Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula on Monday mobilised about 20 MPs from western Kenya in a bid to put on a brave face a day after he was ousted as Ford Kenya party leader.
The meeting at his Nairobi home saw ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and himself installed as the region's spokesmen ahead of the 2022 General Election.
"Anyone who loves the people of Mulembe must recognise, respect and work with us through the joint leadership of Mudavadi and Wetang'ula. If you do not recognise and respect our true leaders, the people of Mulembe will not recognise you," Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa, who read the statement said.
The move comes after Cotu secretary-general Francis Atwoli, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa were installed as the leaders to champion the interests of western Kenya on Saturday at Mr Atwoli's Kajiado home.
BILL OF RIGHTS
The faction led by Mr Mudavadi and Mr Wetang'ula warned ODM leader Raila Odinga against interfering with the political affairs of the region.
Mr Mudavadi said the region will not allow anyone to put "political ventilators on us" despite the heavy presence of MPs from the region who are supporting Deputy President William Ruto's 2022 presidential bid.
"We want the people of western to be respected for the position they take. We want our space. This is why we have the bill of rights that gives all the right to make decisions whether right or wrong," he said.
"We will make our decisions and interact with all Kenyans. We want to be persuaded with logic and not a pistol placed on the table," said the Amani Party leader.
However, Mr Atwoli dismissed the meeting and its resolutions, accusing the two leaders of being held hostages by dark forces seeking to infiltrate the western region.
"We dismiss the meeting and the resolutions with the contempt they deserve," he said, claiming that it is Mr Ruto who financed the MPs to attend the meeting.
Interestingly, key allies of the DP--majority whip Bernard Washiali (Mumias West), John Waluke (Sirisia), Didmus Barasa (Kimilili), Moses Mabonga (Bumula)--who do not see eye to eye with Mr Wetang'ula were present to pledge support.
"It is Mr Washiali who led the DP Ruto MPs into that meeting. He is Mr Ruto's wing leader in western Kenya. The meeting is of no consequence to the politics of western Kenya," Mr Atwoli told Nation, arguing that Mr Washiali's little political stock will collapse today after he is removed as the majority whip in the National Assembly.
An MP who attended the meeting seemed to agree with Mr Atwoli's claims.
"You know very well that Mr Wetang'ula does not like Waluke so why did he come yet they have been fighting for the Sirisia seat for years," the MP who did not want to go on record said.
He added; "If they were genuine that the meeting means well for the interests of western Kenya and not DP Ruto, they should also have invited the ODM MPs."
Mr Mudavadi and Mr Wetang'ula did not hide their disdain for Mr Odinga after a faction led by Ford Kenya secretary-general Eseli Simiyu, who is the Tongaren MP, led a 'coup' that saw Mr Wetang'ula replaced with Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi as the party leader.
Though Mr Wetang'ula dismissed the 'coup' it seems the matter will likely head to the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal.
Mr Wetang'ula said that the people of Western Kenya have a right to choose whoever to interact with and whoever to support "without anyone's permission."
He accused Mr Odinga of being selfish despite the region standing with him in his attempts to be Kenya's president.
"To be evil, weaker, thankless and hopeless is when you are supported then fail to return favour. We have very many of them who had their backs scratched by us but when the time came for ours to be scratched, they held their favour and told us to scratch on the wall," Mr Wetang'ula said.
"I want to say that the train is on the ramp, it will leave. If you are not on board you will be left," he warned the MPs from the region allied to Mr Odinga.