By Henry Umoru – Abuja
The Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo Agege, of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Delta Central Senatorial District has said that litigation seeking to disqualify him on his alleged conviction by the State Bar Court of the State of California, Los Angeles, USA in case No. 94-C-14401 in the United States of America, USA and plans to remove him from his position was part of 2023 political intrigues.
According to him, the case levelled against him on account of an ex-convict in the United States was a mere distraction.
Omo- Agege who is also the Chairman, Senate Committee on Constitution Review, noted that he has put all such distractions behind him, and said that faceless political foes were hellbent on distracting the National Assembly leadership from the path of cooperation with the Executive arm of government to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people.
In a statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yomi Odunuga, Senator Omo- Agege spoke at the weekend in Abuja when kings, elders and religious leaders from Urhobo Kingdom paid him a solidarity visit.
The statement read in part, “Recall that last week, Justice Othman Musa of the FCT High Court in Bwari Abuja, had dismissed the suit challenging the eligibility of the Deputy President of the Senate over an alleged conviction in the United States of America.
“The court held that the case against Omo-Agege in the US was merely a non-criminal trial and awarded N1million fine against the claimants, a hitherto unknown Incorporated Trustees of Patriotic Youth Organisation of Nigeria, for wasting the time of the court.”
Speaking on the matter for the first time since the court judgement, Senator Omo-Agege who told the Urhobo leaders that sponsors of mischief and the irritants they used against him miscalculated, said, “I am not a politician who can be intimidated by anybody; for those enemies at home, they know me very well but I am sure that those who participated, they did so with cover from others outside of the state who really did not know me well.
“If they knew, like the local enemies that I am not easily intimidated, I am very sure they wouldn’t have gone on this fruitless voyage.
“This is not the first time we have been through this; I pray it is the last time. But to the extent they chose not to make it the last time, they also have me to contend with because I don’t suffer fools gladly.
“ For those who don’t know, they will get to know in the not too distant future.
“But having said that, I saw all of it and those behind it as mere irritants who were determined to distract me and the leadership of the National Assembly from the path of cooperation with the Executive arm (of government) to enable us deliver the dividends of democracy as promised to our constituency during the electioneering campaigns.
“I am glad and indebted to the leadership of the Senate and indeed all of my colleagues who saw through this from the very outset and called it what exactly it is: that they were just people who were mischievous, doing permutations with respect to 2023 when no one knows who will be alive tomorrow.
“ In doing this, they factored in a lot of things but one thing I believe they forgot to factor in is the God factor because if you look at our trajectory, on our own, we are not supposed to be where we are.
“The only reason we are here today is because God said we have to be here; we are not here because we are the smartest, the most intelligent, most popular or most powerful. So, we believe that those who are fighting us are fighting God and that is not the kind of battle you want to be involved in because you don’t have the chance of winning that battle.
“Having been vindicated or re-vindicated or revalidated, I have decided to put all of this behind me and move forward – move forward to do the business of the people, the things that will bring joy to our people because there is a reason why they sent me here.”
Omo- Agege who further thanked the Senate leadership and his colleagues for standing by him throughout the period, even as he promised to put the interest of the Urhobos uppermost in his second term, said, “I made a commitment to the Urhobo Nation when I ran, first in 2015 and thereafter in 2019, that I am coming to Abuja to make sure that the voice of the Urhobo people will be heard and respected. In all that I do; I am guided by that commitment that I made to our people.
“We are not here to deprive others of what they are due, we are here to ensure that what is due us is given to us; we are here to make friends, build bridges to ensure that everybody gets what he or she is entitled, that every ethnic national working with Mr President gets what they are entitled to, and by extension to ensure that what is due us is also not denied to our people.
“We are just starting, we have been in this position now for seven months or thereabout and I am determined to make sure that we break barriers, we open doors, ensure that our people are happy. That is all that we seek.
“I am not the first senator to represent the Urhobo Nation, I have others who came before me, they did their bit, they gave their very best and they have their legacies.
“After all we are all tourists. We have dates of exit; we just don’t know what that date is. We strive to ensure that event, over which we have no control occurs, we want to do the very best. So that when we are gone, that will be our legacy. They will say ‘when Omo-Agege was there as the Urhobo Senator, he did A, he did B, he did C, he did D’. That is my goal.
“I am working cooperatively with my Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan, all the Principal Officers and indeed my colleagues. It is a goal that is achievable because this is one house, one Senate where we have really worked together unlike the Eighth Senate, it was very combustive.”
Earlier, spokesperson of the leaders, Professor Sam Ibodje warned all mischief-makers to leave their son alone or incur the wrath of the Urhobo people.
While stressing that such fruitless exercise leads to self-destruction, he said an attack on their son, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, is an attack on the Urhobo Nation, stressing that the judgement of the FCT High Court, Abuja has further vindicated the lawmaker.
While passing a vote of confidence on Senator Omo-Agege, he pointed out that this is the all-time highest position any Urhobo descendant had ever attained in the Nigerian federation and urged all Urhobos at home and in the Diaspora to be vigilant and resist any attempt to rubbish one of their own.
According to him, DSP Omo-Agege is not only an asset to the Urhobo Nation in particular but the country in general.