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Omo Agege:The Dawn For The Dream Of A New Delta



Senator Ovie Omo Agege


By Bala Ibrahim.

I have been to every state of Nigeria but Delta, so when the chance came to visit Warri yesterday, my heart was not only filled with the feeling of eagerness to see the place, but the enthusiasm of what to see in the place. In sooth, Warri turned out to be cool, calm and full of fun.

My initial worry was security, but the guide said to me, all the security challenges that are found in places like Port Harcourt and Lagos are available here, but with a difference. If you mind your business, remain humble enough to ask questions on the things you don’t understand, and move smartly, you are good to go in Warri. I took the advise out and out.

My mission in Warri was to witness the formal declaration of the Deputy Senate President, His Excellency, Chief Ovie Omo Agege, as he unveils his plan to contest for the governorship of Delta state, come 2023.

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Wow! I didn’t know Warri is such a multi-ethnic city, that showcases different tribes beyond the native Urhobo, Itsekiri and Ijaw, until now. The Sen.Omo Agege declaration attracted several other ethnic nationalities from across Nigeria, such as the Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba, who came out in numbers to show support.

If the count of the crowd counts in democracy, then H.E.Omo Agege has won the election even before the votes are cast.

The atmosphere at the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun was of both jamboree and fiesta, with delightful and captivating displays of lavish celebrations, in solidarity with the ambition of the cherished Senator.

The venue was a sea of people that turned into an uncontrollable crowd, where the police had to use blank shots in the air, to allow the chief host gain access to the podium, and the stage turned into thunderous shouts of Agege!, Agege!!, Agege!!! , as he approached the microphone. Yes, in Delta, Omo Agege is undoubtedly an enigma.

In outlining the basis that gave justification for his aspiration for the governorship of the state, Senator Omo Agege, who couldnt read his prepared speech because of time, and in order to ease the pains of supporters who waited for upwards of 10 hours to see him, only summarized it. I had a preview, and I quote a segment, thus:

“I have delivered on all the promises I made to you in 2015 and 2019. Today, every community has solar powered electricity. Also, courtesy of the support of President Muhammadu Buhari, we have given focus to our people’s infrastructural needs, and the endless list of gains in this regard include some to be delivered before the end of our mandate in 2023. Some are –

(i) the Act establishing this great institution.

(ii) the Federal Polytechnic Orogun;

(iii) numerous infrastructure projects, including many outside Delta Central:

– mass provision of solar street lighting in all towns and villages in Delta Central.
– mass installation of new electricity transformers and replacement of obsolete ones across our State;
– mass renovation and furnishing of schools across our State;
– construction of water schemes across our State;
– additional federal funding for the construction of Amukpe-Eku-Abraka-Agbor road;
– rehabilitation of Asaba/Ugbolu/Illah road in Delta North;
– renovation, rehabilitation and furnishing of the Nanna Living Museum, with accommodation and furnishing of offices for the Curator and Staff in Koko, Delta South;
– Construction of an E-Library and an Administrative Block, a one-floor Storey Building of 12 Classrooms, a 100 Bed-Space Male Hostel with Lavatories, a 100 Bed-Space Female Hostel with Lavatories and the Renovation of an existing Dinning Hall/Refectory – all in St. George’s College, Obinomba, Ukwuani, Delta North;
– provision of solar street lighting for Koko in Warri North and Isoko South LGAs;
– provision of solar street lighting in Ika LGA, Abbi and Utagbe-Uno in Delta North Senatorial District;
– provision of solar street lighting in Koko, Warri North and Isoko South LGAs in Delta South;
– Construction of the Palace of the Obi of Onitsha-Olona in Aniocha North LGA;
(iv) a Federal University of Agriculture and Technology sited in Aboh in Ndokwa East LGA is also on the way;
(v) a Campus of the Nigerian Law School is also coming to Delta State.

As he spoke, it was ovation all the way from the audience, which sustained the show of appreciation for the choice of a true representative, that has evidently kept his covenant with them.

The strategy of DSP Omo Agege’s plan as a governor is designed to achieve its goal under an agenda that is abbreviated as EDGE, or Employment and Empowerment, Development, Good Governance and Enduring Security. The agenda he said, “is a paradigm shift to reform our public service, cut the cost of governance, eliminate waste, and deny corruption and other crimes comfort and safety in our governance architecture”.

It is on that premise that he added:

“Fellow Deltans, I testify with humility that my life has been greatly blessed by God, by whose grace I stand with the kindness of many. Though blessed with the love of great parents and families, I have also lived a hard, rustic life of a village fisher boy. I have dared to dream and successfully experienced the world in many noble pursuits. Standing before you today to confidently seek the Office of the Governor of our State speaks to God’s immeasurable faithfulness upon this proudly Orhomuru, Orogun man.”-

Indeed nothing demonstrates the crowd catching capacity, and illustrates the correctness of the threat made by DSP Omo-Agege sometime back, that come 2023, APC would dislodge PDP in the governorship election than today’s show of strength. At that time he said, “Whether PDP likes it or not, APC will still win the presidency come 2023”.

In emphasizing that his gubernatorial aspiration would usher in the dawn for the dream of a new Delta, the DSP said; “I have always believed that a people’s future ought always to be better than their past and it is the solemn duty of the people to create that better future. This belief has fundamentally shaped my public service decisions and journey. And it is why I humbly seek the Office of the Governor of our beloved Delta State. It is all about true service”.

DSP Omo Agege is a tested and trusted politician that started politics as an executive assistant to Governor James Ibori, after an aborted attempt to be member of the House of Representatives.

He was later appointed commissioner for special duties by the governor. He was again appointed as the Secretary to State Government in 2007. He contested and was elected as Senator in 2015, under the platform of the Labour Party. He defected to the APC and was re-elected senator in 2019.

On 11 June 2019, he emerged as the Deputy Senate President of the 9th National Assembly, after beating Senator Ike Ekweremadu. The South-South caucus of the APC, on Thursday 28 November 2019, chose the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, as the leader of the party in the south south region.


PMB And Nigeria:Anchoring The Argument On Adjuged Absenteeism



President Muhammad Buhari


By Bala Ibrahim.

Since the unhappy remark from President Muhammadu Buhari in Imo state this week, that the achievements of his government are not given the publicity they deserve, the course of the discourse has changed, with some putting the blame on the President himself, for not attaching enough importance to media and publicity, particularly publicity in a democracy.

While some are of the opinion that because of the constrains of modesty, PMB was reluctant in talking about his achievements ab initio, because they may be misconstrued as a show off, or make him look like a leader that is too proud, others hold a counter opinion. To them, in a democracy, where leaders come to power pursuant to the promises made to the electorates during campaigns, such electorates have the right to be informed, sometimes in details, the extent to which such promises made were kept. And because, by electing the leader, the electorates have entered into an unwritten contract with the leader, giving such information by the leader should not be seen as a show off, immodesty, or the blowing of the leader’s own trumpet. It is the fulfilment of an agreement.

Two things prompted this article. One was a cliché sent to me by a friend, highlighting a quote from a purported statement attributed to President Muhammadu Buhari, viz: “What is the difference between me and those who elected us to represent them, absolutely nothing. Why should Nigerian President not fly with other Nigerian public? Why do I need to embark on a foreign trip as a President with a huge crowd with public funds? Why do I need to go on foreign medical trip if we can not make our hospital functional? Why do we need to send our children to school abroad if we can not developed our university to compete with the foreign ones?”-General Muhammadu Buhari, Lecture at Chatham House London, February 21, 2015.

The second was a discussion I had same today, with my brothers in law, that paid a visit to us in the house.

I would start by addressing the cliché, with the hope of convincing my friend to understand the meaning of propaganda. According to the dictionary, Propaganda is, information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view. Had my friend read the purported statement well, by checking the grammatical construction and the caricature structure of misspellings, he would have seen that they are not only in conflict with English syntax and morphology, but also out of tune with the language style of someone that was once a Governor, a Minister, a Head of State, and as of that date, a President in waiting.

Not even in the inglorious yesteryears, when the office of Nigeria’s First Lady was occupied by someone who took delight in the use of colloquial English, was such abuse of phonology and semantics practiced. No good speechwriter would write such a repugnant speech for delivery at Chatham House, which is the world-leading policy institute with a mission to help governments and societies build a sustainably secure, prosperous and just world. And Buhari’s speechwriter can not be that crackbrained. No way. It’s fake news, but through the use of propaganda, some people have spewed the garbage, in order to influence public opinion against a leader. PMB is a victim of such spin because he has absentee propagandists.

The second segment of the genesis of this article, which has to do with the discussion with my in-laws, also anchors the argument on adjudged absenteeism. Yes, absentee propagandists for PMB and his regime. My guests and I had a lengthy discussion on the seven years of PMB in power, and almost all of them were of the believe that not much has been done by the government.

But I told them it is a stereotyped opinion. The government of PMB had recorded landmark successes, but because of absentee propagandists, instead of hailing the President for such milestone achievements, he is ignorantly damned by the gullible.

After we overviewed some of the strides in infrastructural development, including roads, rail, housing, and security, they agreed that indeed much has been done, but not that much is relayed to the public. On security, yes, security, despite the current challenges, they admitted that truly Nigeria is safer today, compared to what obtained in the past.

Not a single bomb blew off in Abuja since 2015. All the sand bags and road blocks have disappeared. In fact, I told my guests, if it were in the yesteryears, I wouldn’t give them access to the house without the normal ritual of frisking, to ascertain they are free from dynamites. Such was the level of distrust, even amongst relatives.

We delved into the excesses of some aids of the President, whose performance in office is questioned by many, but who the President refused to sanction. Also here, I said, if Nigerians are serious, they should forward petitions with evidence of their wrongdoings. PMB can not be accused of inaction based on information passed around that cannot be substantiated. Such information are classified as rumours or hearsay. And I gave the example of the suspended Accountant General of the Federation that is being prosecuted, pursuant to the submission of a petition.

Food prices, Oil and gas reforms, General economic condition, Power, Agriculture and the sustained successes recorded by the military, including the good news today, of the aerial bombardment of terrorist Turji’s camp in Zamfara state were discussed. In all, when the situation today is juxtaposed with yesterday, including a comparism with the so called developed societies, Nigeria under Buhari is not doing badly.

But because some people are anchoring the argument on adjudged absenteeism, and the government has no propagandists that would blow it’s trumpet, some tend to think the issues are not being robustly tackled.

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PMB/Abdullahi Adamu And The Position Of Positive Politics



President Muhammad Buhari


By Bala Ibrahim.

As expected, the media is awash with the comments of President Muhammadu Buhari in Owerri yesterday, Tuesday,13/09/2023, where he sounded bemused by what is happening in the country, with regards the splendid performance of his administration. PMB was in Imo state, where he went he commissioned some projects executed by the Governor, His Excellency, Hope Uzodinma. While speaking after the commissioning, the President said when he came to power in 2015, many local government areas in Borno and Adamawa states were controlled by the Boko Haram terrorists, whom he described as fraudulent people, but have now been overwhelmed by his government. The President took time to blow his trumpet, by outlining some of his achievements in the past seven years.

“Between 1999 and 2015 when we came in, I would like people to check the Central Bank and the NNPC (Nigerian National Petroleum Company), the average production was 2.1 million barrels per day. Nigeria was earning at this time 2.1 million times but look at the state of infrastructure, look at the road. Look at the railway, it was virtually killed. Power, we are still struggling. But when we came, unfortunately, the militants were unleashed, production went down to half a million bpd. Look at the problem in the North-East, check with anybody from Borno or Adamawa, how many local governments were in the hands of the government and how many were in the hands of Boko Haram? Fraudulent people, whoever they are, are fraudulent! But now, go and ask the hard-working Governor of Borno State, a very hard-working Governor. The Federal Government is in charge now. In terms of time and resources, this administration has done extremely well. I have to say it because those who are supposed to say it are not saying it. I don’t know why”-PMB.

The countenance of the President as he glared at the audience while putting the question was not only baffling, but bewildering and perplexing. His expectation is that, having done so well with so little at very challenging times, one would expect a sustained and enthusiastic show of appreciation from the electorates, to whom promises were made and the promises are kept. But to his surprise, his regime seems to be receiving the reverse. Why? The President extended the blame even to his predecessors, whom he said, despite earning so much from crude oil, they failed to develop the country’s infrastructure.

While some are blaming the principal image makers of the government for failing to market the administration’s achievements well, in his characteristic frankness and political maturity, the national chairman of the ruling APC, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, said the issue needs to be looked at holistically, and that can only be done, if we adopt the attitude of positive politics.

Sen. Abdullahi Adamu’s concept of positive politics is one that imbibes the kind of behavioural changes that would influence others, with the goal of helping the party, the leaders and the country, through the portray of good image and the publications of accomplishments.

As the leader of the party, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu’s office is almost always besieged by visitors, whose mentioned mission is to help in the actualization of the ambition of the party. At every opportunity, the Chairman is unequivocal in his message, that the time to play positive politics is now.

“The time for playing politics with such undesirable qualities like manipulation, power abuse and undue self-interest is over, particularly now that the party is presenting a new person on the Presidential ballot”-Sen. Abdullahi Adamu.

To press home his sermon on positive politics, and while receiving a team that came today to partner with the party in its bid for success, the Chairman dismissed the apprehension about the people being unsympathetic to the ruling party, by listening more to the opposition. He said all-over the world, the opposition is listened to more than the government. But that is not to say the government in power is not doing well. Granted, there are areas of concern, and the party is working hard to address them, through the application of positive attitude in politics, he said.

To buttress the bewilderment of PMB on the failure of those entrusted with the responsibility of promoting the achievements of the government, as well as the chairman’s push for positive politics, someone in the visiting team of today said, “If achievements are not communicated, it’s like talking to someone in a foreign language”. The result is that he wouldn’t understand what you are saying. And precisely that’s where PMB has found himself as a victim. Yes, a victim of negative communication.

There is a particular cliché that is circulating in the social media with a query, thus, “Now that Nigerian troops are winning the fight against Bandits in KADUNA STATE, why is it that those agent of DARK-NEWS and their members of Satanic group aren’t reporting?”

The answer is simple- People are not ready to play positive politics, which encourages constructive, but positive criticisms.

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2023: Abdullahi Adamu’s Thrust And Trust In The Turn Of Tinubu To Turn The Tide



Abdullahi Adamu APC National Chairman


By Bala Ibrahim.

Leadership, particularly political party leadership, is an important responsibility that helps to direct the affairs of the party, for improved efficiency, and the ultimate achievement of it’s goal, which is electoral victory. Leaders are therefore expected to provide the clarity of purpose, motivation, and the needed guidance, for the party to arrive at the bus stop of success. Such thrust from leaders helps in serving several functions that are crucial to the success of the party, especially in the countdown to the general elections.

Nigeria is at that crossroad or critical political juncture, in which every decision made matters beyond the ordinary, and fortunately for the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, the captain of the plane, in the person of Senator Abdullahi Adamu, is a veteran in the art of party politics and the intrigues therein. Because politics is the art of governance, as well as the exercise of control within the party and the society at large, through the making and enforcement of collective decisions, one of the most important functions of a leader is to provide the vision, along with the thrust for the actualization of the vision. Sen. Abdullahi Adamu is not only providing the vision, but also the push or thrust, out of the trust that for the presidential race, it is the turn of Tinubu to turn the tide.

There is an apprehension in the minds of some political pundits, one of whom spoke to me yesterday, that, although the north is the stronghold of the APC, which governs 14 out of the 19 states of the region, but because Tinubu is not from the region, the chances of the north voting for him are slim. They would rather vote for their own, he said. I said to him, sorry, wrong number!. Tinubu’s victory in the north in particular, and the country in general, is a fait accompli.

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All the analysis and permutations are sign posting in the direction of success for Tinubu, and virtually all of them are coming from the mouth of the northerners, including the party chairman, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu. Time without number, I’ve heard the chairman refer to Tinubu as, “ the President in waiting”. And the reason is simple- he is providing the thrust, out of the trust that it is the turn of Tinubu to turn the tide.

To turn the tide means to reverse the situation, and from the body language of the APC northern governors, and the thrust from the party Chairman, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, Tinubu has come to do that, including shaming the sceptics. It may be recalled that, at the last national convention of the party on the 8th of June 2022, Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu polled 1,271 votes, defeating 13 aspirants, after seven others stepped down for him at the last minute. The feat was accomplished through the unanimous support of the 14 northern governors, who were unambiguous in saying that it is the turn of the south to have a go at the presidency.

Yes, there is a justifiable concern that Tinubu would slug it out with the candidates of 16 other parties, including heavy weights like the Waziri of Adamawa, Atiku Abubakar of the People Democratic Party (PDP) and Eng. Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People Party (NNPP), who are not only from the north, but strong forces to reckon with in the region in particular, and the country in general. But again, sorry, wrong number!, there is a collective thrust and trust, that it is the turn of Tinubu to turn the tide. And the crusade is championed by the Chairman, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu.

In the beginning, because of the intrigues that played out, some detractors attempted creating a crack in the crusade, by insinuating something secretly illicit against the candidature of Tinubu, pointing accusing finger at the chairman, but that was only in the imagination of the political nincompoop.

Knowing Sen. Abdullahi Adamu well, alongside his non destructive predisposition, Tinubu has been busy debunking the conspiracy, including a personal visit to the chairman, with a follow up by his wife the next day, where they publicly punctured the machination.

The northern support is not surprising anyway, because, in recent years, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu had taken deliberate steps to build alliances with the political leaders in the north, especially in the states of Katsina and Kano, the key reservoirs of votes in the region. Tinubu’s concern for the concerns of Kano in particular, has helped to woo an incredible support and sympathy for him.

Indeed there is the issue of Kwankwaso and Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau in Kano, but given the political dynamics of Kano, with the antecedent of the state in voting based on circumstantial merits, as they did in voting Abiola against their own, late Bashir Tofa in 1993, many pundits are of the belief that, the support of the northern governors of the APC, and the trust and thrust by the Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, would combine to convince Kano to agree that, it is the turn of Tinubu to turn the tide.

Hon. Festus Keyamo, SAN, the APC Presidential campaign spokesperson was quick with a josh on the PDP, the presumed brain behind the non existent crack in the APC crusade, thus: “If PDP begs us, we may consider donating the real unifier, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to assist in unifying their ranks, to get them ready for their comprehensive defeat in 2023. We want a healthy opposition during the election. We don’t want the excuse that we fought with a disabled opponent”.

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