A prophet is not honoured in his hometown, so goes a popular axiom. But this was not applicable on August 1, 2019 to the deputy President of the Senate and senator representing Delta Central Senatorial district in the National Assembly, Ovie Omo-Agege, when he visited his country home of Orogun in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State.
In spite of the short notice of his coming, drums were rolled out from every nook and cranny of the state, especially Delta central senatorial district to welcome the fifth most senior elective office holder in the country. The historic visit, which could be likened to a “triumphant entry,” was the senator’s first visit to the Peoples Democratic Party-governed state after his emergence as the deputy President of the Senate in June.
As early as 9:00a.m, his supporters and admirers from all walks of life besieged the Osubi airstrip to catch a glimpse of the senator. Many of this supporters, who cut across gender, age, religious and political affiliations were clad in branded ankara fabrics or T-shirts with varying inscriptions in honour of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and in some cases the pictures of President Muhammadu Buhari and Senator Omo-Agege found expression in the attires.
Songs of adulationrented the air with the accompaniment of cultural performances from various traditional ensembles. Most noticeable was a group of the APC supporters who carried bells like town criers in a village square, eulogizing the senator and President Buhari.
The roll call of the dignitaries, who received him included the APC governorship candidate in the last election, Chief Great Ogboru; Delta APC chairman, Prophet Jones Erhue; Federal Commissioner for the National Population Commission (NPC), Delta State, Sir Richard Odibo; vice-chairman, APC Delta South,
Elder TosanAwani; vice-chairman, APC Delta North, George Okafor, local governments chairmen, religious leaders, women and youth leaders, among others.
When Omo-Agegearrived at about 1:00p.m at the crowded airstrip, there was spontaneous jubilation with his supporters shouting Obarisi (or Obaisi variant). After a short presentation of traditional gifts from a little Urhobo girl, decked in coral beads over, the Senator and his entourage, chauffeured-driven in a motorcade, headed for Orogun, his country home amidst tight security under the supervision of the Delta State Commissioner of Police, AdeyinkaAdeleke.
The folks that waited for the current highest political office holder in the Niger Delta at Orogunwere full of ecstasy at thresholds of their houses, while children on holiday were also thrilled by the presence of assorted cars and prominent visitors, just as a lot of traders made brisk business as the personalities made their way into the senator’s residence. The carnival-like reception held in his honourspilled into the entire sleepy community with music blaring from giant speakers. Vehicular and human traffic ruffled the rustic tranquility of the entire nook and cranny of the community while security agents measured up to the challenge, ensuring there was no form of the breakdown of law and order. The gates of his premises on both sides near the outskirts of the agrarian community towards Ughelli were thrown open to people, irrespective of ethnic, political, cultural, social, economic or religious leanings.
Under the giant canopies mounted in the compound, folks, including members of the Arewa group danced and were treated to sumptuous meals and assorted drinks in a reception said to have been organised by the Federal Commissioner for NPC, Delta State, Sir Richard Odibo who, in his goodwill speech, debunked rumours of any rift between Chief Ogboru and Senator Omo-Agege. He urged Deltans to rally around them in order to attract to the senatorial district with more projects that’ll stamp out unemployment and poverty.
Other leaders of APC in the state such as AdelabuBojor, Elder TosanAwani, George Okafor and DrMrs Janet Oyubu, who took turns to address the gathering, enjoined Deltans, especially in Delta Central to support and pray for the success of the deputy president of the Senate, urging him to ensure that the Delta APC received its fair share of the “national cake.”
After the performances of the cultural troupes from Arewa, Urhobo,Ijaw, among others, Omo-Agege, who disclosed that his coming home was not for merriment, but at the instance of the rites of the late Delta APC stalwart, AdolorOkotie-Eboh, described the crowd as unprecedented. “Today, I came to Delta State to prepare for the funeral of my brother, my great friend, the former chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria that later became APC, our brother, Chief AdolorOkotie-Eboh. I have not come for merriment. I want to thank all of you for putting this show of solidarity. I want to thank all of you for making it possible for me to become a senator in the Federal Republic of Nigeria representing Delta Central.
“You will recall the elections were very tough but at all times, I have the confidence in our people that even the services that were rendered to the party, I have no doubt whatsoever that the Urhobo people would stand solidly behind me and to God be the glory, I scaled through. I thank all of you. You all know how I got to this position of the Deputy Senate president: a position that has never been in this state since the beginning of our democratic dispensation. This is the biggest position that has come to the people of the South-South. But, one of your own bothers now occupies that position. All of these only became possible because of our president, President Buhari. When I was running for the position, I urged you to vote for me for Senate and President Buhari for president because the President loves the Urhobo people. So I tell you today that the biggest tribute you can give to me, is to say a big “thank you” to President Buhari,” he said.
Omo-Agege, who is arguably the new cornerstone of the APC in Delta, urged the gathering to believe in the APC leadership at the federal and state levels and reiterated his commitment to his campaign promises to the people. “I promise you I will not let you down. I still remember all the promises that I made oo; it can only get better. So, let’s pray for all Deltans; pray for me; pray for Mr President and all APC governors,” he advised.