The contents of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report are likely to shape the political landscape in Deputy President William Ruto’s Rift Valley backyard.
A section of Jubilee leaders from the region Thursday said that they will rally behind the direction the DP will take after the BBI report is made public. The leaders insist that the BBI is aimed at scuttling Dr Ruto’s presidential ambitions.
“Remarks by ODM leader Raila Odinga targeted at Dr Ruto is a clear indication that BBI is not in good faith,” Bomet Senator Dr Christopher Lang’at told the Nation.
“The handshake was supposed to unite all of us including the Deputy President but this is not the case as other leaders have been sidelined,” added Senator Lang’at.
Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei said they were waiting for the release of the BBI report, adding that they will only support if it will better the lives of Kenyans.
“If BBI is indeed a good thing for Kenya, Kenyans should be given time to scrutinise it but it should not be rammed down their throats. If it will not be inclusive, it will not go anywhere,” said Senator Cherargei.
Elders from the North Rift region led by former Nandi County Council chairman Charles Tanui said the stand which the DP will take will be a guide on the direction the region will take.
“When the BBI report goes for public debate, Central Kenya will support the position taken by the President Uhuru Kenyatta while Rift Valley will rally behind Dr Ruto.
"Nyanza and Coast on the other hand will support the position taken by Mr Odinga,” said Mr Tanui. Mr Odinga and DP Ruto have been trading accusations over the BBI report with the ODM boss telling Kenyans to get prepared for a referendum when the BBI report is published.
The DP on the other hand has criticised Mr Odinga for pushing for a referendum for creation of more political positions at the expense of bettering the lives of Kenyans.
The Deputy President has of late been the face of opposition to the initiative championed by President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga, and will be aware that legions of supporters will be looking on him to lead the ‘No’ side if the BBI proposals lead to a constitutional referendum.
Dr Ruto’s supporters have asserted that the changes are geared towards providing a route for Mr Odinga to take over the reins of power without having to seek a popular mandate.