Now, before I take a deep dive into dissecting this thought, let me take you on a little detour. There is a conceptual framework around the science of boredom that is going to inform my thought and as much as it may miraculously push up thorns from under some of your seats, others might find it astoundingly informative. Empirical studies have evidenced that bored people lack stimulation hence craving for relief. I am not going to connect the dots for you but kindly follow me closely.
Raila Amollo Odinga is not a name that one mentions without cause or course. The plethora of enigmatic political gimmick at his finger tips is not only tumultuous but also something of the genius. A man so loved and so much hated in equal measures. Feared and respected simultaneously. It is not such a far fetched thought to coronate him as the father of politics in Kenya. After all, people refer to him as "Baba".
Besides his father, Raila Odinga was a champion for the democratization of Kenya. They both took the torch of playing hide and seek with the repressive regime of President Moi from the day he ascended the ropes of power to the top most tip in 1978. Like a circus, Raila and his colleagues dodged and circumvented various dragnets aimed at silencing their voices and victory became their ultimate last name in the end.
The rooster had ruled over the country with impunity and an iron fist, but Raila together with the likes of Charles Rubia and Kenneth Matiba made sure the yoke of oppression wouldn't stick permanently. He paid for it by having to constantly look over his shoulder like a suspected terrorist.
He had to severally run for his dear life. The last showdown was in 1991 after he was released from prison to apparently get assassinated. Raila being Raila got wind of the information and took to his heels and went seeking for safety in Norway. After playing 'Black Viking' for a while, he came back to do what Raila does best, be a thorn in the ass of the government.
The fight was tough, the battle tiresome and the war demoralizing but in the end it was time to reap. The rooster was turned into a cockerel and KANU had to give Caesar what he was owed. In 1992, after a lengthy tussle and bustle, Moi's government caved, multiparty democracy was birthed into Kenya and he became one of the biggest winners. Raila outdid Philip Leakey and grabbed the Lang'ata parliamentary seat from under his whim. That is how the political enigma of enigmas was born.
General elections came calling shortly after in 1997 and Raila made his first attempt at becoming Kenya's most powerful man but only managed to come in third behind Moi and Kibaki. Then started the journey of miscalculations that has led to the "Raila Boredom Syndrome" (RBS) that I vaguely stated earlier. Raila made a political 360° turn and crafted a deal with Moi. He ascended the ranks of KANU like the Simoon's desert winds and in 2002 he replaced Joseph Kamotho as party's Secretary General.
All these was ideally misplaced for an endorsement from the incumbent. In the run to the general election, Raila was chagrined after Moi chose to endorse an inexperienced Uhuru Kenyatta for presidency. Raila rampaged KANU and led a massive exodus of fellow dismayed KANU hopefuls into the Rainbow Alliance. By the time he was done, Moi was left with his candidate and a party that resembled a graveyard, a pin drop could be heard from a mile away in the party's halls.
In the Rainbow Alliance, Raila made the second miscalculation, and coined "Kibaki Tosha". Well, Kibaki really lived to the true meaning of the rhetoric and beat his fellow tribesman Uhuru by miles. But this would never have happened if 'Tinga' did not take matters into his hands. Kibaki was incapacitated by a grisly accident he was involved in and that meant getting bed ridden. All along, the campaigns were left in the solemn care of "Baba" and he delivered 67% of the votes.
Kibaki took the sword of power handed to him as a benefaction from Agwambo and made a U turn almost immediately. He did not honour the pre-election MOU he made with Raila's LDP. For a second time, Raila trusted the wrong person and he got his political potency run through the mud. Nonetheless, being the genius he is, he reinvented himself with ODM and once again the government was in chills. He even claimed that his life was in danger in late 2006 but who would dare kill him. He was a darling to Kenyans and a sweetheart to foreigners.
In 2007, he made his second dice roll on the 'games to presidency' and ripped big this time but the end results didn't evidence that. The presidency was stolen right under his nose. Several ODM members like William Ruto urged him to stand his ground and demand for what was apparently rightfully his. But Baba is a man of the people. He wouldn't watch as his 'children' slaughtered each other and destroyed property. It was such a painful ordeal. Ultimately, he caved and became the 'Kenyan Jesus'. He suffered for the sins of his 'children' because the aftermath saw him accept a facade coated with nice words for a position of power. He became the second Prime Minister of Kenya.
His third chance to reach the mountain peak of Kenyan political power knocked on the door in 2013 and he grabbed it with both hands. He was however humiliated by a the current duo at the top, Uhuruto. Soon after he sunk into political oblivion but he would quickly rejuvenate by becoming a fierce critic of the government.
2017 came and he was blindsided by digital schemes of the KIEMS and that is when the "Computer chicks" that were obliterated shortly after in the Supreme Court were born. But that wouldn't suffice as the result was a shambolic coronation of the Uhuruto pact in a mockery that witnessed saddening voter apathy. For the fourth time, he watched as the presidency slipped from his hands.
In came the handshake and it might be history repeating itself waiting to happen. The bromance between Raila and his new found 'brother' might end up in a tumult that will cause ripples across the whole nation. Moreover, from the recent By-elections, its only safe not to disregard that the 'Raila Boredom Syndrome' is seriously cutting back into his turf. The former Nyanza province, which for decades has played partisan with Raila's ambitions seems to be tired and Baba doesn't arouse much admiration there as he enjoyed in the near past. The atmosphere seems to be replicating in 'his corners' all over the country.
Last year during party presidential candidate nomination applications, ODM confirmed that the enigma did not send in his application. It might be a ruse designed to put a noose around the opponents' necks but if not then that might change a lot of things in the run to 2022 general elections. One thing is for sure though, a Raila Odinga candidacy will be outright ridiculous. It will surely be dead on arrival. It will make a Tangatanga win in the elections relatively easy peasy juicy lemon squizy. Unless RAO learnt that power is not given, it is taken. Let us keenly wait and watch as the games get unveiled. May the best trickster win.
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