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Francis Atwoli: Swearing in Raila Odinga will lead to bloodshed.

Secretary-General Francis Atwoli has reiterated calls for Nasa leader Raila Odinga to call off plans to be sworn in as the people's president on Tuesday.Mr Atwoli warned that if the swearing-in takes place as planned it could ignite violence and plunge the country into turmoil.

"I'm not competent to advise President Kenyatta or Mr Odinga, but I'm asking them to put the interest of this country first and agree to engage to lower political temperatures," said Mr Atwoli."We are at the edge of the precipice and the swearing in of Mr Odinga could ignite turmoil.

"He asked the opposition chief to come up with a different strategy to push for electoral reforms and justice to safeguard peaceful co-existence.The Cotu boss spoke on Sunday during a church service at Eshibimbi ACK in Butere, Kakamega County.

LIVES LOSTHe asked Nasa co-principal Musalia Mudavadi to intervene and persuade Mr Odinga to abandon the idea of being sworn in.Mr Atwoli said many people have been killed during violent protests and almost 100,000 have lost jobs due to the extended political period.

Swearing in Mr Odinga could escalate political tension and lead to confrontations between opposition supporters and security agencies."It is better to have a bad government in place than to have none .

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The opposition should weigh the consequences of swearing in Mr Odinga when the country is so divided politically," said Mr Atwoli.But even as Mr Atwoli urged Mr Odinga to shelve his plans, Nasa leaders in Western Kenya said the swearing-in was inevitable.

Nasa coordinator in Western, Khalid Njiraini, said the coalition will proceed with its plans to swear in Mr Odinga as the peoples' president.Mr Njiraini said Western Kenya and all Nasa strongholds were upbeat ahead of Tuesday's event.

"Our expectation is that Raila will now be in control of all the counties under his grip, which have approved the peoples' assembly motions," Mr Njiraini stated.He disclosed that they will push for secession after Mr Odinga takes oath, citing that for the last 54 years only two communities have been in power.

"If this country cannot allow rotational presidency to bar two communities from dominating its leadership, then secession is unavoidable. We are determined to swear in Mr Odinga and any other calls should come later," said Mr Njiraini.

He pointed out that Nasa supporters will not hear anything other than Mr Odinga's swearing-in."Those calling for talks should give us a break for now.

It is unfortunate that whereas President Kenyatta had publicly declared that he is not ready to talk with us, Mr Odinga was still being pushed to dialogue. How will you dialogue with a person who has already closed doors for the same?" he posed.

He criticised Mr Kenyatta for asking Mr Odinga to wait until 2022 to have talks with his Deputy William Ruto."It was very wrong for him (Kenyatta) to stoop that low.

The country is at crossroads following the disputed elections and the mass killings of Nasa supporters and it does not warrant such careless talk," he added.

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Publication:Daily Nation, Kenya (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Dec 10, 2017
Words:591
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