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NigeriaDecides2023

Omo-Agege asks Atiku, Okowa to step down for southern presidency

...gets national honour award

Ovie Omo-Agege, the deputy Senate President, has called on Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and his running mate, Ifeanyi Okowa to step down as it was the turn of the southern to produce president.

Omo-Agege, who is the Delta State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), based his call on the need for equity, insisting that by contesting the polls when a northerner is about completing his eight years in office, Atiku has shown that he lacks the locus to preach equity, fairness, justice and integrity.

The deputy senate president who is also the Delta State Coordinator, Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, argued that Governor Okowa has by his action of becoming a vice presidential candidate of PDP, betrayed the trust reposed on him by his colleagues and the entire South.

“During the week, at the Second Reading and Debate on General Principles on a bill seeking to legalise power rotation across the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria, I had urged my colleagues in PDP to persuade their Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to step down and rotate the presidential ticket to the South.

“The domino effect of that would also be the resignation of Atiku’s running mate and Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa and ceding the vice presidential ticket to the North.

“Like I pointed out on the floor of the Senate during my contribution, if PDP senators were serious, they would have first pleaded with their presidential candidate to step down from the race for power to return to Southern Nigeria. By May next year, the North would have ruled for eight years of two terms and it is only fair that power comes back to the South,” he said.

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Omo-Agege, in a statement by Ima Niboro, the director of communications and media strategy, Delta APC Gubernatorial Campaign Council on Friday said, notable bodies like the Southern Governors Forum, their northern counterparts, social cultural organisations such as Afenifere; Middle Belt Forum, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and Ohanaeze Ndigbo have all harped on the need for southern presidency.

He recalled his meeting with Edwin Clark, elder statesman and former federal commissioner for information in July this year, when the Niger Delta leader faulted the PDP for not zoning its presidential ticket to the South.

“Irrespective of political differences, 17 Governors in the South met in Asaba, the capital of Delta State on May 11, 2021, and took far-reaching decisions, including that, based on the principles of fairness, equity and justice, the Presidency should rotate to the South, at the end of the statutory eight years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure.

“Governor Okowa was the host of that historic meeting. The Southern Governors later met in Lagos, on July 5, where they reaffirmed their decision, and again in Enugu, on September 16, to restate the call that the Presidency should rotate to the South in 2023.

“What Nigerians can deduce from PDP jettisoning zoning and giving its ticket to Atiku is that the campaign messages of the party should be taken with a pinch of salt. ‘Trust,’ they say, ‘is like an antique, once it’s broken, it can never be replaced’. The PDP Presidential candidate and his running mate have broken the trust of Nigerians. The honourable thing to do is for the duo to honourably resign and right the wrong.

“It, therefore, didn’t come to us as a surprise that five PDP governors boycotted the inauguration of PDP Presidential Campaign Council in Abuja to register their grievances over the injustice meted to the Southern States of Nigeria,” Omo-Agege added.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has conferred the national honour of the Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR) on the deputy president of the Senate.

Yomi Odunuga, special adviser, media and publicity to the deputy president of the Senate in statement said the award is for his immense contribution to lawmaking, oversight and representation.

According to the letter conveying the national award to Senator Omo-Agege, the president approved the honour to him in the exercise of his power as enshrined in the National Honours Act No 5 of 1964.

The conferment notice was signed by George Akume, the minister of special duties and inter-governmental affairs.

The CFR award, according to the letter, will be formally conferred on Omo-Agege at a ceremony scheduled for Tuesday, October 11, 2022, at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

The letter reads in part, “I have the honour to formally inform you that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has approved the conferment of the National Honours on you, in the rank of CFR (Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic).”

Senator Omo-Agege has to his credit over 30 bills including the Federal Polytechnic Orogun, Delta State (Establishment) Bill which has since been signed into law by President Buhari. Others are the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, Sexual Harassment Bill, Dormant Account Funds Management Bill, National Industrial Court Act (Amendment) Bill, Court of Appeal Act (Amendment) Bill, National Social Security Commission Bill, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) Act 2020 (Amendment) Bill, National Electoral Offences Commission Bill, 2019 (co-sponsored with Senators Abubakar Kyari and Kabiru Gaya) several constitution alteration bills, among others.
The federal lawmaker has also attracted numerous projects to his senatorial district. These include the establishment of Nigeria Defence Space School; Nigerian Law School Campus; establishment and construction of Oil and Gas Industrial Park, Sanubi (with an independent power plant to power Orogun, Eku, Abraka etc. with 24/7 uninterrupted power supply); construction of NDPHC/NIPPS Injection Substation and a host of others.

In the same vein, the federal legislator has influenced projects beyond his constituency namely: the construction of classrooms, hostels, e- Library and Administrative Block at Saint George’s Obinomba, Ukwani Local Government Area, construction of Asaba-Ugbolu-Illah-Ebu Road; installation of solar powered street lights in Agbor, Utagba-Uno, Abbi, Onicha Olona, all in Delta North Senatorial District as well as installation of solar powered street lights in Koko, Oporoza Town, Okerenkoko, Oleh in Delta South Senatorial District.

He also facilitated the provision of furniture for primary and secondary schools in Isoko North and South Local Government Areas; construction and renovation of Nana Palace and Museum, Koko, Warri North Local Government Area, among others.