Protests erupted in Homa Bay town after youths took to the street to demonstrate over a decision by the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party to issue direct nominations to some aspirants.
The rowdy youth barricaded the roads, lighting up fires and burning tires, further calling on former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, to rescind the party’s decision to issue Woman Representative Gladys Wanga with a direct ticket for the gubernatorial seat.
It took the intervention of the police to quell the demonstrations that were witnessed the larger part of Friday, April 8 morning.
Through their representative, the youth expressed fear that direct tickets would also be issued to candidates seeking parliamentary and county assembly seats.
They stated that they would maintain their support for the party, however, they demanded that all aspirants be subjected to the nomination process.
“We support and appreciate Raila for his selfless contribution to the attainment of democracy and rule of law. We promise to ensure that we mobilise votes for him.
“However, as people whose future are dependent on today’s leadership, we distance ourselves from the selfish and unprocedural move that disregards the will of the Homa Bay people,” one of the representatives stated.
His sentiments were echoed by his counterpart who insisted that they would reconsider their support for party candidates if ODM continued issuing direct tickets.
“We did not feel okay when the direct ticket was issued and we are hearing rumours that they are still looking down at other seats to issue direct tickets. It will not be fair,” he expressed.
After a consultative meeting between Raila and ODM leaders from the county, the party announced that Wanga would be the flag bearer for the gubernatorial seat in the August 9 polls.
The decision by the party saw former Nairobi Governor, Evans Kidero, announce his candidature as an independent contender.