- S/South Professionals, Oshiomhole, Others List Omo-Agege’s Credentials
By Austin Osayande (Abuja Bureau Chief)
As the race and political permutations over who occupies principal offices in the National Assembly hot up, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, Senator Representing Delta Central in the Senate has been ranked as the best material with the requisite political experience, parliamentary exposure, administrative expertise, inter-governmental competencies and composure, needed skills to navigate and calm the often tension-soaked relations between the Executive and the Legislature, capacity to build a most fruitful relations between both arms and tested professional prowess as well as the needed global exposure, to occupy the position of Deputy Senate President.
In a survey conducted over the last three Months in which thousands of respondents and stakeholders totaling over 10,000 were sampled and surveyed across the South South geo-political zone to ascertain , among others, who their choice for the position of Deputy Senate President would be given that the position of DSP(Deputy Senate President) is being zoned to the South South by the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC). Over 80% of the respondents who were sampled using various communications metrics including focus groups discussion and random sampling tipped Omo-Agege as the best material to represent South South for the Position of Deputy Senate President. Some of the respondents believe that the Choice of Senator Omo-Agege would help navigate a robust and mutually beneficial relationships between the Executive and the Legislature while maintaining Parliamentary independence while many stakeholders argued that the Senate need a politically suave and dynamic Parliamentarian like Omo-Agege to occupy the office of DSP to help build consensus, bring parliamentary experience, global exposure and administrative skills to bear on and compliment the position of Senate President in the scheme of things.
For example one particular respondent from Cross River State said his choice of Omo-Agege is predicated on the fact that he has great competencies and political skills to help other stakeholders build on the efforts of great patriots in the Niger Delta by helping to strategically “ douse mounting tension, hostilities and agitations over prolonged and age-long neglect of the Niger Delta region in the socio-economic and political setting in the country under successive governments since independence.” Another respondent from Delta State noted that he is “strongly in support of Omo-Agege’s candidature for the position of Deputy Senate President because of his political experience, his bridge-builder composure and above all, ability to navigate the often heated relations between the executive and Legislature and help build calm for mutually beneficial results.”
Over thousands of questionaires were administered to respondents in all the constituent States of the South South geo-political zone over the recent three months duration by a pan-South South Professional body known as the Global Forum of South South Professionals(GFSSP) with representatives drawn from Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Rivers States respectively. Focused Groups Discussions were conducted in Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Rivers States just as random samplings of stakeholders and respondents were also carried out in the six constituent States. Weighty subject matters such as Competence, Needed Skills, Bride-building, Parliamentary capacity, administrative experience, Knowledge, Knowledge of the Country, Expertise in Parliamentary Matters, etc were among the areas respondents were sampled about.
A copy of the Survey findings exclusively obtained from top-level sources reveal that the full findings and outcome would be released in the coming days. Efforts to get the GFSSP’s Lead Program Director to speak on the matter were unsuccessful as he pleaded that the full outcome would be out in the coming days and pleaded for understanding. But Comrade Francis Omogosibo from Delta State, a field Officer with the GFSSP was more forthcoming with comments. “ Yes it’s true our body undertook a survey to guage acceptability and level of political choice and most stakeholders actually believe Senator Omo-Agege would make the best material from the South South for the position fo Deputy Senate President. We will soon publish the full report. Over 80% of the respondents believe in him.”, he added.
It would be recalled that The New Diplomat had broken the story about a month back that the APC leadership in a bid to build national cohesion and consensus had zoned the DSP slot to South South with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole throwing his weight behind Omo-Agege’s candidature.
Top level political sources confided in The New Diplomat that top officials of the Buhari administration and the hierarchy of the ruling All Progressives Party(APC) deliberated on the various offices in the Senate and agreed that the Niger Delta region which produces the Oil and Gas resources which account for about 95% of the country’s externally generated revenue should be allowed to produce a nominee for the position of Deputy Senate President to help calm rising tempers and build a feeling of equity, justice, parity and balance in the socio-political and economic structure of the current APC government.
Presidency sources hinted that the National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, immediate past Governor of Edo State has since been saddled with the responsibility, among others, of serving as the clearing house for South South Matters and is currently weighing in on the situation with indications that he is considering Omo-Agege as a natural choice for the position of Deputy Senate President because both the “National Chairman of the Party and the Deputy Senate President cannot come from the same state otherwise his first choice was Senator Francis Alimikhena from Edo State.”
Said an insider: “ As I speak to you, Comrade (Oshomhole) has been told to also clear and handle all matters relating to the South South geo-political because he is not only the National Chairman of the APC, he is the only APC Leader from the South South who delivered his Edo State to President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC in the recent elections…Comrade has been consistent and contrary to misleading media reports, he is working with Senator Ovie Omo-Agege to ensure that the lots of the South South and the Niger Delta are improved. Besides, Omo-Agege is very brilliant, a strong parliamentarian and a Lawyer who is a two-time Senator would bring a lot of experience and brilliance to bear on that role. Don’t forget, Omo-Agege himself also greatly understands the need for both the parliament and the executives to work together in harmony for the good of the country. He has been a Commissioner and a Secretary to Government of Delta State. Besides, the powers that be wants to accommodate the Urhobos, the 5th largest ethnic nationality in the country but has been badly marginalized by previous governments including those of Goodluck Jonathan and Obasanjo.”
Informed sources revealed that Omo-Agege who has characteristically shown political sagacity and resilience in a PDP-controlled Delta State in two consecutive elections where he emerged as Senator on Labour Party ticket and currently on APC ticket, respectively has had to contend with a deluge of anti-party plots by some disgruntled politicians who feel embittered that Omo-Agege has become a dominant actor and factor in APC chess game. But Oshiomhole, and the Presidency in particular, it was gathered, have calmed all interest groups using carrot and stick approach.