Engr (Chief) Joe Orode Omene is the President General of Urhobo Progress Union, UPU, Worldwide and the National President, Okotie-Eboh Grammar School Old Boys Association.
In this interview he throws light on why the Deputy Senate President of the ninth senate should be given to Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege, whom he described as a loyal party man.
What is your take on the position of the Deputy Senate President of the 9th National Assembly, as one of your illustrious sons, Sen. Ovie Omo –Agege, vying for the position ?
I am very optimistic that the position for the Deputy Senate President would go to Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege because l see him as the most qualified person, viewing it from the happening in the 8th assembly where he has displayed a high degree of intelligence in the legal profession.
You see democracy is give and take, the last Deputy Senate President came from the East and that is the person of Sen. Ike Ekwueremadu and if we had to go by rotation, you will say the east has gotten its fair share of the cake.
Southeast cannot continue to produce the Deputy Senate President. And you will understand that in the time past, the Southeast has had high positions like that of the senate president for several years, if not from the inception of democracy.
Those l could remember that have become senate president in the past are: Senators Chuba Okadigbo, Evan Ewerem, Anyim Pius Anyim, Ken Nnamani, Adolphos Wabara and at this time, Southsouth was very supportive. So, am a strong view that Orji Uzor Kalu from Southeast should allow Omo-Agege from the Southsouth to go.
So, we expected that now that the position of the Deputy Senate President was said to have been zoned to the Southsouth region, the likes of Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu ought to be there to support a senator from that region, mostly when it is our own son, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege.
Also, Omo-Agege displayed during his campaign how Urhobos should vote en masse for President Muhammadu Buhari instead of embarking on his own campaign and this is to tell you his loyalty and commitment to the party at all time.M
This is aside his working around the clock to ensure that of the one million vote, his mentor and father, President Muhammadu Buhari does not get short of good numbers of votes from the Urhobo extraction, which at the end of the day he succeeded as l speak Urhobo gave the highest vote in Delta state, kudos to Omo-Agege.
I want to categorically inform you that the only two local government areas that Buhari and APC got the highest votes in Delta State is from Urhobo.
On the election sequence, it may interest you to know that it was still a senator from Urhobo, Ovie Omo-Agege who behind the president with the backing of the constitution that President Buhari’s election must come first, though, suffered a lot of persecution through suspension, which was later lifted by the court and withholding of his salaries for a period of time, and these were because he was supporting the president.
So, l expected that Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege should be compensated with the Deputy Senate President as a thank you card for his contribution and support for his commitment for the party in the 8th assembly.
What do you mean by saying Urhobo stood by Buhari during his election?
I am not just speaking, Urhobo have contributed to the success of Buhari’s reelection, other ethnic nationalities were against him, but Urhobo supported him before his re election.
We were the only ethnic nationality that endorsed him before the election and after he has won we congratulated him, and even saw those who did not suppost him before the election coming out to congratulate him, so that tells you we have always stood by him rain or sun shine hence we calling on him too to stand by our son Sen. Omo-Agege.
We want to use this medium to warn those hungry people claiming to be Urhobo youths and group endorsing Sen. Orji Uzor kalu from East for Deputy Senate President not to bring their ill attitude to the public domain for their selfish purpose.
You are confident that Omo-Agege will winning the Deputy Senator President position, what are your reasons?
I am confidence because his performance as first timer has proved to Urhobo nation that we have a son we can rely on, not all first timer could represent his people with a laud voice like he did and that go a long way to show that he was confidence of himself.
It was on this note that we are saying that the Southsouth should be given the room to serve because Sen. Ekweremadu has been there and there has been this good working relationship, so, what is wrong no that a man from the Southsouth is showing interet and that is where Sen. Uzor Kalu is showing interest.
Again the country is not made only for the major ethnic nationality, they should also allow the minority to also have a say in the nation decision making. As it is, I am only pleading on behalf of Urhobo nation that Southeast should allow Urhobo have a say on how the country is being govern.
In no time, Buhari’s administration will be appointing ministers and boards, what are your expectations?
I have very high expectation, if you appreciate little thing, you will appreciate big thing. when Buhari was campaigning ,we the Urhobos did not give him condition before endorsing him because we feel when he gt back, he will carry us along.
As it is, we are not saying Buhari should give us two ministerial positions but as the fifth largest ethnic nationality, we should be given a minister