Opinion: The nation is greater than an individual
Opposition leader Raila Odinga has called for unity and urged all to build the nation together, yet he cannot support the constitutionally elected President to achieve this purpose. It will be prudent for him to drop the plan to be sworn in as the People’s President and channel his efforts to restoring to Kenya the glorious position of Official Opposition Leader.
Jubilee, under the leadership of President Uhuru Kenyatta, won the October 26 repeat presidential election which he, Raila, boycotted, thinking he was frustrating Uhuru. If he is the true nationalist he claims to be, then he would do Kenyans the great honour of calling off his swearing-in.
That alone will not only save this country unnecessary tension and uncertainty in business and the economy, but secure his name and legacy. The economy Raila talks of reviving as the People’s President will get worse if he goes ahead with his plans.
You need not be President to help in economic growth, or help realise Independence goals and champion devolution.
Raila talks of team work. He says he is a team player, yet in the past five years he has failed to give us a shadow Cabinet, which would have checked and kept the Jubilee administration on its toes. I have heard Raila say “tuungane tupeleke Uhuru nyumbani ili tujenge taifa (let’s join hands and send Uhuru home so we can build the nation)”. These are empty words, which make one conclude that he is greedy for power and he doesn’t speak for the people but for himself and his cronies.
Raila does well to remember that during an election “all presidential aspirants are good but Kenyans are best”. A leader who cares about his country can drop his ambition for the sake of the country. Raila should do just that for the sake of this our great nation. History will judge harshly anyone who stands as a stumbling block to the unity and socioeconomic progress of our motherland.
In the words of Prof George Saitoti, “there comes a time when a nation is more important than an individual”; that time is now. It is time for Raila and Uhuru to set aside their egos and serve Kenyans. Raila believes the Constitution is an important document that shouldn’t be tied to an event and he is right, but an event must be governed by a good constitutional order. The unity of our leaders and Kenyans is a milestone that will shape the destiny of our nation and our oneness.
Finally, during his inauguration to serve his last term as Kenya’s fourth President, Uhuru declared he stands for unity and growth. What of Raila and his lieutenants? We have to realise that unity doesn’t come from the outside –and grow a conscience.
A training lawyer, activist and political commentator. The Star.