By Prince Efe Duku
It is now well-known that whenever Deltans raise valid questions about the present incomparable state of bad governance in Delta State, the only answer Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s regime provides is to throw insults endlessly at the Deputy President of the Senate (DSP), Senator Ovie Omo-Agege. For Okowa and his vanishing conclave of political dinosaurs and deceivers, governance in Delta State is all about malicious attacks, senseless anger, and envy-filled rantings about the DSP’s constantly rising political profile on account of his impactful representation across the length and breadth of Delta State. They are jealous and upset at the same time about the DSP’s full commitment to the good of our people and their only answer is to needlessly castigate the good, innocent man. They believe that this is the only way they can stop him from doing more good for the people. They think they can stop him by throwing only disrespect, lies, and foul language at him. For them, this is also their best way of shifting attention from the huge rot, incompetence, and waywardness Okowa brought into public governance in Delta. But such a scheme is unwise. Beyond foolish, it adds no positive value whatsoever to Delta and Deltans. Good governments do not design and deploy mischief, pettiness, and outright lies against their own, especially those who are generally acknowledged by the citizens as their brightest points of light due to their positive achievements in the political space.
Dutiful and result-driven, the DSP as a Presiding Officer in the Senate and the 5th elected citizen of the Federation in order of national protocol is always focused on the huge responsibilities of his high office. He is constantly making positive impacts in the three core legislative dimensions of lawmaking, representation, and oversight. No sensible and unbiased person, no matter how partisan, faults Omo-Agege’s legislative dexterity and courageous leadership capacity to leverage on his vast public governance experience to do endless good for our people. In terms of electoral permutations, it may be understandable that the DSP’s impactful leadership has become a big threat that has completely unsettled Okowa’s future political calculations, hence the sickening and vile deluge of mischief and propaganda now being directed at The Obarisi. But then, reasonable and fair Deltans easily and unanimously agree that Senator Omo-Agege is not a reason for Okowa’s gross incompetence, incurable mediocrity, and criminal failure. They also know that their choice to focus only on him is a clear sign of the direction of the future of politics in the State. So, somehow, they are helping to direct the political traffic where it must flow for the betterment of all Deltans.
On account of visionary leadership, Akwa Ibom State now has a fledgling modern airline; Cross River is commissioning massive industries to provide huge job opportunities for its citizens; River State is modernizing with great public infrastructure; Kaduna State is unquestionably on the autopilot of industrialization; Kano State is building iconic infrastructures and opening up vast agro-allied industries; Lagos State has already envisioned and now developing smart cluster cities fit for the future, and even Borno State – the epicenter of Boko Haram insurgency – is building great public schools that Okowa’s regime do not even dream of. These are the issues that should be at the front burner of the governance discourse in Delta, not ‘Omo-Agege this, Omo-Agege that’. Consumed by great leadership visions, the governors of these states did not have to direct constantly hungry, beleaguered, and servile minds and pseudo-intellectuals to spew lies, disrespect, and empty propaganda. How Okowa and his few remaining bad governance apostles think that accelerating their fear of the ‘Omo-Agege factor’ is the best way to develop Delta is therefore just ridiculous.
Jittery and without civilized ideas on how best to handle the quiet but aggressively disruptive ‘Omo-Agege phenomenon’ with respect to certain political permutations, Okowa’s poorly paid but happily slavish propagandists are crying in public that Omo-Agege is unapologetic for his courageous stance against legislative tyranny and wholesale disrespect for the principle of co-equals in the 8th National Assembly. Further, against subsisting and valid decisions and declarations of courts of competent jurisdiction, they are being pushed to naively and criminally defame the Deputy President of the Senate of the Federation. On this, their plastic rods of criminal blackmail is the already judicially determined question of the well-known removal of the Mace of the 8th Senate during a plenary session and the big lie about a non-existent foreign conviction of the DSP – two issues that have been litigated on and judgment given in favour of the DSP.
And this is the juncture where the blackmailers must be seriously warned to tread extremely carefully. When the chips are down, their secret but known enablers will definitely abandon them to carry their cross of hunger-induced foolishness and slavery. On their ‘mace’ blackmail, they need to be reminded of the wide legal implications of the judgment/decision of the Court that: “[T]HERE IS NO IOTA OF EVIDENCE INDICATING THAT THE APPLICANT SENATOR OVIE OMO-AGEGE STOLE THE MACE AND INVADED THE SENATE, THE ALLEGATION IS MORE OF HIS ACCOMPLICES PERPETUATING THE ACT, WHICH HAS NOT BEEN PROVED. IT IS THEREFORE WRONG FOR ANY PERSON OR AUTHORITY WITHIN THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA TO PRINT, PUBLISH OR CIRCULATE IN THE MEDIA OR SOCIAL NETWORKS LIKE THE 1ST RESPONDENT (SARAKI) DID THAT THE APPLICANT LED THUGS TO INVADE THE SENATE AND CAUSE SAME TO BE PUBLISHED IN PUNCH NEWSPAPER OF 18/04/2019. THIS IS THE HIGHEST HEIGHT OF DEFAMATION, I SO HOLD. … THE FINDINGS ABOVE ARE FINDINGS MADE IN REM AS SUCH ANY FUTURE PUBLICATION BECOMES A NEW CAUSE OF ACTION, I SO ORDER.” As already said, the Court in a separate action has also held that the DSP was never ever convicted in a US court for any crime. This was in a case initiated at the instance of supposed ‘brothers’ who terribly fear God’s grace upon the DSP. They failed then and will never ever win now. They will always fail.
Perhaps a word of advice for Okowa’s regime and its misguided errand boys who think they can dim the DSP’s light with lies, mischiefs, and blackmail. Know these: Deltans are unhappy with Okowa over his deceitful, failed ‘Smart Agenda’. Deltans are unhappy that their State is littered with ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ projects. Deltans are angry that the reckless Okowa’s regime is happily plundering our huge oil wealth. Deltans are sad that, unlike River State, Delta has no standard roads yet Okowa gleefully calls himself a ‘Road Master’, and for this, Deltans just wonder, ‘How did we get here?’ Delta’s retirees and pensioners are dying daily because their retirement benefits and pensions are wickedly withheld by Okowa’s regime. Although Okowa controls undisclosed security votes in Delta’s budget, people are kidnapped across the State while Okowa does nothing to improve the State’s security situation. Young Deltans are becoming much more hopeless by the day because Okowa’s regime is too incompetent to create sustainable job opportunities. No companies; no factories; no industries. All major towns are now dirty shanties because we have a government that is completely prehistoric in all its ways. Okowa builds nothing for Deltans but sells off what others build. Okowa has destroyed the Delta State Civil Service with unmitigated ethnic irredentism. These and much more are not the making of the DSP, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege. Let Okowa and his handlers do just a few good things for once. Omo-Agege is unstoppable.
Prince Efe Duku is the Special Adviser to the Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate at Senate, National Assembly, Federal Republic of Nigeria.