Expectation. That is the true soul of art. If you give a man more than he expects, then he will laud you his entire life. If you can create an anticipation and feed it properly, you will succeed” – Brandon Sanderson
Deputy Senate Presidents have come and gone and many more will come, but none has been as charismatic as the current one, Obarisi Ovie Omo-Agege. None has walked the corridors of power with valor and humility, pierced our individual hearts as a people and a nation like him and wooed our emotions into believing in nationhood than him. In him, it seemed like the position never existed but created in his time and freely given to him.
If there is one question I get on regular basis, it’s “Fejiro, this your Omo-Agege self, what will he do for us that will affect me, ‘cus me self need his touch in my life”. Today, I have chosen to give a general answer to this frequent question in my column.
Four months ago, a facebook friend from the South East reached out to me via inbox. He is a Medical Doctor who needed to go for a professional exam that will take him to the next level and secure him scholarship abroad. I have a good understanding of the health sector and the battle they fight to get to the top of their career. He narrated the challenge he has in getting the hospital management to release him for the exams and sought the intervention of the Deputy Senate President.
I gave him my words to get it done for him through the DSP. Truth be told, I forgot about the issue until two weeks later when he sent me an urgent message on how he is about losing out. I quickly put a call across to the DSP and narrated the situation to him and he directed me to tell one of his Special Advisers, Godwin. I sent the number of the Special Adviser to the Doctor and told him what to do.
Few days later, he sent me a message that the hospital has released him to go for the exams, after Ovie Omo-Agege sent a letter to them. He passed the exams which will enable him earn two times his current salary in Nigeria as well as travel out of the country for further studies. If he comes back, Nigerians who will be his patients will get better treatment due to his wealth of knowledge. Again, wherever he finds himself in Nigeria, the call to help anyone irrespective of tribe or religion will be casted like gold in his heart.
This is what we need from Omo-Agege, using the power of the office to break barriers in our chosen careers.
But he is not going to walk the streets with gong, going from house to house, state to state and asking for individual problems for him to solve. He is not going to carry Ghana Must Go bags of money to share to constituents and non constituents. He does not even have such kind of money to dole out but he has the goodwill and the pen to re-write your story as God wishes, recommend you in line with due process to the position you merit, the job you seek and even make calls that will pave the way for you if need be.
With Omo-Agege in the saddle for the next four years, what we need from him as a people is to attract the benefit of being in the ruling political party to Delta State especially Urhoboland, which he is already doing, nominating our people for juicy political portfolios that will benefit Delta Central Senatorial District, which he has done and still doing.
What do we really need from Omo-Agege?
He is not going to put advertisement on newspapers or online for you to tell him that you need Federal Government patronage for your business. You know your strength of business and the angle that government MDAs can patronize you. All the biggest companies and individuals today in Nigeria, beginning from Dangote, Otedola’s Forte Oil (formerly AP), Coscharis Motors, ThisDay Newspaper, ChannelsTV, AIT, Adenuga’s Conoil that gave birth to Globacom, Zenith Bank, UBA etc all have their support system through the government. They had people like Omo-Agege at the top of the political ladder who spoke on their behalf which has made them today employers of labor, financial liberators of their family and lineage.
His doors are wide open for you to tell him what you need to grow as a person and entrepreneur. His ears are ever listening to set you on motion for networking the contacts you desire. There is no greater thing a person can seek from a political leader than making his voice available to speak for you, making his shoulders available for you to climb on top that you may see far and even giving you his hands and legs to cross the troubled waters. Not many political leaders are available to show the way and when they are available, it’s the way for family alone and generations unborn, but not Omo-Agege.
What do we really need from Omo-Agege?
We need Omo-Agege as a unifier of the Urhobo nation and the political voice of Delta State, irrespective of party affiliation or ethnic nationality. Time and time again, the Deputy Senate President has proven that he is not on the seat for the benefit of only his tribesmen but the entire state and region. His appointment lists cuts across political borders, tribal heritage and regional boundaries. Were we not here when he appointed people from the South West into his team? When we cried foul, did he not pacify us well?
Like cherished egg of the ostrich, Urhobos have to hold onto his political apparel and stand by him as he reclaims back the lost glory of Urhobo land by building more political giants as his offspring, raising the next generation of another Micheal Ibru among us, bringing the oneness in us as a people to support each other wherever we find ourselves in the East, West, North, South and Diaspora.
Delta may never have a chance to produce another Deputy Senate President again if all they do is to daily pull down the noble efforts of Omo-Agege, who is doing all his best to bring them close to the corridors of powers. I have seen states where the governors of the opposition and ministers of the ruling party don’t see eyeball to eyeball. I have seen states where the two leaders of the APC and PDP in state engage in media warfare. But in Delta, where Omo-Agege is higher in terms of national protocol and international standing, he has gone to events where Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is in attendance and they behave like brothers, exchanging pleasantries and sitting beside each other, beaming with smiles as if they belong to the same party.
Despite his political son, Moses Anaughe losing his House of Assembly seat to the PDP member through the Appeal Court, he has never come out to call out Okowa as being behind the loss or asked any of his ever ready and willing media followers to unleash blame on Okowa. Since his elevation to the coveted DSP position, he has never instructed any of his media team to set the state on fire or even make the state ungovernable for the sitting governor, which is the hallmark of opposition figures, even though unacceptable by international standard.
Rather, he has built bridges across the three senatorial districts, faced his work at the national level and played his politics in Abuja, while allowing Okowa the space to govern the state. The least we can do is to stand by him to keep up the peace and unity in Delta State that is caused by him, even though the PDP and their supporters may not publicly admit it. If in doubt, travel to Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Edo, Imo, Kogi, Kaduna, Kwara, Nasarawa etc to feel what it means for a governor not to have peace because of political detractors who do not possess the charisma, political sagacity and contacts of Omo-Agege.
Deltans have in their hands a national treasure that the South South APC has already chosen as the regional leader. For a party that has two terms governors, ministers and top political appointees to pick him as their numero uno, Delta as a State and Urhobo as a tribe should follow suit. Like we say among us the young folks, “let us not be unfortunate”.
These little things matter…
Fejiro Oliver, an investigative journalist can be reached on +2348022050733 (SMS ONLY). He tweets with @fejirooliver86 and IG Handle @elahuva
Nice and insightful.