Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho has asked ODM Party Leader Raila Odinga to back his presidential bid as a way of thanking him for the years of support.
Joho, who took his presidential bid and push for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) campaign to Lamu County over the weekend, said it was time Raila gave him a chance to contest the presidency.
The governor held a meeting with local leaders and said his quest for the presidency was serious as it was time for other regions that have been receiving support from Coast to pay voters back.
“We have supported you … for a long time, and it is time for you to support us. It cannot be that we support you every other time,” Joho said at a rally in Lamu town.
The governor, who is one of ODM’s deputy parties leaders, was accompanied by a host of MPs and senators from the Coast.
They included MPs Stewart Madzayo (Kilifi), Issa Boy (Kwale), Kilifi Woman Rep Gertrude Mbeyu, her Mombasa counterpart Asha Hussein and Nominated Senator Christine Zawadi.
Joho said he would first ensure the region is united before embarking on a tour of the country to campaign.
‘’Those who think my presidential ambition is a joke should know that the journey has just begun. It is time for us to be in the top seat,’’ he said.
He additionally asked residents to avoid being divided on ethnic grounds as the Coast has a representation of people from all communities in the country.
The governor said he supports BBI because it would bring more funds to counties, which would help boost development.
Former Lamu Governor Issa Timamy, who organised the rally alongside Lamu Woman Rep Ruweida Mohamed, said Lamu has resolved to support BBI because it cannot afford to lose a constituency once the boundary review begins.
He said the government has also invested more than Sh10 billion in roads, and more than Sh32 billion in the ongoing Lapsset project, which would help develop the region.
Mohamed added that it was a big day for Lamu as it hosts a mega rally for BBI, and said the county would be the first in the region to pass the BBI Bill because it would benefit the people.
Others present at the event were MPs Mishi Mboko (Likoni), Teddy Mwambire (Ganze), Ken Chonga (Kilifi South), William Kamoti (Rabai), Abdulswamad Nassir (Mvita), Dan Mwashako (Wundanyi) and Stanley Muthama (Lamu West).
However, Joho was the only governor at the rally, with other regional county bosses conspicuously missing at the event.
The rally had been billed as kickstarting the journey of uniting the Coast politically ahead of the 2022 elections.
The county bosses missing were Fahim Twaha (Lamu), Amason Kingi (Kilifi), Granton Samboja (Taita Taveta), Dhadho Godhana (Tana River) and Salim Mvurya (Kwale).
Joho, Kingi, Samboja and Godhana had earlier met in Taita Taveta in what was seen as the beginning of the unity quest. It is not clear why they skipped the Lamu rally.