In what is undoubtedly set to be perceived as Suleiman Shahbal’s hard bargaining negotiation-mode meant to show ODM that he is serious and won’t tolerate any monkey business, the Mombasa gubernatorial seat aspirant has set the record straight with some unexpected tough talk.
Barely a month after decamping to the Orange Democratic Movement party from Jubilee, and less than a week since officially exiting from the ruling party following a letter to the party’s Secretary-General Raphael Tuju, announcing his formal resignation from the party, businessman Suleiman Shahbal is now showing the fight in him in the early stages.
Speaking on K24 during an interview with the station’s journalist Daniel Kituu, Shahbal began by giving a brief history of himself, saying that his friendship with Raila goes back to 2000.
He then reminded Kituu that prior to rejoining ODM last week, he had initially joined the party in 2011. He said that he only decamped from the party after he noticed some dirty games were being played, and meant to give Joho an undue advantage.
Kituu then asked him how and why people could be confident that he wouldn’t decamp again since he now has a history of always decamping.
Surprisingly, when he set out to answer, Shahbal didn’t put himself at pains to try and pledge his loyalty to his new party as many had expected. Instead, he gave a stern warning.
He said that he was ready and willing to support anyone who was going to beat him at the polls. However, he added that if he was defeated unfairly at the nominations then he wasn’t going to hesitate to seek a better option through which to express his democratic right.
He clarified that nobody should ever accept to be defeated unfairly at the polls because it’s a disservice not only to yourself but to your voters too.
In what was deemed to be a barb at the Mvita legislator Abdulswamad Nasir who’s considered his biggest rival, he dismissed endorsements as a cowardly tactic and said that even if someone is endorsed, he or she will still have to face the electorate at the end of the day.