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Published On: Sun, Jun 20th, 2021

Delta Gov. 2023: Is Omo-Agege Coming?


LAGOS JUNR 20TH (URHOBOTODAY)-As supporters of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, the Deputy Senate President, continue to mount pressure on him to formally declare interest in the 2023 Governorship Election in Delta State, there is growing speculation that the Delta Central senator will soon put his hat on the ring, reports Associate Editor, Sam Egburonu
Since April 2021, when the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, boasted that his party, All Progressives Congress (APC), will take over not just Delta State, but also the entire South-south geo-political zone, more stakeholders have confided that he will contest for the Delta State governorship seat in 2023.

He also said he had no doubt that the dominance of politics in Delta State and South-south by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would come to an end at the general election in 2023.
Omo-Agege made these declarations at Illah while fielding questions from newsmen shortly after inspecting the rehabilitation work on the Asaba-Illah Road, including the main bridge across the Anwai River, in company of Senator Peter Nwaoboshi and his Chief of Staff, Dr. Otive Igbuzor, as well as several leaders of the APC in Delta North Senatorial District.
On his political strategy and how he wants to win the support of the people, the Senator said, “the factors that will decide which direction the political pendulum would swing in 2023 would be dictated by the real level of impact the political actors make on the lives of the people in different ways.”
He revealed that he hopes to swing the loyalty of the majority of voters in the area “to the APC by “putting aside partisanship and cooperating with relevant stakeholders to deliver visible dividends of democracy.”
According to him, “the people are now wiser and more politically aware; they would not be swayed or deceived anymore by lots of empty promises but now want to know how you have impacted their lives and communities or environment positively either as political leaders or government.”
Also on how the APC would take control of the Niger Delta states, Omo-Agege he and his party are doing everything to upstage the PDP in the zone.
He said: “You just wait and see as we head towards the 2023 election.
“You just watch! How else do you achieve it? You get the votes of the people; and, it’s by doing things like this. It is not about ourselves; we have to hearken to the cry of the electorate.
“We are doing what they are asking of us. It is not just about capital development but most importantly, the things that will be impactful on their lives.”
Stakeholders mount pressure on Omo-Agege
Call for Omo-Agege’s candidature in the Delta State’s governorship race in 2023 has for long been at the background as stakeholders reportedly preferred to discuss and work on it underground.
But at the inauguration of the executives of a new pressure group, Agege United Elders and Leaders Forum, (AGULEF) in Ughelli town, the issue became a major topic of formal discussion.
Speaking at the event, Omo-Agege said that party members should come out to participate as every registered member of the party is entitled to a vote during the forthcoming primary elections of the APC. “I want to appeal to you, the congress is about to start. I want us to come out and organise. But please, let us not do this as a do-or-die affair. And there is a reason for that.
“Unlike in the past, nominations will not be decided by indirect primary. They are not going to use delegates to determine who the nominees would be. It is going to be direct primary – meaning that everybody who is a registered member of APC has a vote,” he advised.
He added: “What that means, in effect, is that we should not kill ourselves over who should become the chairman of the party or who will become the secretary of the party, both at the ward, LGA or state because at the end of the day, the chairman in your ward has as much power as any other member in that ward. This is because on the day of the direct primary, he is casting his one vote and other persons are casting their one vote each.
“So, all we are looking for in this Congress is to look for people who can help us mobilise for the general election; not for the primary. Please, look out in the ward for who can mobilise for the general election and not one who will call himself a chairman who will sit in his house to decide who is a member of the party or not. So, come out and mobilise support for those we feel can do the job for us. That way, we will have an effective party and we can go out for war with them.”
With such a position, some informed observers alleged that the Deputy Senate President is now prepared to contest the election.
While declaring the occasion open earlier, the chairman, Chief Frank Ovie Kokori, thanked the organizers of the group as he prayed for more upliftment for the Senator, Ovie Omo-Agege in his quest.
“Now Senator Ovie Omo-Agege; Now, the beautiful thing about him is that he is not just a ranking Senator, he is number two, the Deputy President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“He is one of the greatest sons of Urhobo. We pray for you, Ovie. Up, up you will go. The Urhobo people are behind you. The South are behind you, the North are behind you”, he said.
Also in his opening address at the event, the chairman of the occasion during the installation of AGULF, Air Vice Marshal Frank Ajobena (Retd), a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Delta State, said that leaders and elders deemed it fit to constitute the body with a view to propagating the cause of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, calling on the Senator to declare his interest for the governorship of the state so that the group can commence work earnestly.
He said: “We said that the goodies we are enjoying from the Deputy President of the Senate, we must propagate it beyond the shores of Delta Central. It is consequent upon this reason that we, the leaders and elders of the party, constitute this body.
“So, the call this afternoon is a call to duty. We are conscripting you to come forward at the appropriate time to indicate your interest so that we can all throw our weight behind you to push on. That is the core reason why we are gathered here.”
“I want to, in clear terms, say that we are not actually limiting ourselves to the governorship position of Delta State. If, at the end of the day, some higher positions are zoned to the South-south, we will be very glad and willing to project you for such a position. So, the governorship is the minimum we are looking out for from you in 2023.
“The important thing is that we have our eyes on you and we will do everything possible to promote and propagate you,” he said.
Senator Omo-Agege’s response to Ajobena’s direct invitation to declare his governorship ambition is instructive. Though he made it clear that he has not yet responded to such a request; he declared that “Agege is coming”.
As he puts it: “Chairman, I’m not in any way accepting your request for me to declare today. I have not done that. But Agege is coming, Agege is coming. APC is coming”, he said, noting that all politics is local and that only a successful mobilisation at the unit level that matters.
He therefore charged the executive of the group to take the message to the unit level at the grassroots.
Also, speaking at the occasion, the chairman of APC, Delta Central, Olorogun Barr. Adelabu Ejiroghene Bodjor noted that he was lucky to be the first APC Senatorial chairman to produce a Deputy President of the Senate, adding that he is very confident he will be the first chairman to produce the governor of the State in 2023.
“I’m standing here today and I’m telling you that I’m a very lucky man because in the history of Urhobo nation, I’m the chairman that has produced the highest ranking officer in the National Assembly.
“And I stand here to tell you today I’m going to produce the next governor from APC for Delta State”, he said.
The Vice chairman of the occasion, Chief Tuesday Onoge, in his remarks, reiterate that “Senator Ovie Omo-Agege is not the only Senator from Delta State”, just as he extolled the leadership quality of the Senator as well as the member representing Ughelli North, Ughelli South and Udu federal Constituency in House of Representatives, Hon. Francis Ejiroghene Waive, adding that their voices are very loud and clear in the National Assembly.
According to him, any time there is an opportunity to select people to represent Urhobos, they should endeavour to select the best available.
“What I’m telling you here today is that when we select people to represent us, we must select the first eleven. We should drop the issue of tribalism and personal relationship in selecting representatives. We should look at the quality and their ability to represent us and pick them. That is what has played out very well in Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and Hon. Waive.”
Archbishop Phillip Edward Orovwuje, in a speech reportedly made available to AGULEF, said the body is a political pressure group initiated by three prodigious politicians for Agege vision.
He however, having critically assessing Ovie Omo-Agege’s performance, said “We unequivocally rise up with one loud voice to call on this resilient, dogged, vociferous, virtuous, competent and indefatigable DSP Senator Ovie Omo-Agege to contest for Governor of Delta State come 2023.”
He added: “If Obarisi can harken to this call, we, have known that, governorship contest in Delta State is not just a walk on the part,” but we will deploy all our political arsenal towards the support of the Senator to achieve this noble task of delivering Delta State from the dark slump placed on it by the current ruling party.”
A report, signed by Ode Williams and made available to The Nation, said the council members of the new political pressure group include “Chairman, Archbishop Philip Orovwuje (JP), Vice Chairman, Chief Engr Abraham Bobor; General Secretary, Prince Frank Ugen Organising Secretary,” among others.
Aside the new pressure group, we learnt that many other leaders of Delta Central and Urhobo leaders have been particular about producing the next governor of Delta State. In a recent interview with The Nation, the President-General of Urhobo Progress Union (UPU) Worldwide, Olorogun Moses Taiga, also stated that it is the turn of Urhobo to produce the next governor of Delta State when he said: “Firstly, the issue of rotation is a practice by one major political party, but it is a practice that has served us so well. It started with an Urhobo. James Ibori served as governor for eight years. After Ibori’s tenure, it was zoned to the South Senatorial District, which consists of three tribes, Isoko, Ijaw and Itsekiri and Dr. Uduaghan became governor. After Uduaghan, it was zoned to Delta North, which produced Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa. Now, it is the turn of the Urhobos who started it in 1999. Some people are saying it should no longer be based on senatorial districts, but on ethnic basis; all we can say is to appeal to our neighbours to be passionate enough to keep to the terms that served us well. It is the turn of central to produce the governor. It is an issue of persuasion; it is our place to stress the imperatives of cooperation with our neighbours that zoning on senatorial basis be allowed to survive. We want an Urhobo candidate; it is the turn of the Urhobos, but we are not compelling people that they must vote for an Urhobo person to be governor.”
There is no doubt anymore that the supporters of the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, have finally come to the open to say they want him to contest the 2023 governorship election in Delta State. What remains is for the senator to make the declaration himself in clearer terms. All he has said so far is ‘Agege is coming. APC is coming.’
The Nation

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