A section of the Luo Council of Elders has dismissed reports that they planned to endorse the 2022 presidential bid of Deputy President William Ruto.
The elders said approving Ruto’s presidential candidature was not among the agenda contained in their invitation letter during the DP’s visit over the weekend.
They said the information that spiraled in the media that they wanted to endorse Ruto for president was false.
On Sunday, the elders led by Nyandiko Ongadi and some political leaders attended a thanksgiving meeting at Coptic Church in Kisumu which was organized by Fr John Pesa.
Nyandiko Ongadi of the Luo Council of Elders speaks at the burial of former Siaya District Development Officer Michael Ongong’a at Samanga in Karachuonyo in March 2016. /ROBERT OMOLLO
DP Ruto had been invited as the chief guest.
However, Ruto did not show up for the meeting and instead sent Kericho governor Paul Chepkwony.
Speaking on Monday, Ongadi said the meeting was not political.
“I don’t know where the endorsement of Ruto came from because we had a different agenda. The invite indicated it was a thanksgiving meeting to support the church,” Ongadi said.
Ongadi who hails from Homa Bay county said he called other elders Okal Chumbi (Kisumu) and Thomas Achiando (Siaya) to accompany him to the meeting.
The meeting was attended by the Citizens Convention Party leader Grace Akumu.
A number of clerics were also present.
In the 2017 general election, Akumu vied for the Kisumu woman representative post.
Ongadi told local daily the Luo Council of elders had no plans of endorsing any political leader to run for the Presidency in 2022.
“This is the time for elected leaders to undertake development projects to fulfill pledges they gave the electorate. My office should not be linked with any political endorsement,” Ongadi added.
He called on leaders in Nyanza to feel free to attend functions with development agendas regardless of their political affiliation.
The elder told locals to take advantage of the peace in the country after the handshake between ODM leader Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta to spur development.
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