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Published On: Sun, Jul 25th, 2021

Omo-Agege And E-Voting: Too Late For The Denial


By Basil Okoh
LAGOS JULY 25TH (URHOBOTODAY)-It is evident that there is a sense of deep shame and guilt in the camp of the Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege. Or else why would he be putting in so much effort to deny what happened under public glare on the Senate floor and is properly documented now in the Hansard.
Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe called for a division in the Senate on who says aye or nay to electronic transmission of results during final plenary on Amendments to the Electoral Law. The call for division in Parliament is a demand for vote of each parliamentarian to be put on public record. It is different from a voice call of aye or nay which does not record individual votes.
Senator Ovie Omo-Agege put himself on record as voting against the electronic transmission of results. He and others who voted with him, prefer that INEC, a supposedly independent body, obtain the permission of the National Communications Commission NCC, before transmitting results electronically.
He went ahead to say before public media that his constituency does not have enough and effective network coverage to transmit election results electronically.
Why is he now attempting to twist the tale, saying that he did not vote against the electronic transmission of results. Why does he befuddle the issue and make black turn to white for a matter that is already in the Hansard, a public record.
Is Senator Ovie Omo-Agege so ashamed of his voting choice that he does not want to be identified with the historical judgement that follows? If it so, why did he vote against his better judgement and conscience?
If electronic transmission is the popular choice in his constituency and region, why did Omo-Agege vote against the interest of his electors, his own people and in favour of another region? Why does he now work so hard to claim one thing while his voting record states another.
Is it possible that the deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege does not understand the proposition he voted for in the INEC Amendment bill?
Senator Omo-Agege is a lawyer and the scion of the second Chief Judge of Delta State. His father, Justice James Omo-Agege was the fearless judge who adjudicated in the case of Lawrence Anini and his gang, the worst murderous, violent and notorious armed robbery gang in the history of Nigeria.
Is it possible that his son, Ovie, grew up with a library of law books, studied law himself and called to the bar only to go to the Senate and be unable to understand simple questions put for vote in the process of law making?
Ovie Omo-Agege is a personal acquaintance of this writer and I testify that he is one of the best spoken and articulate politicians in the entire Delta State. I have had personal encounters with him which left me impressed with his cerebral quality. Why is he now unable to take responsibility for his own actions in the Senate of the republic?
“We called you leader, oh how you led us on”, Iyaloja cried plaintively to lament the epochal betrayal of leadership in Wole Soyinka’s “Death and the Kings Horseman”.
By his position as Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege is the highest ranking parliamentarian from Southern Nigeria, a position of great leadership in the entire region. He needed to carry himself with equanimity and a deep sense of responsibility.
He needed to be faithful to the political sensibilities of his people and take great care to represent their will and interests. He did not. Instead, he chose to be distracted, “to fight with the dogs for leftovers” and vote for regression and backwardness, a vote against the progression of technology and advancement of civilization, a vote for manipulation of his own people and their political and economic subjugation.
Many Northern politicians have no respect for party politics, they root for their regional interests. But Omo-Agege would rather betray the interests of his region and come back home to try and change the narrative as he is doing now with his media onslaught. The gods and the people say no, senator. We understand you very well, much more than you understand the negative historical impact of your own treachery.
At the centre of Southern political backwardness is the unceasing betrayal of leadership. Southern leaders would rather choose to pick crumbs than eat with dignity at the table with their peers.
We have just witnessed another portentous betrayal of progressive Nigeria after dinner with a president of monumental ethnocentric and chauvinistic predilections. Another man has just fallen and taken his own place of ignominy in the long line of traitors from Southern Nigeria.

@basilokoh.

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