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‘Shoot Me If I’m The Problem, Not My Supporters’, Raila Odinga Tells Jubilee

NASA leader Raila Odinga on Friday dared Jubilee to arrest him if he is the stumbling block to the country’s progress, “instead of killing innocent Kenyans agitating for their democratic right.”

The ODM leader said this at Laico Regency during a fund raiser for those who lost their lives when he returned from the United States.

He described the event as sad, saying: “We are gathered here for a very sad occasion…we have come to collect money to bury very young people.”

“If Raila is the problem, arrest him…arrest him. Take him to prison…take him to jail…And if you want to shoot, shoot Raila!” he said.

“But don’t kill people with young families… Children are going to grow without fathers, mothers because you have killed their parents at this age,” the NASA principal added.

The coalition published the names and photos of the victims of police brutality and violence in November 24 edition of a section of Kenya’s daily newspapers.

The November 17 return from the US was greeted with bullets, tear gas and water cannons as police battled NASA supporters who defied a ban to receive him at JKIA.

Raila condemned the killing of people aged 20 to 29, noting they were young and had bright futures.

Chief Government pathologist Johansen Oduor said they operated on 18 people of which 10 died of bullet wounds.

The autopsy revealed that the other victims succumbed to sharp inflicted wounds. Dr Oduor said five others were lying at different mortuaries in Nairobi.

Other people were injured and several properties looted following the march that snaked through the central business district to upper hill.

“Why did they have to die?” Raila says this the question that the government must answer.

He said it was sad that he chose to return to Kenya when he had an option of staying in America only to be greeted by the reception he got.

“What crime did these people commit….healthy, innocent citizens exercising their democratic right…I feel so sad that I had to come back home yet I should have stayed in the United States of America.”

“People who came out to welcome me back home and what they get is nothing but greeted with tear gas, water cannons, live bullets,” Raila said.

He described Jubilee’s action on the said day as that of “a regime that has gone crazy…” and “is at war against its own citizens.”

“It was easier to arrest me at the airport and take me to detention as your father Nyayo (sic),..used to do and spare the life of these innocent people.”

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The ODM leader, in the speech, played down Uhuru’s inauguration Tuesday saying those killed should be buried first.

Raila, who was Uhuru’s main competitor during the August 8 poll after which he abandoned the October 26 repeat vote, is among the presidential candidates that Jubilee said it extended invitation .

He said the coalition will hold a memorial service for the victims at Jacaranda grounds.

A cutting of the newspaper ad the coalition carried in a section of the media on Friday, November 24, 2017.

Raila said the meeting is not a public rally but a day of mourning saying the late are like Martin Luther King.

Quoting: “I have been to the mountaintop, we have seen the glory land…we may not get there with the rest of you, but collectively, the people of Kenya will get to the glory land.”

There is hope, he told his supporters.

Raila urged his backers to “remain dedicated in the fight” saying he remains convicted to bring “Jubilee’s excesses” to an end.

The Opposition leader said it was wrong for police to shoot those who died in the fracas.

Following his return last Friday, police said the presence of the large group of his supporters at the facility posed a security threat.

Security was beefed at the JKIA by Thursday. A team of MPs was stopped from holding a press conference there. Journalists were also turned away.

When Raila returned, some of his supporters, accompanied by NASA MPs received him.

Battles with police, which had began as early as 9am, ensued and continued through Mombasa Road, to Jogoo Road, Landhies Road, Haile Selassie before breaking to Upper Hill.

As the convoy made its way through Jogoo Road, an unidentified object hit the Oppositions leader’s car windscreen. His backers have judged it as an attempt at his life.

This is likely the reason he dared police to shoot him, “instead of killing innocent Kenyans who still have many months to live and make good of their future.”

At the Upper Hill stop, a teary Raila told his supporters that the journey was the “onset of the third liberation.”

His coalition, the National Super Alliance, had vowed to conduct a swearing-in ceremony parallel to Uhuru’s inauguration.

He has dismissed the claim saying Tuesday will be a day for Kenyans to mourn, and not celebrate.

Raila thanked those who contributed towards giving the departed a befitting send-off. He gave out Sh1 million.

Other leaders present also contributed cash towards the burial expenses of the victims.

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Written by How Africa

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