By Lucky Oji
Hon. John Halims Agoda, had represented Ethiope Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives and the House of Representative candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, Ethiope Federal Constituency in the 2019 election.
In this interview with Sunday Vanguard, he spoke extensively on the senate leadership election due for Tuesday 11th, as it concerns Omo-Agege.
I have read several of your articles, what gives you the confidence that Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege is the best person for the Deputy Senate President?
Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege is a South-south political brand destined to bestride the political arena at this time of the nation’s development. A human product imbued with enormous intellectual sagacity from a humble but privileged background.
He has always been opportune to study, understand and practice jurisprudence in all its minutest and finest details.
His late father, His Lordship, Justice James Omo-Agege of blessed memory was a jurist of the finest breed who was the chief Justice of Bendel State, and later the Chief Judge of Delta State; a position he held till his retirement from public service.
You can now see the background of the young distinguished gentleman, Sen Omo-Agege, rooted in the practice of jurisprudence as one of the sources of law making, legal expositions and research, so you can see that his legal background qualifies him for the position of the Deputy Senate President.
Therefore, his quest to become the Deputy Senate President of the 9th Senate is predicated on his conviction that by his up-bringing, education and past service to this country, he is eminently qualified for the job from the Southsouth, to which the position, in good national conscience is expected to be given the office.
But there are other senators from other zones still nursing same ambition, don’t you think it may affect his chances?
Yes, we know a few other persons from other zones are also pushing for it, and it is expected in a big party like ours but before he went into public service at the prompting of his people, he had already acquired his law education here in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. So, am very confident that he is the best of all the candidates aspiring for the position.
Apart from being a Special Adviser to the Delta State government at a time, he also served in the capacity of a Secretary to the State Government.
In his public service career so far, he had always been propelled by his admirable humility, sharp and quick intellect, his proclivity to always act within the ambit of constitutionalism, and his thirst to serve.
He is quick at building bridges of friendships across all barriers of human endeavours as a social humanist that believes in brotherhood with persons he comes across.
Senator Omo-Agege is an erudite legal mind and a tested technocrat whose ascension to the position of Deputy Senate President would surely add value to the work of the 9th senate.
He is a two-term senator and thus a ranking member. In his first tenure, he endeared himself both to the conservative right and to those with the far-left tendency.
Are you speaking on the speculation that the Deputy Senate President was zoned to South-south region?
It wasn’t speculation, it is a real fact that the position is zoned to South-south and it is my humble submission that the choice of who becomes the next Deputy Senate President should be by the collective decision of the states in the zone.
However, it is the belief of stakeholders in the zones that it will be the turn of Delta State to produce or fill any office offered to the zone. That would be the path of equity, honour and fairness for the federating states in the area.
For example, in the 8th Assembly, Edo State had the great fortune to occupy the office of the principal officer given to the South-south zone. Therefore, it is the strong view of stakeholders, not only in Delta State but also across the entire South-south zone that Delta State should produce the next principal officer, and in this case in the person of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.
We have read several reports calling on the leadership of the party and the president to support his aspiration, why these calls when you said he is most qualified?
It is normal in politics, you need people to be by you and go to the extent of asking for prayers for you to succeed, but you should know that in the case of Omo-Agege, it is an appeal from every part of South-south region, many of the group l think he may not know.
People, groups, NGO’s want him and that is why we are saying he is the most qualified and he has the carriage and education for the office, and he is passionate in his support for the president of the country in addition to being a consummate party loyalist.
We have no doubt that he would bring to the office, his cosmopolitan disposition, a touch of class and grace in addition to a fertile intellectual engagement across the three arms of government. True, he is fittingly humble for the office he is seeking.
Recently some groups from Urhobo were in the pages of newspapers that they need Sen. Uzor Kalu, what is your take on this?
Those who hold contrary views are only in hot pursuits of clannish interests and ego-centrism designed to gratify their illusionary fantasies, and to further ensure they remain in power by planting stooges.
It is granted that in a contest of this magnitude, midnight masquerades would turn out in the day time to claim that they are serious contenders. Make no mistakes about it, they are not. Therefore, the noise by an amorphous group from the zone that they are in support of another candidate other than Omo-Agege, is politically incorrect and a ruse that does not have the backing of any of the tendencies in the APC in Delta State.
Delta State is presenting Omo-Agege for the enormous task of working according to the rules and preferences of the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress. He is a man of stable disposition who would not waver nor did falter when situations arose that put his party loyalty to test.
Do not forget that in the 8th Assembly, he did not leave anyone in doubt about where his heart and loyalty is. He supported the cause of the president and the APC with a passion never known before by a southern legislator even at the risk of his personal safety and political career in his senatorial district. A man with such moral credentials must not be sacrificed to massage the clannish ego and mediocrity of others.
Therefore, as the senators get set to cast their ballots for candidates contesting for the office of the deputy senate president, they need be counselled that it would be necessary for them to demonstrate independence of character and judgement, and to be guided by uncommon political courage to choose the best for the country.