Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Sunday declared that all avenues for negotiations on the BBI proposals are shut, noting that Kenyans can only vote ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ in a referendum.
Speaking as he met a section of governors from Western and Nyanza counties in Kisumu, Raila said that people had had a chance to make their recommendations known, and that their voices can only be heard in a vote for or against the document.
He told the meeting that people opposed to the document have a democratic right to reject the BBI, arguing that no one will be forced to support it.
“It is going to be a democratic process; we welcome those who have issues. Let us meet on the field, let the people decide. The people at a critical moment will make the right choice,” he said.
While noting that the time was ripe for a referendum, he announced that the collection of signatures would start in earnest.
A very confident Odinga said that his team will collect the needed one million signatures and get approval from 24 county assemblies.
Raila was accompanied by Cabinet secretaries Fred Matiang’i (Interior) and Eugene Wamalwa (Devolution) and Kakamega County Governor Wycliffe Oparanya.
Speaking after the meeting in Kisumu, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i offered his clearest indication yet that the Interior Ministry will spearhead the collection of one million signatures.
“After successful deliberations, governors from Nyanza and Western agreed to support BBI without any reservations,” Matiang’i tweeted.
Deputy President William Ruto while reacting to Odinga’s stance argued that it was no time to engage in BBI politics at a time when the covid-19 pandemic was ravaging the country.
“The wave of Covid-19 is clearly ravaging our nation with alarming increases in infections and deaths. The pandemic is killing people including health workers while destroying livelihoods. We should stop everything and mobilise every human, material and financial resource to fight,” he said in a late evening tweet.