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Published On: Sun, Jul 27th, 2014

Omo-Agege and the Credo of New Politics

Obaisi Ovie Omo-Agege (Right) receiving blessing from Asagba of Asaba Obi (Prof.) Joseph Chike Edozien, CFR, JP

By Igho Eshalomi
LAGOS JULY 27TH (URHOBOTODAY)- Politics or governance is an endeavour which undergoes evolution or change according to the dictates or imperative of social dynamics. Political philosophers will argue that every era has its own peculiar demands which in turn condition the route its politics will take.

(L-R) Obarisi (Barr) 0vie Omo-Agege and Monarch of Emu Kingdom HRM Ezewu Johnson Okpetiemuno

Yet not many political leaders take cognizance of this dialectical truism. When a society is fortunate to have leaders who realize that change gives birth to new political strategies to surmount the problems of each epoch, such a society is bound to make progress. But when leaders remain adamant and unconscious of the inevitability of change and its demands such leaders will lead their societies to nowhere. This consciousness of change and what it brings along is what is called vision in political parlance. A nation or society without leaders who have vision ultimately does perish or get marooned.
The idea of political vision has been stimulating to the human race since the era of Greco-roman socio-political evolution. Western and African philosophers have done uncountable treatises on the question of vision. Yet it remains a rare virtue among the political class for many of our political leaders to espouse a vision which envisage the trajectory of governance for good or ill. But the good news is that occasionally a visionary political leader arises once in a while to enunciate a vision of what a government will make of society and the people.
When Obaisi Ovie Omo-Agege ventured into the political space he did so after much contemplation and proper articulation of a progressive vision which will work out an alternative route for development that the rest of Nigeria might want to follow. Omo-Agege has become a household name in Delta State as he is also well known in national public discourse as a political Trojan. Omo-Agege is out for the race to government house at Asaba as governor come 2015. Unlike other contenders for the governorship post Omo-Agege has enunciated a vision of what he would do and where he would take Delta State to once he is voted into office as governor. A follower of Obaisi Omo-Agege would have by now been familiar with what he branded FOUR PILLARS OF CONSOLIDATION which according to him will make Delta State a development haven.
What is spectacular about Omo-Agege’s FOUR PILLARS OF CONSOLIDATION is the pillar anchored on what he calls NEW POLITICS. After going through his idea of NEW POLITICS one is left with no conclusion other than to describe Obaisi as a visionary politician. What Omo-Agege concretizes into NEW POLITICS constitute the kernel of socio-economic and political engineering which has taken many societies to their dream destination. In articulating the credo of NEW POLITICS Omo-Agege makes the point that ”restoring faith in government will be a top priority of our administration. We promise a new kind of politics that is based on consensus and cooperation aimed at raisng the prestige, profile and influence of Delta State in both national and international arena”. Obaisi has simply raised the bar by positioning Delta State as a viable contender on the international arena beyond Nigeria.
What then constitute the NEW POLITICS and how does Obaisi intend to make it work in Delta State? First, he promises to run an open, accountable and ethical government. Not many political leaders imbibe issues bordering on openness, accountability and ethics in our clime when it comes to politics. But as an agent of change Omo-Agege has embraced these cardinal virtues headlong. He reckons and correctly so that these are the panacea to underdevelopment. A government that is founded on openness, accountability and ethics will surely take society to heights unknown in developmental terms.
Omo-Agege also promises to deepen democracy in Delta State as part of the NEW POLITICS. This is where he privileged the people in the scheme of things. He says ”we are determined to sustain the democratic principle that reasserts government of, by and for the people, to put government where it belongs-in the hands of Deltans. Our purpose is to forge a new relationship between government and citizens so that we are collectively better prepared to respond to the challenges that lie ahead”. Inherent in Omo-Agege’s thought is a system which will be answerable to the people, a system that sees the people as the senior partner in government and that those in government are there at the behest of these people. Omo-Agege has also factored other variables into this NEW POLITICS. These variables include a vibrant civil society, non-governmental organizations, religious bodies, the media, political parties, trade unions, professional bodies and more. These shall be encouraged to act as stabilizing factor and checks on government. Our people irrespective of their background shall be made to engage the government in terms of its policies and programmes. Regular direct feedback shall be encouraged. The NEW POLITICS will take into consideration the factor of institutional rejuvenation which will help reposition the civil and public service as well as strengthening the local government system. The conclusion to be drawn from the NEW POLITICS propounded by Obaisi is that he is conscious of the dynamic nature of politics and he strikes many as the man to remake Delta and take it to greater heights.

Igho Eshalomi an economist wrote from Benin-City.

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