Babu Owino to trounce Sakaja in gubernatorial race

NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 20 – Embakasi East MP Paul Ongili Owino, popularly known as Babu Owino, would secure a decisive victory over Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja if elections were to be held today, according to a recent survey conducted by the pollster firm Centre for African Progress (CAP).

The survey carried out between November 16 and 17, 2023, included a sample size of 3,000 registered voters in Nairobi.

Operations Manager Abel Oyieyo of CAP revealed that Babu would emerge as the frontrunner in the election, enjoying support from 42 percent of city voters. 

Governor Sakaja, on the other hand, would follow in second place with 23 percent of voters endorsing his re-election bid.

“7 out of 10 city residents think Governor Sakaja has failed because of the chaotic transport, soaring insecurity, corruption at the county, and a failed school feeding program,” Ayieyo said.

Although currently in his second term, Babu has not officially expressed interest in running for Governor. 

However, Oyieyo revealed that if he decides to enter the race and secures the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party ticket, it could potentially be a smooth journey for him.

Despite this, ODM, led by Raila Odinga, has already thrown its support behind Westlands MP Timothy Wanyonyi as their favored candidate for the 2027 gubernatorial election.

According to the survey, Wanyonyi commands the support of 11 percent of city voters, placing him behind Embakasi North MP James Gakuya, who secures third place with an approval rating of 12 percent.

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“It is crucial to point out that almost all the elected MPs from Nairobi County do not think that Sakaja is a good Governor,” Oyieyo said.

Oyieyo stressed that Governor Sakaja would face challenges in the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party primaries, the same party that propelled him to the Governorship. 

He pointed to the discontent among some Nairobi lawmakers who are displeased with Sakaja’s management of city affairs.

According to Oyieyo, the dissatisfaction within the party would work to Babu’s advantage, giving him a significant opportunity to defeat Governor Sakaja.

“Governor Sakaja still has enough time to shift the tidings because as they say a single day in politics can be a long time, and it will be interesting to see what happens in the coming days as more realignments occur,” Oyieyo said.

Governor Sakaja clinched the position in the 2022 election by amassing 699,392 votes, surpassing his closet rival Polycarp Igathe, who was backed by the Azimio coalition and received 573,518 votes.

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