Buhari’s body language is a terror to corrupt persons
After a protracted legal battle, Barr. Obaisi Ovie Omo-Agege was last December declared the winner of the Delta Central Senatorial election. Hours after he was sworn in, Senator Omo-Agege who vied on the platform of Labour Party sat down with Vanguard to unveil his vision for the Delta Central Senatorial District.
He also spoke on the fight against corruption being embarked upon by President Muhammadu Buhari as well as the recent bombing of pipelines by Niger Delta militants. Excerpts:
By Ben Agande
What should the Delta Centra people expect from your representation?
What the people of Delta Central have been craving for is effective representation. We contribute so much to the economy of this country. In Delta central, we have over 100 gas fields and over 400 oil wells.
We are the highest onshore producers of oil and gas in Nigeria. Their anger is that we contribute so much but we are not getting commensurate returns.
What they expect from me as a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is that every bill, every motion and every debate on the floor of the house must be looked at within the prism of what is in the best interest of the Urhobo and Delta Central people. They have the confidence in me that I will always fight for the best bargain for our people.
Won’t your membership of a minority party affect your performance?
In the Senate, we don’t have a minority or majority party. We are all senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We are here to move our constituencies and the country forward. Most importantly, elections have consequences.
We made promises to the voters. I expect that we are going to put aside the toga of political parties and work as senators of the federal republic to deliver on the promises that we made.
Do you agree with some of the programmes of the All Progress Congress government?
Elections have consequences. I am in the Senate to do the bidding of the Urhobo people and the Urhobo people want to work with Mr President.
When he ran for office, there were several promises that he made. The Urhobo people want him to succeed. The most important thing for me is this anti-corruption agenda of the administration.
I want to give Mr. President my support one hundred percent. Beyond the anti corruption fight, he made promises to fix the economy, tackle the infrastructural decay, tackle youth unemployment. These are very big issues that have tremendous importance to my people.
Tackling youth unemployment
These are issues that are not specific to political parties.
How do you reconcile your support for the anti corruption fight of the present administration with the accusation that the fight is one sided?
I don’t believe that the anti corruption fight is one sided in any way. There has been so much decay in the country. There has been so much impunity and arrogance on the part of the people.
When you see civil servants owning one third of the properties in Asokoro, somebody has to speak up and it requires political will and the president has that political will. I will give him my support one hundred percent in anything he wants to do that will advance this fight.
People should have fear for the consequences of their action. I can tell you that with President Buhari on the saddle, even his body language is enough to terrorize corrupt people.
Everybody knows he has the political will to fight this war knowing fully well that the National Assembly should be behind him. I have one vote and that vote is for Mr President on this agenda.
How will you react to the renewed bombing of pipelines in the Niger Delta region?
Every politics is local. We have been marginalized for so long. Yes we had a president of Niger Delta extraction but the people are not happy. We did not gain as much as we ought to in the last six years that we had that presidency.
As the secretary to the Delta state government, I had the opportunity to go into the creeks where the bulk of this country is being generated and I know how deprived those people have been.
Though there were individuals in the South-South that benefitted from the government, I am not sure the communities of the South-South benefitted as they ought to. If you go to Gbaramatu today, I am not sure the lives of the people is any better than it was nine years ago. I can understand why the agitation is still ongoing. The fear remains that they are contributing so much but getting little in return.
Mainstream of Nigerian politics
Look at the East-West road for instance. It is one project that people think ought to have been completed but it is still not completed yet. We need to key into the agenda of Mr President for us to benefit what we are entitled to. We the Urhobos for instance don’t want to be in opposition. We want to be in the mainstream of Nigerian politics. We are going to be working with Mr President to advance his agenda.
Having said that, the renewed bombing of pipelines can never be justified in any circumstance. I condemn it in every way.
We just call it what it is: this is outright criminality and we must encourage the government to investigate this and whoever is involved, no matter whose ox is gored, must be brought to justice. We do not support it in any way.
What should the Urhobo nation expect from your representation?
Very robust representation. Whatever is due to the Urhobo people, they will get it. They know me. Under my watch, the Urhobo nation will not be short changed.