Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto says that he was picked to be the National Super Alliance (NASA) presidential flag bearer but he declined the offer, instead opting to back Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga.
Speaking at Ngesumin in Bureti Sub-County in Kericho while endorsing aspirants who clinched various tickets in his Chama Cha Mashinani party nominations, the governor claimed that the other four NASA principals had felt his leadership in Rift Valley and decided to back him as the opposition’s flag bearer.
“I went to negotiate with my fellows in Nairobi. It was a hard bargain for everyone wanted the top seat. I also wanted it. At one point, I won the support of the others who thought that if I was picked, we would be assured of 90 per cent of the Rift Valley votes plus others,” Ruto said.
Ruto however, said that he declined the offer because he felt that he was not ready for the position.
The Chama cha Mashinani party leader said that he saw it wise to back the eldest of the principals, on conditions that he passes the mantle of leadership after one term in office.
“They challenged me over my 2013 vow that we would never vote for Raila. But I said that since we reconciled as a country over the (2007/2008) bloodshed in 2013, it is easier to reconcile with Raila and [give him] our support,” said the governor.
“Raila is not a bad man. Let us support him as he will only take us to the Promised Land where there is no poverty and economic challenges. We now call him Joshua Arap Mibei,” Governor Ruto added.
He called on Deputy President to stop calling him a power broker, since he (William Ruto) was brokering the Kalenjins to President Uhuru Kenyatta. “William Ruto and I are both brokers. He is also seeking for votes for Uhuru just like I am (doing) for Arap Mibei (Raila Odinga). He would be the Deputy President and I a deputy prime minister. Are deputies not the same? Is there a better deputy than another?” asked the governor.
“But I can say I am a better broker than him because I am doing it for the common person,” he added.