Tragedy struck during the funeral procession of Philip Makabong’o, former Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) chairman in Migori county, as clashes erupted among youths, resulting in at least one fatality and several injuries. The funeral, intended to be a solemn occasion, turned chaotic when the procession from a Rongo town mortuary to Rakwaro Catholic Church for a requiem mass was marred by violent confrontations among youths. The clashes were centered around allegations of Rongo MP Paul Abuor’s allegiance to President William Ruto’s government, contrary to ODM party leader Raila Odinga’s stance.

Philip Makabong’o, born in 1956, passed away on December 24 while undergoing treatment in a local hospital. His funeral procession became a scene of unrest as youths clashed using stones and crude weapons, with the conflict escalating to the church where a mass was underway. The agitated youths contended that MP Paul Abuor’s association with President Ruto contradicted the party’s directives, demanding his exclusion from the funeral proceedings.

The violent clashes resulted in casualties, with at least one person losing their life and four others sustaining injuries. Three injured individuals were promptly taken to Rongo subcounty hospital, while another, critically wounded, was referred to Migori town where they later succumbed to their injuries.

The tension persisted even on the following day, with some youths vehemently opposing the presence of MP Paul Abuor at the funeral held at Rongo University grounds. ODM leader Raila Odinga attended the function, arriving at approximately 10 am, while Abuor, faced with threats from the agitated youths, made a brief appearance before leaving the venue to avoid potential chaos.

The escalating conflict surrounding MP Paul Abuor’s allegiance to President Ruto has been a source of contention within the party. Abuor, openly supportive of working with the current government, has faced opposition from key ODM figures, including Migori Governor Ochillo Ayacko.

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