By Maxwell Onojeta
Obarisi Ovie Omo Agege ventured into the politics of Delta State in 2002 during the countdown to the 2003 general elections and it was not lost on the Delta landscape, the air, the rivers and the people that a political trojan had arrived the turf.
Ovie Omo-Agege is undoubtedly the most titanic of politicians seeking to succeed Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan in 2015. His towering political profile and intimidating political machinery are the products of a fertile mind, a strategic thinker who sees politics as an engagement which calls for cerebral calculation and wits.
In his twelve years of political activism, he has warmed his personality into the hearts of Deltans and today his name rings a bell in Delta State like that of the nationalists who fought for the nation’s independence from colonial rule.
After announcing his presence on the political turf in 2002 and the slip that followed in the build up to the election of 2003, he was spotted as a strategic mind, the kind of mind that would demonstrate what political scientists have beautifully theorized in books. Thus the then Governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori appointed the charismatic man as an Executive Assistant. In that capacity he was able to turn around so many things for good.
The Governor’s performance soared as Omo-Agege deployed his boundless energy and resourceful intellect to the affairs of state. Overwhelmed by his capacity to deliver, the Governor elevated him to the rank of a cabinet member as Commissioner for Special Duties in charge of Government House while still retaining his duties as Executive Assistant to the Executive Governor of Delta State.
Omo-Agege’s new position gave him the opportunity to know more about the state, her complexity and compelling demand for government attention. Again he put on his thinking cap and went to work. He became a key-player in Governor Ibori’s team that helped to bring revolutionary stride to infrastructural development in Delta State.
Omo-Agege toiled as he ensured that Chief Ibori delivered the dividends of democracy to Deltans whose mandate he held in trust. Omo-Agege knew the needs and socio-economic and political aspiration of every community in Delta State. It was for that reason that Deltans from all walks of life clamoured for him to join the governorship race in 2007.
Central to Omo-Agege’s political motivation is the passion to serve humanity and especially the people of Delta State. It was the passion to serve that was seen in him that gave birth to the clamour for him to run for the office of Governor of Delta State. Omo-Agege heeded the call and went into the governorship primaries in December 2006.
He gave a good account of himself and came second behind Uduaghan who was eventually elected governor in 2007 general elections. Early in 2007 Governor Ibori appointed him as the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) to a wide acclaim. Deltans, young and old celebrated knowing that a man after their heart, a man who understood their plight, a man who in words and in deeds has demonstrated his love for the people had been appointed to run the engine room of government.
As SSG ensured that the Delta State government was goal oriented and purpose driven. He overhauled and serviced the machinery of government and the pace of development quickened.
The untiring SSG worked very hard and it was to his credit that the administration accomplished a smooth transition. By the time he took his leave in May 2007 his personality as a factor in the political calculus of the state had become well established.
Driven by the passion to serve which remained undying he went for the governorship again twice in 2011. Some did not understand why at the time. But today every Deltan now point to his quest for governorship as the product of that well known passion to serve.
When the Delta Central Senate seat was vacant last year arising from the death of the occupant, the late Senator Pius Ewherido, Omo-Agege joined the race for the bye-election. He was the candidate to beat, but he deferred to party consideration and wholeheartedly supported the candidate that was chosen by the party. He demonstrated the fact that he was a loyal party man.
As the countdown to 2015 draws near Omo-Agege is on the move again. His candidacy has received widespread endorsement all over the state. The people are waiting to exercise their franchise so that the man who knows their plight, the man who feels it as they do will be voted into office to occupy Dennis Osadebey House.
Of all the aspirants jostling for the governorship seat so far only him has evolved a well defined election manifesto which places emphasis on job creation to curb the massive unemployment, crime and further develop the state. His manifesto is a study in modern developmental politics and it will be in the best interest of Delta and her people to ensure that they vote him in as Governor come 2015. The passion will surely take the State to greater heights.
Maxwell Onojeta wrote from Delta State.