David Ole Sankok, the nominated MP sought to explain himself on Thursday, May 14 after becoming the only high-profile legislator associated with the Tanga Tanga faction of the Jubilee Party to endorse the party’s post-election coalition agreement with the Kenya African National Union (KANU).
Legislators allied to Deputy President William Ruto had vehemently protested the validity of the agreement which was suspended by the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal (PPDT) on Tuesday, May 12, claiming it contravened provisions of the Jubilee Party constitution.
The agreement was announced a day before Ruto allies, Kipchumba Murkomen and Susan Kihika, were removed as Senate Majority Leader and Whip respectively, with Murkomen replaced by a KANU legislator, West Pokot Senator Samuel Poghisio.
Speaking to a local news site on Thursday, May 14, Sankok insisted that his decision did not mean that he had stopped supporting the Deputy President but, rather, he was acknowledging that the party presently had one leader, President Uhuru Kenyatta.
He argued that, by entering the coalition agreement, Kanu was no longer a political competitor as their focus was now tied to the Jubilee Party manifesto.
Pressed on why he had taken a position different from that taken by Ruto allies in Parliament, Sankok sought to dismiss the ‘Tanga Tanga’ and ‘Ruto allies’ tags insisting that the party was one.
He asserted that his support for Ruto’s 2022 Presidential bid had not changed, noting, however, that he was loyal to the party and would support whichever candidate it fielded in 2022.
“You know, we are okay with this (Jubilee-KANU merger) because we have only one head of state, one party, one party leader and one manifesto.
“I have been supporting Ruto because he is the only person in Jubilee who has come out to declare his candidature, indeed I still support him. But it doesn’t mean I don’t recognise that we have one party leader and one manifesto.
“I have been consistent in this, I’ve said I’ll support the Jubilee candidate even if it is not Ruto. I’m loyal to the party because I appreciated its manifesto. If Gideon and Raila have seen the light then I can only welcome them to the fold,” he asserted.
Sankok had earlier sparked a debate online after changing his profile picture on Facebook to one that includes President Kenyatta, sparking speculation that he had chosen to pledge his loyalty.
The lawmaker insisted that he would welcome coalition agreements with Kanu as well as the Raila Odinga-led Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).
“If ODM enters into a Pre or Post-election agreement with Jubilee, meaning it will discard its manifesto and support our manifesto, then ODM will graduate from an enemy into a friend.
“Through post-election agreements, we will end up having a coalition of Jubilee-KANU-ODM. In such an arrangement, I will be having 3 bosses and 3 deputy bosses and as far as they support the ruling party’s manifesto and the big four agenda, I will be loyal to them.
“Note; we will not implement ODM or KANU manifesto, we will implement the ruling party. Jubilee’s manifesto and anyone who supports it will be considered as a friend, not an enemy,” he explained.