By Olori Magege
IT has been said and agreed that the essence of politics is deceit. To put it bluntly, others see the idea of politics as being about lies. But this has not always been the case. There are politicians who do not lie, or if at all, do so minimally due to circumstances beyond their control.
These are not just politicians, but statesmen, and there are not too many of their kind. Others see politics as a game of deception in which politicians tell lies in order to win people’s hearts, only to disappoint them later. These are the opposites of statesmen. They lack principles and will sell their souls to get into the chambers of power. Anything goes for them.
Indeed, many politicians today believe that the end justifies the means in their quest for power or political offices. This is why they readily make promises they know they cannot keep. For instance, the Delta State All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship candidate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege seems to give the impression that all is fair no matter whose ox is gored, not minding scruples or reputation. This is what he has always done, and this is again what he is deploying in his attempt to be governor of Delta State in 2023.
Somebody drew the attention of a small group to what Omo-Agege said and did around 2014, when he was seeking to be governor. He gave a lecture at Ughelli Kingdom Hall and made a strong case for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and swore allegiance to then President Goodluck Jonathan, assuring him that he, Omo-Agege, would lead the Delta State PDP to an overwhelming victory and that he would make sure that the APC will not get up to 25 per cent of the votes cast in Delta State. He sounded like the political superman of Delta State. But he suffered a clinical defeat in the governorship primary election that took place a few months later.
He then ran away from the PDP, which he had promised to lead to victory and begged Chief Great Ogboru to accommodate him in the Labour Party. Immediately after he became a senator through Ogboru’s influence, Omo-Agege granted an interview where he described the PDP as an ATM for stealing government funds and said terrible things about the PDP that gave him political life. It was just after that interview that he joined the APC, which he had abused and castigated a little earlier, that he will not allow to get 25 per cent of votes cast in Delta.
A scrutiny of Omo-Agege’s sojourn in the Senate, contrary to what he is leading the unsuspecting public to believe, will reveal a lot of failed promises. The Orhomoru-Orogun polytechnic he is now rushing to build was more or less like a dying block industry until other senators mounted pressure on him, prompting him to mobilise the contractor back to the site.
The other projects he claimed to have brought to Delta Central, which are all in his Orogun clan are either failed projects or just on paper. The street lights he claimed as his projects are actually those of Federal Government agencies charged with rural development. The federal roads in Delta Central, which are under his watch, have all failed.
He has also promised the good people of Aboh a federal university, when he knows fully well that the Federal Government will not build three federal universities in one state. Except for Delta State, no other state in Nigeria has two federal universities. Yet, Omo-Agege, for cheap political points, is promising another federal university in Delta State after he took the federal polytechnic meant for Aboh to his tiny Orhomurur-Orogun.
As the campaigns take shape and the election period draws near, Omo-Agege is at it again, making promises he knows he cannot fulfill. He has become the Gbogbonshe medicine seller who claims the ability to cure every ailment. Omo-Agege is all about town, casting aspersions on the incumbent governor of Delta State and vice presidential candidate of the PDP, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa and the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly and the Delta State PDP governorship candidate, Sheriff Oborevwori. Omo-Agege is falsely accusing Governor Okowa of poor performance and borrowing.
It suits him to blind his eyes to the massive transformation and giant strides recorded in Delta State in all aspects of development. The only thing wrong in Delta State are federal roads, that Omo-Agege’s APC-led government failed to fix. Governor Okowa, more than any other governor in Nigeria, has done so much to improve human capital in all ramifications.
The time has come again for Omo-Agege to promise Deltans the moon. Hearing him mount campaign stands and splutter is like watching a poorly organised circus show. He has promised to build a world-class hospital for Gbokoda. He promised an international airport for Osubi. Furthermore, he promised to make DESOPADEC functional. He promised to make sure that the Ijaw, Itsekiri, Isoko, etc., are not marginalised. He promised seaports. Likewise, he promised to return night-life to Warri. But can a man who promised 50 development projects in his clan and has failed till date to execute such projects do these things he claims he would do?
Can a man who transferred all the major projects of a senatorial district made up of 24 clans to a small corner of the clan he comes from bring development to Delta State? He promised to pamper Burutu. He has been promising and promising. Likewise, he is telling the people what he wants them to hear. Being a poor imitator, he said Warri has become the poverty capital of Nigeria the way the World Bank declared Nigeria under Omo-Agege’s APC-led government the poverty capital of the world.
He has also assembled a handful of uncritical and disgruntled pretenders to intellectual calling, to amplify his empty and badly rendered wishes. They joined him in this absurd circus show. To make matters worse, all his leading cheer leaders, including Omo-Agege, were once members of the PDP and left PDP for same reason of failing to achieve their selfish interest. This is a real circus. But Deltans are not amused because it is badly and poorly organised.
*Magege, a political stakeholder in Delta State, wrote from Warri
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