President William Ruto on Friday asked opposition leader Raila Odinga to support his leadership because they were both looking for the presidency and now they have got one.
The Head of State was speaking at Mutumbu in Siaya County during the thanksgiving ceremony of Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo.
He recounted how in 2007 he joined forces with Raila as a member of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) to support Raila’s candidacy for the presidency.
Ruto said they, however, only managed to get the Prime Minister position in the grand-coalition government that saw the late Mwai Kibaki serve his second term as President.
“I’m not new to any one of you because we were all in the ODM. Agwambo (Raila) was looking for the presidency but he did not get. Right now, we got it. Where is the problem?” Ruto posed.
The President urged the people of Siaya to back his administration for the sake of growth instead of the never ending political rhetoric of the opposition and unsuccessful attempts of Raila.
“I will come back to Siaya to launch development again and again because its time you get used to me. There is no other President and I do not want political parties to divide us,” he said.
Political parties, he stressed, are not supposed to bring about enmity and arrest the development of the people.
Further, Ruto called on Raila supporters not to be quick in condemning elected ODM leaders like Gem’s Elisha who have since decided to work closely with his government.
“Nimeambiwa eti walio kuja kuniona kama Elisha walileta tumbo zao. Hata mimi nimeleta tumbo yangu hapa leo. Kwani kuna mtu huwa anawacha tumbo yake nyumbani? Kama uko na shida na mtu amepika chakula basi nawe pika wananchi wakutembelee wakule,” the president said satirically.
(I have been told that those who came to visit me like MP Elisha came to fill their stomachs. Today I have also brought my stomach here. Does anyone leave their stomach at home? If you have a problem with the cook, then prepare a meal and let citizens visit you too)
Ruto told all elected leaders in Nyanza that his door is still open “because we have one country and a people to serve”.
Earlier, the Commander-in-Chief launched the construction of a Urenga Level 4 Hospital in Ugenya and a digital laboratory at Mutumbu in Gem Constituency.
The President is on a four-day tour of Raila’s bastion in Nyanza where he will visit and launch development projects in Kisumu, Homa Bay, Siaya and Migori counties.