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The Opposition Chief declares he is ready to head AU Chairmanship

Published: Feb.,15 2024 7:05 PM(EAT)

I am ready to go for the chairmanship of the African Union, ODM party leader Raila Odinga has said.

Speaking in Karen on Thursday, Raila explained why he was the best candidate for the job.

“I am inclined to accept the challenge and I am ready and I offer myself to be of service. I have asked my friend (Former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo to continue to be a good ambassador and talk to other people,” he said.

Raila said he had been consulting widely among friends on whether to take the job or not.

“The general Obasanjo has said he is one of my closest friends in the continent and has intimated that should there be an interest I will be keen to serve the continent of Africa,” he said.

“I believe that Africa is playing in a league that it should not play in.. and that it deserves better. ”

Raila said Africa is the cradle of the human species adding that the first human that walked on this earth was African.

“I have served in the AU in the capacity of high representative, it gave me a good advantage to be able to learn about every African country for what they have and the comparative advantages and I believe that by walking together with the countries we can make Africa great,” he said.

Raila is seeking to replace Moussa Faki of Chad as the new AU Commission chairperson.

Any candidate for the AU top job must be fronted by member states.

This means a Raila candidature must have the endorsement of President William Ruto’s administration.

Ruto’s fronting of Raila for the continental job would radically shift the country’s political landscape as it would almost amount to “a handshake”.

It would also remove Raila from the 2027 presidential race, triggering fresh realignments.

AU chairpersons are required to be neutral in political contests across the continent.

The AU Commission chair is a big post that elevates the holder to a near head of state.

The office holder is a key player in major international happenings, including elections, conflicts and development, not only in Africa but globally.

According to the procedure, a host country nominates a candidate and then mobilises support from the region and the continent for its candidate.

Should the plans come to pass, then Raila’s candidature will have to be officially championed by his former ally turned critic Musalia Mudavadi.

 

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