Although some politicians who lost in the last elections have found it necessary to join the Owallo camp, Mr Obado and his allies have refused to recognize him terming him a political greenhorn. It is said that Owallo has also been careful when handling politicians who were solidly in Azimio in the run-up to the last general elections
The appointment of Mr Eliud Owallo as Cabinet Secretary for ICT in William Ruto’s cabinet and which has subsequently made him the president’s right-hand man in Luo Nyanza has not gone down well with some of the UDA party allied leaders from the region, sources told The Weekly Vision.
Mr Eliud Owalo has become increasingly powerful in the region. His elevation has rattled other leaders who were initially believed to be very close to the president. Former Migori Governor Okoth Obado who for a very long time has been Ruto’s close ally and errand boy has opened a serious supremacy battle with Mr Owallo whom he has accused of being a Johnnie come lately to the party, but has benefited most. Initially, it was widely expected that Okoth Obado would be named to the cabinet but it did not come to pass as Owallo grabbed the only available slot reserved for the Luo community in Ruto’s cabinet. Sources say Obado’s name was rejected by NIS due to his numerous pending court cases, including that of murder.
Mr Owallo has therefore become the new kid from the region and all politicians from the region wishing to get any state job must only do it through him. Mr Okoth Obado has however refused to swallow his pride and recognize Owallo as the new power broker and has continued to fire salvos at the new CS.
Although some politicians who lost in the last elections have found it necessary to join the Owallo camp, Mr Obado and his allies have refused to recognize him terming him a political greenhorn. It is said that Owallo has also been careful when handling politicians who were solidly in Azimio in the run-up to the last general elections and only to shift loyalty after the Supreme Court upheld Ruto’s victory.
As things stand now, Owallo is said to be keen on working with those who have been UDA from day one and this explains why the Siaya County UDA chairman James Diang’a was appointed the chairman of Lake Basin Development Authority and not Odoyo Owidi who is the immediate chairman having resigned to try his hand in competitive politics. Ever since he defected from ODM, Owidi has been a big Raila Odinga critic only to catch the attention of Ruto but this scheme seems to have failed, at least for now. Sources say Owidi had lobbied to be re-appointed chairman of Lake Basin Development Authority but Ruto preferred his own man who stood by him at a time when being a member of UDA in SIaya County was seen as not only a betrayal but an abomination.
Mr Obado was at one time forced to come out publicly protesting how Owalo was trying to keep them far from the ‘dining table’ yet they also sacrificed to market Ruto in Nyanza.
With the cabinet now fully constituted and being a former governor, there is nothing much left for Obado, he can only be appointed to chair a state corporation, perhaps as chairman of Sony Sugar Company.