By Soni Daniel
Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, has expressed plans to appoint aides from all parts of the nation, in furtherance of the All Progressives Congress’ unity agenda and the determination to involve youth in governance.
Addressing eminent citizens and members of the Youth Progressive Initiative in the North who organized a reception in his honour in Abuja, Omo-Agege emphasized the capacity of Nigerian youth to consolidate the vision for a united and great nation.
“There is no state in the north where I don’t have an aide, there is no state in the South-West where I don’t have an aide; this is because the office of the Deputy President of the Senate is a national one,” he stated.
According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy President of the Senate, Mr. Ezrel Tabiowo, the decision by northern youth group with membership drawn from all the nineteen northern states to honour Senator Omo-Agege was an expression of solidarity with his patriotic and nationalist stance to issues that concern the progress of Nigeria.
Speaking on the need for unity in Nigeria, Omo-Agege urged all Nigerian youths to shun all form of regional, religious and ethnic sentiments, as accommodating same may split the country along sectional lines.
“Youth of this country, this country belongs to you; if you want a country where you are seen as a northerner or southerner that is the country you will get but if you want a country where you are seen as a Nigerian, then that is exactly what you will get,” the Deputy Senate President stated.
Prominent citizens at the event include a former Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, Senator Godswill Akpabio and Senator Gbemisola Saraki.
Earlier, in a goodwill message delivered at the event, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, who also is a Grand Patron of the Africa Business Round-table, emphasized the need for wealth creation by the President Buhari administration.
The former PDP leader and elder-statesman also called on members of the All Progressive Congress in the National Assembly to guard against any attempt by external forces to divide them.
He said: “The problem in Nigeria today is poverty, so we must create wealth; our country has joined 64 other countries in signing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), the whole of Africa will be able to travel freely, do business and access each other’s boundaries freely.
“When there’s no conflict, there’s security, when there’s security, there’s wealth; trade is the basis for making sure you’re united.”
“Similarly, make no mistake, anything you divide is weak; don’t allow yourselves to be divided, remain united, because together you’re stronger.
“My advice, mobilize yourselves and dominate the continent as the true big brothers of Africa; embrace unity for peace, embrace peace for development, be your brother’s keeper,” Alhaji Bamanga Tukur advised Nigerian youth.
Also speaking at the event, former Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, described Omo-Agege as a patriotic Nigerian who believes in loyalty to party and constituted authority.
“It must have come as a big surprise to emerge as the Deputy President of the Senate, you are a man that believes in loyalty,” he said.
While thanking President Muhammadu Buhari for finding Omo-Agege worthy of being elected, Akpabio said the South-South region was proud to have him as one of the presiding officers of the National Assembly.
He added that Omo-Agege’s emergence was “a clear indication that what God has ordained to happen cannot be stopped by any plot of man.”
Senator Akpabio also called on the Deputy President of the Senate to ensure that the appointment of committee chairmen in the Senate is evenly spread among all geopolitical zones in the country.
“Put your eyes on the appointments; don’t allow the appointment of committee chairmen to be one-sided.
“I want you to work towards ensuring that everyone is carried along; committee chairmanship should not go to only one section of the country.
On her part, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, who represented Kwara Central in the 6th Senate, described Omo-Agege as “a principled, disciplined and determined person.”
The former lawmaker expressed optimism that the 9th Senate will perform very well under the leadership of Senators Ahmad Lawan and Ovie Omo-Agege.
In his remarks, the Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate, Senator Ajayi Boroffice, said the 9th Assembly would “work hard to ensure President Muhammadu Buhari enjoys the full support of the Senate.”
He advised the youth that Nigeria belongs to them and as such, they have a big role to play in governance.