By Henry Umoru
ABUJA- VICE President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan and Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Sunday extolled the leadership virtues of the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, All Progressives Congress, APC, Delta Central.
Specifically, they commended Senator Omo- Agege for his courage to weather the storm in a difficult political terrain as well as break the jinx of not only being the first Urhobo Senator to be reelected, but also as the first senator from the area to become the nation’s Number Six Citizen.
They spoke on Sunday at a Thanksgiving Mass by Senator Omo-Agege.
The event which held at Mother of the Redeemer Catholic Church, Effurun, Delta State, attracted dignitaries from all walks of life including Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; Secretary to the Federal Government, Boss Mustapha; Governors Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Nasiru El-Rufai (Kaduna), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa) and Hope Uzodinma (Imo).
Others were former Delta State Governor, Chief James Ibori; APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole; Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Silva; Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo SAN; Clerk of the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani-Omolori, lawmakers from both chambers of the National Assembly, captains of industry, among others.
In his remarks, Prof. Osinbajo lauded the Deputy President of the Senate for his courage, patriotism and commitment to nation building.
In a statement by the Special Adviser to the Deputy Senate President, Yomi Odunuga, the Vice President commended him for his loyalty to the ruling APC, said: “Brilliant and bright as a lawyer is not sufficient to win an election in a rugged terrain. Omo-Agege has just described this place as rugged and everybody knows.
“Omo-Agege came not just with brilliance, but with enough courage, loyalty and reliability to start first as a politician and secondly as Deputy President of the Senate.
“He might not be doing justice to everybody but the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan and himself were the unanimous choices of most of us.
“His courage, loyalty and steadfastness, not only was he rewarded by his constituent but also by the leadership of our great party and the Ninth Senate.
“With your loyalty to the party and steadfastness, I am convinced that we are going to see much from you”.
On his part, Lawan who submitted that Senator Omo-Agege possesses rare leadership qualities among his peers, said, “Courageous and never shy away from taking responsibility, this is the kind of leadership traits that we need in our leaders today. We are thankful to God for all the blessings He has bestowed on him.
“He is a big blessing to us even though we emerged unopposed.
“Today, the Senate is one. In fact, here we have all the principal officers from the Senate, led by no other person than the Leader of the Minority himself, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe. And of course we believe in the nation, particularly at this time.”
On his part, Governor Okowa stressed the need for thanksgiving even as he congratulated Omo-Agege on his emergence as Deputy President of the Senate.
According to Okowa, “It is never late to give thanks my brother. So we rejoice with you as a state and as a people. And we want to thank God for the brothers and sisters who made it possible to the glory of God to take you to this elevated position.
“Obviously your position is a call to service first as service to our nation and secondly as service to our state”.
He urged him to use his position to attract more federal presence in the state.
Speaking at the thanksgiving, Senator Omo-Agege pointed out that despite the challenges faced by the country, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Omo- Agege who assured that he would continue to use his position to advance the cause of national unity, said: “I will seek to push for those things that bring us together as a country than those things that tear us apart.
“Listening to the sermon of Father Ozele, yes we have challenges in the country, nobody is denying that but our people need to understand that these are very serious challenges that only one man cannot solve all of these. It requires the collective response of all of us.
“For us in the Senate, that is the path we are taking to work, cooperate with Mr. President, to create that working environment so that all of those things that we know that he needs to address the myriads of challenges that Father Ozele has mentioned here today, he is able to do them. That is all I owe the President, that is all I owe to my people and all that I owe Nigerians”.
Earlier in his homily, Rev. Fr. Anthony Mario Ozele commended the Deputy President of the Senate for his steadfastness and commitment to nation building.
He also called on the political class to imbibe the spirit of forgiveness at all times.
“Thanks to God, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege knows that what he is, what he has and what he is now comes from the Lord God almighty. Having been soaked in the culture of Thanksgiving Day celebration in the United State of America, the Senator knows well and acknowledges what the Psalmist say which is unless the Lord builds the house, in vein the builders labour.
“We gathered today to appreciate the goodness and favours of God to celebrate in thanksgiving, the supreme hands of the almighty , shaping the affairs of men on ways beyond our understanding. For who could gave imagined that a first term Senator from Delta State will make much impact at the national level that in only his second term after a brutal election, he will rise to the position of the Deputy Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria?
“The political pathway to the top for the Senator has been rough and rugged to say the least. This champion of Urhobo cultural unity with his never-say-die attitude has painstainkingly weathered the deluge of political storms and he has found himself in the company that many can only dream of. There are times when he had to resort to some level of political braggadocio and abracadabra. Some elements of gargantuan and rugged determination, that Warri-no-dey-carry-last attitude.
“In all of it, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has shown a capacity for not only political survival but an ability to stay relevant and reliable. His interests in furthering the political gains and development of his people remain highly commendable.
“Obarisi, I salute you. I salute your courage and commitment. And I dare say that this celebration and thanksgiving is not only for the Omo-Agege family or the ruling APC but it is for the entire Urhobo nation who have never attained such lofty and political heights in her history,” he said.