Mvita Member of Parliament Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir will fly the ODM flag in the Mombasa gubernatorial race after his strongest competitor Suleiman Shahbal stepped down in internal negotiations led by party leader Raila Odinga. 

According to Shahbal’s statement, he released on Friday; he came to the decision after consideration and deliberation with the ODM party leader Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta’s advice.

“Today, after thoughtful consideration of the needs and aspirations of the people of Mombasa, long deliberations with my Party Leader Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga and advise from the chairperson of Azimio la Umoja Coalition President Uhuru Kenyatta, I hereby announce that I have dropped my gubernatorial bid in support of my brother Abdulswamad Nassir,” Shahbal said.

Shahbal who was eyeing the seat on an ODM ticket pledged to work with Abdulswamad to maintain Mombasa’s glory and develop the country.

“I have pledged to work with him for the future and development that would make Mombasa remain 001 in terms of development in Kenya,” he said.

Shahbal said Mombasa is bigger than all of them, and therefore, the collective and pensive decision was aimed at uniting Mombasa and ensuring the interests of the people of Mombasa are prioritised. 

Shahbal thanked Raila for his guidance and confirmed he would join the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition campaigns at the national level.

“I thank my party leader Raila Odinga for his guidance on the consensus that we have had for the last two weeks and accepted his request that I join the Azimio la Umoja Coalition campaigns at the National Level,” he said.

Shahbal expressed his ambition and desire to work with Raila in any capacity to ensure he becomes the next President. He also expressed his confidence in the outfit achieving its goal.

The politician also thanked his supporters and appealed to them to focus their energy on ensuring ODM bags all the seats in Mombasa and also to ensure Raila becomes the country’s next president.

“I take this opportunity to sincerely thank all my supporters for standing with us since we started our campaigns to date. I do not take your efforts for granted, I appreciate all that time you spent campaigning for us for the governorship position and I now plead and humbly request that we put the focus and energy of our campaigns towards ensuring ODM grabs all the seats in Mombasa,” he said.

“I want to urge my supporters to now see the need for all of us to work together as “Team Mombasa” to ensure we deliver victory to ODM in Mombasa and ensure Baba becomes the Fifth President of the Republic of Kenya.”