gaylord Avedi that he would work with Mudavadi 2022, is slim.
That leaves Ottichilo the only face to defend his seat on ODM ticket. If Uhuru anoints Raila as his successor, Ottichilo is bound to enjoy ODM support in the county.
In fact, with BBI report out, ODM expects Ottichilo to be on the forefront in pushing it to pass in Vihiga county assembly. The governor, together with his Bungoma counterpart, Wangamati, and Ojaamong were planners of BBI Bukhungu rally.
Then we have the Banyore factor. Currently, Banyore elders are working on modalities of rallying the bloc vote in favour of Ottichilo. The elders argue that the governor needs to be given another term to finish his projects. It is said in the two constituencies of Emuhaya and Luanda, Maragoli have teamed to sabotage Otichillo.
Already, one of the MCAs from Luanda, Emabungo ward Moses Opole a one-time critic of the governor has begged for forgiveness after being among those who plotted Ottichilo impeachment.
In fact, during the impeachment plot, to show the Banyore community will die with Ottichilo 2022, no MCA from the region backed the move apart from Opole. They feared a backlash among voters. All Ottichilo needs to do is consolidate his populous Bunyore vote to be in one basket.
How can he achieve this? Political analysts say he needs to play politics of winning sympathy first. Tell his home turf that he is a victim of Maragoli cartels out to finish him including impeachment.
Two, reach out to Banyore MPs Chris Omulele (Luanda) and Milemba Omboko (Emuhaya). To this end, the governor should stop associating with aspirants eyeing the two parliamentary seats. On the ground, Omulele and Omboko are formidable forces ahead of 2022 polls. In fact, lure Omboko to a major catch to help favours.
Three, make region to capture alied to ODM on term ends 2027, he his successor.
In short, work alliance by isolating are out to reclaim governor Moses Ottichilo.
Four, make a cabinet bring on board political technocrats as it is Moi regime, technocrats Leakey landed- top not performing. The with Vihiga county.
The so-called should sell Ottichilo on ground despite billions in terms of has to pay.
As things stand, community will produce candidates for governorship from Agoi, former governor being pushed by William Ruto camp to run. Then we have Francis Ominde, a former county secretary who is making inroads in the county.
Ominde is a secret mover and knows where and when to hit. The trio is likely to divide to Maragoli vote.
Ottichilo advantage being, come 2022 he is the only Bunyore in the race as for no serious candidate has declared to be in the race. Even if the Tirikis have a candidate, it will work in Ottichilo’s favour as the three clans in Vihiga county will be battling to get
Things may only be complicated if Maragoli decide to produce one face to rival Otichillo 2022 but not on ODM but ANC.
For now both candidates are eyeing Tiriki as running mate. Agoi, Ominde and Akaranga have eyes on Hamisi constituency. If Khaniri runs, words have it, he will pick Munyore running
mate and at the same time back one of them to be senator.
Nominated MP Geoffrey Osotsi is being groomed to be senator. The Osotsi factor is bound to complicate matters for Ottichillo ODM ticket since one community cannot have governor and senator. It is on these grounds, analysts say, ODM should pick a Maragoli run for senatorship. That is in case Khaniri sticks with ANC.
Currently governorship aspirants are watching unfolding political events at the national front as new alliance, are emerging. The handshake politics allied parties will easily be sold in Western and Nyanza politics. Just like in Nyanza where politicians are
trooping Baringo senator Gideon Moi Kanu a key Uhuru and Raila partner in
succession 2022, Luhya aspirants are likely to flock Kanu.
Kanu is also associated with COTU boss Francis Atwoli.
If Khaniri is to run, he is likely to use KANU ticket.It said the governor is using Benson Ombima ,a Raila and Atwoli to land ODM ticket.