In the run-up to the 2015 Delta governorship election, I wrote an article, “Omo-Agege as Delta’s Symbol of Unity,” that argued that whichever ethnic group that was needed to fill in the position at Osadebay House, based on the People’s Democratic Party, PDP’s gentleman’s agreement on rotation, Omo-Agege was the right choice.
Out of personal conviction, I wrote that having come from Orogun in Delta Central which is believed to have originated from Aboh in Delta North, with friends and associates from all the three senatorial districts, it will be difficult to strictly align Omo-Agege with just a geopolitical zone or ethnic group.
“Unlike many new entrants into the race who are being allegedly imposed by godfathers or prodded to run, Omo-Agege is an old hand in the game who has entered on his own volition with a strong belief that he can add value to governance. He has passed through the rudiments and rather compulsory political servanthood for effective leadership. It is often said that to be a leader, you have to be a servant first. Omo-Agege has paid his dues and he is ready to serve. His sacrifices and loyalty to the party at the Delta Central Senatorial bye election last year is another indication of his willingness to allow the collective interest supersede his personal ambition,” I wrote.
“Omo-Agege did not spring from the moon to come and govern Delta State. Apart from his earlier services as SSG, Commissioner and Executive Assistant to the governor, his father, Rtd Justice Omo-Agege already laid a solid service foundation as the second Chief Judge of Delta State which he did very well, considering the State’s teething problems then.”
As fate willed, His Excellency, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, the Obarisi of Urhoboland, lost the PDP governorship ticket but Providence lifted him to the Senate on the platform of Labour Party from where he moved to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
This writer and a few others stood by him, through the trying times of 2014/15; even when his mandate was given to Senator Ighoyota Amori and through the legal battles. We believed in him but did not know exactly what fate had in waiting. Motivated by an undying love, rooted in loyalty, the team stood by Omo-Agege and all that he represented.
What he did not get the opportunity to do through the Government House, Asaba as a Governor in Delta State, the Senator representing Delta Central has achieved much more through the National Assembly.
At the Senate, his appointments, empowerment, legislative activities went beyond Urhoboland and even Delta State. The market women he empowered in the eight local government areas of his senatorial district were not all Urhobos. Ethnicity was not a criterion for his populist goodwill.
When he was elected the Deputy President of the Senate by his colleagues in a keenly contested leadership election in 2019, the symbolism of that victory as a unifying force in Delta State transcended his ethnic group, district, State, geo-political zone, religion and other primordial cleavages. Aniomas, Yorubas, Igbos, Hausas, ijaws, among others, are all part of his team that is working assiduously in different ways to move Nigeria forward. His ethnicity, religion, gender or even political affiliations have not tainted his broad minded cosmopolitan make up.
This is not hidden to anyone apart from those who may have personal axe to grind with this brilliant lawyer. Parents, especially women will not fail to acknowledge this legislator who fought to see that a law against sexual violators of students in tertiary institutions was passed. Association of non-indigenes recently passed a vote of confidence based on his treatment to them.
Never before had a Deputy President of the Senate been so charismatic. On the saddle, Omo-Agege remains a charming spectacle. Ever lucid in speech, poignant in presentation, dapper and debonair in sartorial elegance, Omo-Agege unarguably stands today as the most outstanding voice of the Niger Delta, offering hope for the renaissance of a much endowed but neglected people. If Omo-Agege symbolizes the identity and unity of the South-South geo-political zone, his nationwide appeal as a pan Nigerian player denotes his matchless patriotism in the service of Africa’s most populous country.
2023 is still far. The DSP has not revealed his political ambition. I cannot hazard a guess as various options are open for him due to his sterling performance in the Senate since 2016. He could choose to remain at the National level where he has made his mark with a huge nationwide followership and acceptance as a compassionate leader who cares greatly for the people.
But if Omo-Agege rises to take a shot at the governorship of the oil rich state again, his quest will most certainly also catch a game. He has proven beyond all doubts that he is indeed a symbol of Unity in Delta State and Nigeria. And Delta State would be lucky to have him take charge of it’s affairs on May 29, 2023.
The shape of tomorrow is certainly in the womb of time, but the future of Omo-Agege is promising as he threads the pathway of good fortune and popular will, emboldened by the grace of God.
– Uba, a media consultant, writes from Asaba