ODM MPs have dared Siaya Senator James Orengo to turn against party leader Raila Odinga and face the consequences. Orengo questioned the authenticity of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) bill and creation of 70 new constituencies.
Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, May 8, Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi challenged Orengo to vote against the BBI bill at the Senate.
Wandayi claimed that the ODM Senate Minority Leader was working in cahoot with an MP to frustrate the constitution changing process.
“The most important thing for us as people of Siaya County and the greater Nyanza region is to rally behind our leader. Let me emphasise that we have only one leader and that is none other than, Raila Odinga. It’s a question of choice, either you are with us or not.
“There is no debate about that. Once he has given us direction just like he has done, then we have no choice but to support it just like we did at the National Assembly,” Wandayi stated adding that ODM Senators would also be expected to follow suit.
Gideon Ochanda, Bondo MP, reiterated that Orengo was not respecting the party leadership and was contravening directives.
On May 5, 2021, Raila refuted claims that Orengo would be ejected as the party’s Minority Leader at the Senate. Through his spokesperson, Dennis Onyango, Raila said that “There has been unfounded and widespread speculation that the Party is about to change its Minority leadership in the Senate.
“We wish to clarify that ODM has no plans to replace Senator James Orengo.”
However, the Siaya Senator responded a few days later vowing that he would not be intimidated or coerced by anyone.
“I have seen powerful people come and go, I have seen Presidents come and go. If my day comes I will accept it, but my conscience, the way I was brought up I can never sell it, I would never,” Orengo declared.