Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui has shelved plans to defend his seat on the Ubuntu People’s Forum (UPF) party ticket.
Kinyanjui, who is the brains behind the formation of the party, declared on Friday that he would vie for the gubernatorial seat on the Jubilee ticket.
The declaration comes after speculations that the county boss is under pressure to fold UPF and reunite with the ruling party.
Jubilee, on whose ticket, Kinjui was elected into office in 2017, is one of the outfits in the Azimio coalition, that supports ODM leader Raila Odinga’s bid for the presidency in the August 9 General Election. UPF is also a member of the nascent coalition.
Kinyanjui said on Friday that his move is aimed at strengthening the alliance ahead of the polls.
“To consolidate Azimio Coalition support base and lead the campaign team in the region, a decision has been arrived that I defend my Governor seat on Jubilee Party ticket. I, therefore, wish to state that I will defend my seat as Nakuru Governor on Jubilee ticket,” the governor said in a statement.
He added: “This decision has been made in full consultation with top leadership and members of Ubuntu Peoples Forum party.”
The governor further noted that UPF will not be disbanded.
“In the meantime, UPF party will field and support its candidates in respective positions in line with its mandate.”
He indicated the party remains strong adding that the leadership is committed to conducting fair nominations.
“We are deeply aware of attempts by the opponents to sponsor candidates in various parties with a view to split our support base. We shall be unveiling the candidates under Azimio after the nominations and will strive to have only one candidate for each seat from MP to Governor,” he added.
“We are aware this decision is inconvenient for some of our supporters and opponents. Kindly accept our sincere apology.”
Kinyanjui, in a recent interview, said UPF was formed with the distinct purpose to pursue the interests of its members and to advocate the Ubuntu philosophy of “I am because you are”.