By Chief Olori Magege
It is perfectly normal to have an ambition. It is human to be. And there can be no limit to one’s ambition. But the issue is how you pursue your ambition. If your strategy in the pursuit of your ambition is to run people out of town; if it is by deceit and lies; if it is by treachery and causing confusion; and if it is by turning people against one another then you are a despot, a tyrant, a Machiavellian. Ovie Omo-Agege is quintessentially a despot.
In 2015 Ovie rode on the back of Chief Great Ogboru’s Labour Party like an SUV to victory in his first Senate outing. Ogboru was sufficiently advised against any political romance with Omo-Agege but he didn’t listen. Funding has always been a challenge to Ogboru’s ambition and Ovie was ready to fund albeit creatively. So Ogboru swallowed the bait and thus began the unravelling of the Ogboru’s mystique that as of today he has been thoroughly demystified. No thanks to Ovie Omo-Agege.
One thing both men have in common is a love for a shortcut to power. Ogboru had contested every election since 2003 under different parties. So also is Ovie. But in the case of Ovie, he easily changed parties like his underwear in one election cycle. Such is his desperation for power.
I remember sending words to Olorogun Otega Emerhor through a friend of mine who was in the APC and a confidant of Emerhor that a desert scorpion had entered his sanctuary. Many others warned him but it is difficult to shake off Ovie when he bewitches you.
At any rate, Ovie was a Senator with the prestige of the status in his favour.
But no sooner he came into APC confusion broke out. Three factions emerged; Emerhor’s, Ogboru’s, and Ovie’s. There was no love lust among the three camps. It was a battle for the soul of the party; the structure. All efforts to resolve the crisis were rebuffed by Ovie. He would settle for no peace until he completed his conquest.
The mace saga endeared Ovie to Buhari and that helped sway the national leadership of the party to his side. Many thought Ovie masterminded the mace theft to avert a fictitiously phantom impeachment of Buhari. Not true. There are no facts to suggest there was a plan to impeach Buhari on the day the mace was stolen. The truth is that Ovie wanted to impress on Buhari and the APC leadership that he was a very loyal party member and no risk was too big for him to take for the party. It paid off very handsomely.
Such was the abhorrence of Ovie’s tendencies/strategy in the battle that many just took a walk from the APC Delta State; Prof. Pat Utomi, Rt. Hon. Victor Ochei just left. Festus Keyamo went to court but Emerhor chose to challenge Ovie in the party primary election and later Ovie’s victory at the polls. It was a huge mess. What a mess indeed.
Ovie took over the APC Delta State to the chagrin of all. He had won the Senate seat for the second time and was rewarded with the prestigious position of Deputy Senate President.
What of Ogboru? Ovie allowed Ogboru to contest the 2019 Guber elections of the APC not because he loved Ogboru but because he still needed Ogboru’s SUV ride to win his second Senate bid. He veritably set up Ogboru for failure at the poll to prepare for his (Ovie’s) 2023 Guber poll. And it worked perfectly. Ovie never campaigned for Ogboru, not for a minute. His Orogun magical votes, he made available for himself, Pastor Waive but not for Ogboru. Indeed it was said that Ovie told some friends that God did not create any Governorship cap for Ogboru.
So many stories were spun about Ogboru and missing billions of campaign funds that Ogboru was painted as a thief. Ovie finished Ogboru so much so that Ogboru is today a caricature of his old self. And Ogboru is bitter and Urhobo Nation is angry that her poster boy General could be so humiliated by someone whose dying and decaying political carrier he, Ogboru, resuscitated. It is so sad, so painful.
Today Augustine Ovie Omo-Agege is gunning for Osadebey House, the seat of power of Delta State. He is contesting against Great Ogboru his benefactor, the very horse he rode to political significance. Urhobo is watching, so also Delta State is watching.
As to Emerhor who continues to hallucinate that Ovie will make him a Minister of the Federal Republic, let him be told that a despot does not empower an enemy, Ovie will not make someone who had once tormented him in the court a Minister. Ovie does not tolerate opposition and does not take prisoners. He does not forgive or forget.
•Magege wrote from Ugono Orogun