As 2022 draws closer, Deputy President William Ruto has been crisscrossing the country trying to popularize his presidential ambitions and UDA, a party he has been associated with.
In his quest to expand his support base, Ruto has been making in-roads to regions that were traditionally known to be the support-base of his opponents. One of those regions that the DP is trying encroach is Luo Nyanza region – a political bedroom of ODM leader Raila Odinga.
Ruto’s ambition to get some votes from the lake side has saw him acquire some political elites from that can help him gain votes and sell his political agenda.
Some of those Luo Nyanza politicians that Ruto has acquired include:
Governor Okoth Obado
Though he has not fully joined Ruto’s camp, Migori Governor Okoth Obado is one of the big names from Nyanza who is said to be on Ruto’s camp.
Obado is said to have jumped into Ruto’s camp after a series of disagreement between him and Raila’s handlers in ODM. Over the weekend, the governor is said to have welcomed DP Ruto at his home in Migori where they shared lunch before proceeding to a rally in Awendo, Nyatike and other places in Migori county.
According to observers, Obado has a strong political influence in Migori following his grassroot association with local, something that Ruto is hoping he can bring to his camp.
Everest Otieno Okambo
Everest Otieno Okambo is one of the seasoned politician in Homa/Bay county. Having vied on ODM ticket for MP and MCA seat in various election an d losing in the nominations over favorism claims in the party, Okambo decided to defect to Ruto’s camp.
Okambo has been paving way for Ruto’s visit in Homa/Bay ever since he joined UDA. He has also been doing grassroot campaigns for the DP in the region.
In June this year, Okambo held a delegation of over 20,000 individual enlisted with UDA party to welcome the DP incase he visits the lake region.
Okambo noted that him and the other delegates are responsible for selling Ruto’s hustler nation narrative at the grassroot level.
Eliud Owalo is a former associate of ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi and ODM leader Raila Odinga. However, early this year, he defected to Ruto’s camp.
Ruto’s camp is expected to benefit from Owalo’s wide local political spectrum in Nyanza region drawn from his days as a founder of Fora (Friends of Raila). They also expect to utilize the political skills he obtained from Raila who he served as his presidential campaign secretariat and chief campaign manager in 2013.
Jared Kopiyo, former Awedo MP is another politician Ruto is banking on to mobilize his influence in Nyanza more so in the Southern Nyanza region.
Kopiyo defected to Ruto’s camp a few weeks ago and was one of the leaders who accompanied the DP in his weekend tour in Migori county.