ODM leader Raila Odinga has finally received BBI signatures from the 47 counties. The signature collection exercise ends today as 5.2 million Kenyans endorse BBI.
Speaking at Daraja House in Nairobi, Raila said they will submit the signatures to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). The IEBC will then verify the signatures and process a bill. He called on the IEBC to move with speed and corroborate the signatures and allow time for a referendum.
“Let IEBC move fast and release the process to the next stage which is county assemblies, then to Parliament before it goes to the people to have a final say,” said Raila.
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Upon verifying the signatures, the IEBC will submit a draft bill to the 47 county assemblies. They will then deliberate on the bill within three months.
Each of the county assemblies will then send a copy of the bill and a certificate to the speakers of the two houses of parliament. This is if they approve the bill.
The bill will need the approval of 24 out of the 47 counties to pass to the Parliament.
The signature collection process was launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga on Wednesday last week. The same day they unveiled 16 regional coordinators to pilot the drive.
President Uhuru absent: 5.2 million Kenyans endorse BBI
Raila said that President Uhuru Kenyatta could not have graced the event because he was to attend another government function.
“We talked with the President and we agreed that he goes for another function with the governors as I come here,” said Raila.
He congratulated Kenyans for supporting the BBI and criticized those opposing it.
“I know Kenyans are not slow learners when it comes to changing the way they are governed and they have spoken,” he said.
Raila said that pushing the referendum to 2022 will be too much for the voters. Kenyans made six choices during the last general elections.
Raila’s tuff Nyanza region led in the exercise with 893,792 signatures. This was followed by the Eastern region with 842,000. Rift Valley became third with 817,000 signatures despite opposition from politicians led by Deputy President William Ruto.
Central Kenya collected 793, 135 signatures. The Coastal region had 745, 033. Nairobi managed 506, 048 while Western had 487, 978 and the North-Eastern region 161, 000.