Migori governor Okoth Obado’s wife, Hellen, has now declared support for Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya coalition party presidential candidate Raila Odinga.
While Obado has openly endorsed Deputy President William Ruto of the Kenya Kwanza alliance for the country’s top seat, Hellen has decided to chart her own path as she seeks to be the next Migori Woman Representative.
She is running as an independent candidate, in the race that pits her against nominated MP Denittah Ghati of ODM, Radio Broadcaster Josephine Sirega, and others.
Hellen’s divergent stand in politics has caused a rift between her supporters and those of the Migori county boss.
Despite asking voters to treat her as an independent entity, vote for her in and shun her husband’s political ends, many still question her loyalty.
“I don’t want you to associate with my husband brand of politics. Treat me as Hellen Odhiambo Odie-the woman leader,’’ she said.
Hellen has strategically avoided using the name of her husband in her campaign posters, preferring to be referred to as Hellen Odhiambo Odie.
She has also shunned the People Democratic Party (PDP) associated with Obado and Kenya Kwanza affiliated coalition.
“I want to ask Migori people to look at me as Helen and see what I can do for them as a third woman representative,” she argued.
Notably, during her stint as the Migori County’s first lady, Hellen managed to raise Ksh8.2million in Harambee which she used to start ‘Kuku ni Pesa’ project to help women groups acquire hatcheries across the county.
She has also worked with donors to distribute free sanitary towels, toiletries and shoes to girls.
“I have been working for the people and if given a chance I will finish what I had started and leave a mark in the lives of women, youths and people with disability,” Hellen said.
But Obado has been blowing both hot and cold politics on Raila, at times using all sorts of negative adjectives to demean his leadership.
Although he was re-elected on Raila’s ODM party, he is not backing him for the top seat and instead wants Ruto to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The Ruto point man in Raila’s Nyanza backyard is on record vowing to launch aggressive campaigns in Migori for the DP.
This had earned him the wrath of ODM that at some point, even initiated his ouster that never materialized at the County Assembly.
Efforts by the ODM leaders on instruction by the secretary General Edwin Sifuna to hound him out of office flopped. This is after he reportedly reached out to the MCAs and allegedly lobbied them with financial resources to shoot down such a motion.
Three times, efforts to oust him, failed as the assembly had to adjourn whenever his impeachment motion came up in the House order paper. Obado managed to survive. He then went slow on ODM for months before he resurfaced again last week to declare support for Ruto.
He has also ditched ODM for People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which he used its ticket to win the 2013 General Election as governor.