March 30, 2023

Why and how Ovie Omo-Agege lost in Delta State (2)




From yesterday, the piece continues the narrative on the factors responsible for Omo-Agege’s loss in the Delta State governorship election in spite of his federal connection and deep war chest

HE also had some low hanging fruits projects executed in some communities. But his senatorial zone, it seems, did not forgive him, that all the major projects which the Federal Government assigned to the state, he took all to his small Oromuru-Orogun village. We are talking about high ticket, hundreds of billion Naira projects. None was sited elsewhere.

All were warehoused by him. DSP Omo-Agege, before now, was known as a revered member of IGBE group, a cult-like family religion of marine spirit worshippers. His grand father established it. His father, who at a time, was the Chief Judge of Bendel State, took over the mantle when his own father died and the DSP and his siblings, have a modern, grandiose shrine in their family house where hundreds and at times thousands of worshippers frequently congregate to fellowship.

In the heat of the elections, as public angst rose, members of the IGBE cult did videos promoting him and taunting his opponents, swearing that they were set to occupy the Christian Chapel in Government House, Asaba. The Christian community, in the state, rose in  furious anger. It became a battle of altars: whose God would be supreme in the state. A mosquito campaign, mouth to mouth, strategy ensured that all Christians heard the boast of the IGBE cult group. It became expedient, while not dissociating him entirely from the IGBE  group, to announce that Ovie Omo-Agege is a baptized and confirmed Catholic. But the IGBE group, his friends and associates inflicted wounds have irretrievably gone viral; damage done. It was too late for damage control. 

The deputy senate president will agree that the churches helped to mobilise against him. So did the people of Delta North who from his antecedents, believe that he will never allow that zone of the state to ever produce a governor again, as he is against the zoning arrangement in the PDP. Added to this is the fact that there are no significant leaders of the party in Delta North who are not in one turf war or the other with him. Senator Peter Nwaobosi is in jail for corruption.

Ex-Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Victor Oche, is at daggers-drawn with him, just like Cairo Ojuogbo, who has come out forcefully, openly in television interviews, to laugh at him and state why Omo-Agege lost woefully. 

Add to that the fact that the APC is virtually non-existent in the nine local government areas which make up Delta North. His attempt to win over Government Ekpemupolo, the one they call Tompolo, with the pipeline surveillance contract did not yield the desired result too. Tompolo chose to be neutral while his two brothers worked assiduously for Sheriff Oborevwori, the candidate of the PDP. With Godsday Orubebe hardly a significant force in the Ijaw enclave and Ayiri Emami a spent force in Itsekiri land, having been stripped of his title and consigned to the background, the likes of Ereyitomi, JFK Omatsone, Michael Diden(Ejele, who though could not actualise his senatorial dream), ensured that along with the Itsekiris, Ijaws and Urhobos of the Warri, their local government areas remain strongholds of the PDP.  Even in Delta Central, his home constituency, none of the top leaders who helped establish the APC in the state were with him. He had earlier schemed most of them out of the party. Great Ogboru was pushed out. Festus Keyamo even as the only federal minister from the state could not get a leg room because of the manipulations which Omo-Agege entrenched to be the Lord of the Manor. His brash, ego and ambition fueled takeover of the party meant that he became a big fish in a very small pond. Aggrieved APC members saw the elections as pay back time. Other reasons for the failure must include the fact that with the tsunami caused by the Obidients group in the state, and the failure of INEC’s BVAS and IReV, those who thought they could do election business as usual were shocked by INEC’s zeal to make the BVAS and IReV work in the Gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections. Almost all the candidates fell for the new scam in town after the Obidients wreaked havoc in the presidential election. Remember the Obidients and the Christians propelled by the desire to stop Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s Moslem-Moslem ticket, easily swept aside the old guards to register their voice forcefully in the state. The scramble for the youth votes saw the APC candidate and others courting a plurality of emergent groups, who all claim to be the engine room of the Obidient group in the state. They were easily duped.

Even the Labour Party candidate fell for it. He attempted to rev up a nonexistent campaign, spurning offers from the APC candidate to step down for him and mobilise the Obidients in his favour. In his desperation, Omo-Agege fell for most of these groups of young men and women, evidently scammers, who all claim they will replicate the seeming magic of the presidential election in the state, for him. They were, however, nowhere to be found on election day. Instead, it was the old women and men, the Igbos and non-Deltans, and the Christian community who came out in their numbers. 

There is no doubt that a swat of Deltans, beaten black and blue, pauperised and traumatised by the wicked and grossly incompetent President Muhammadu Buhari APC government, wanted nothing to do with Ovie, who as DSP was the number five citizen of Nigeria in the last four years. He did not hide his uncritical adoration  of the President. Not once did he empathise with the common people who could not get their own money to take care of their needs. 

Secured in his huge retinue of security details, he seemed unconcerned about Deltans who lived a scarred live, induced by the runaway insecurity of unrestrained killer herdsmen, kidnappers and sundry terrorists. The APC candidate is the Delta Star face of this bad government. Rewarding him with their vote was out of the question.

In his quiet moments, when it is between him, his conscience and his God, Ovie Omo-Agege knows he could not have and did not win the gubernatorial elections of March 18, 2023. The courts, when they eventually sit can only confirm the will of the people of Delta State who wanted the streetwise Sheriff Oborevwori, who collects his certificate from INEC today, to be their governor.

Bayagbon, publisher of TNG, wrote via

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