Opposition leader Raila Odinga’s announcement on Thursday that he is betting on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) to determine whether he will be on the ballot next year has thrown wide open the high stakes attached to the process.

The ODM leader has hitherto avoided talk of 2022 polls and whether his name will be on the ballot. Cautious and measured in his words, he has always insisted on his bigger vision for the country through the BBI, and how the focus ought to be on BBI.

But with time running out – the General Election is August next year – and with other candidates picking their momentum inside and outside the BBI matrix, Raila came out on Thursday to say BBI results held the answer as to whether his name will be on the ballot.

Deputy President William Ruto is riding against the BBI to campaign for his presidential bid while Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi, Kanu Chairman Gideon Moi and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka are leading the charge within the pro-BBI group.

“Kabla BBI haijapita sisemi kama mimi nitasimama ama kama mimi sitasimama (Until BBI passes, I will not announce whether I will be on the ballot or not,” Raila told a radio station.

Raila is currently leading the drive to obtain the 24 county assemblies’ approval for the BBI. This week alone, he has held a plethora of meetings with various interest groups to convince them to back BBI. For the last three days, Raila pitched camp in the expansive Turkana County to woo support for the document.

He scaled up his attacks on Ruto, describing him as a “pathological liar who should not be trusted by Kenyans”.

From his remarks in the last few days, Raila is firing on all cylinders for BBI and against Ruto. He is also slowly coming to terms with the reality of BBI and 2022 being joined together at the hip.

“Ruto is telling us that Jubilee administration stopped functioning after the Handshake. Had they delivered any of their promises before the 2017 General Election?” Raila told Turkana residents, yesterday. He was accompanied by Petroleum Cabinet Secretary John Munyes and a host of MPs.

He said the DP was in the frontline in explaining Jubilee promises, including free laptops for children and one million decent jobs for the youth every year and should be held responsible for the failures.

“He promised stadiums for every county and one million jobs. Have you seen the stadiums and jobs?” Raila posed.

The ODM leader said it was dishonest for Ruto to promise Kenyan youth modern jobs in 2013, only to embark on distributing wheelbarrows eight years later.

Source: Standard media.co.ke