By Mike Osuoza
The Delta State Peoples Democratic Party, PDP is still pondering and with a great sense of awe and disbelief, the embarrassing show of shame that occurred in the Senate Chambers of the National Assembly, on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, when hoodlums overran the Senate Chambers, chanting war songs, seized and took away the Mace, which is the symbol of authority of the Nigerian Senate.
Our worry is not that the unfortunate act of disorderliness is being linked to Senator Ovie Omo-Agege of the All Progressive Congress (APC), but our concern is that the man is representing a major district of Delta State; the good people of Delta Central Senatorial District, a people known to be law abiding, exhibiting a high sense of decorum and recognized nationally as a responsible people that cherish peace, progress and industry.
We have read the wishy-washy response provided by an aide ostensibly writing for the Office of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and exonerating the Delta Central Senator from any involvement in the invasion and mace-snatching saga.
It is indeed not just a national shame and embarrassment that Senator Ovie Omo-Agege was linked with this sacrilegious affront on our democracy, but in fact mind boggling that while the entire nation is condemning this extra-ordinary act of outright and audacious brigandage, including his own party, APC, which in a statement issued by Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, National Publicity Secretary of the APC, said that the assault, amongst other things, amounted to an attack on the nation’s democracy, the office of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege is sending out a worthless press statement containing veiled threats and arrogant self-posturing, without even showing an iota of remorse or empathy for the villainy that had just been meted on the highest citadel of our democracy, which ironically or premeditatedly, he witnessed from beginning to end without a flicker of emotion on his countenance.
For the avoidance of doubt, it is imperative to put the matter in clear and proper perspective, by stating the established fact that the Urhobos of Delta state has played very responsible politics, both at the national and at the state levels. This is why we are constrained as a responsible political party to implore Nigerians and the good people of Delta state not to link the politics of desperation which Senator Ovie Omo-Agege is playing at in the Senate as the nature of his constituents. He is on his own.
All through our history as a nation, the Urhobos from the Mid-West region, through Bendel state to the present Delta Central Senatorial district now in Delta State, who have shown presence in the Senate chambers, have been men of integrity, who distinguished themselves gallantly while discharging their representation of their people with utmost sense of responsibility. The behaviour of Senator Omo-Agege therefore, is at variance with those edifying standards and indeed the political ideals of his constituents, who expected responsible representation and national recognition for statesmanship not notoriety, as this mace-snatching episode has virtually defined him, irrespective of his involvement or otherwise.
By this show of shame which he has been linked with, Omo-Agege has inadvertently offended the sensibilities of his constituents and betrayed the confidence reposed in him to represent them with honour, unlike his predecessors who have graced the hallowed chambers of the Nigerian Senate as representatives of the proud and distinguished Urhobo people. Their names are legendary.
The distinguished Senator David Dafinone was a worthy elder statesman and renowned chartered accountant of world repute. He gave Delta central and Delta State good representation, as he did nothing to bring the image of his constituents to disrepute. There was Late Senator Fred Brume, who was brilliant, urbane, cerebral and sophisticated. There was also the Late Senator Felix Ibru, a former elected governor of Delta State, a meek and progressive mind, he gave the Urhobos top flight representation during his two term tenures. There was also, Late Senator Pius Ewherido, who the people of Delta Central still remember with nostalgia for his good outing despite being in the opposition party. Both Senators Emmanuel Aguariavwodo and Senator Ighoyota Amori discharged themselves during their stints at the Senate with great character, style, solid national appeal and a great sense of pride in their ethnic patrimony.
It is against this backdrop of glorious representation by proud and distinguished Urhobo sons that we shudder at the images, beamed worldwide by credible national and international news media, of a Senator representing a proud district in Delta State, being arrested for interrogation over allegations of participating in the invasion of the chambers of the Senate with thugs who seized and took away the mace.
Indeed, Delta Central people should be divorced from the penchant for unbecoming acts which have been associated with Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, especially this recent one which has attracted negative national and global opprobrium and which we dare say reveals a desperation we see as wanting to please President Muhammadu Buhari, so he can secure the APC ticket for second term.
We make bold to say that never again will the people of Delta Central entrust their representation to members of the APC, who see politics as a do or die matter, after this shameful episode. Even his own party has disowned him, washed their hands off him and left him to dry in the harsh wilderness of political leprousness, as succinctly captured in the words of its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi: “The APC hereby condemns this action and views it as an attack on our democracy and a desecration of the hallowed institution of the National Assembly. We therefore call on security agencies to take all necessary actions to recover the stolen mace and ensure that the perpetrators and their sponsors are brought to justice”.
This distancing from Omo-Agege by his party, underscores the fact that it is now clear that APC has no means of enforcing discipline among its members and this is the reason why the party is bedeviled with ever growing rancour covering all segments and strata of its rank and file. It is no wonder therefore, that there is crass incompetence in governance by the APC-led Federal Government.
Indeed the Senate show of shame is an index of APC’s abhorrence of democratic principles. They have proven that their’s is a party that is running a government that does not respect the propagation and enforcement of democratic norms. No wonder Nigerians are lamenting, of the fate that has befallen them since APC-led Federal Government came into place.
We therefore fully endorse the position of the joint session of the National Assembly that what happened on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday April 18, 2018 is an act of treason, as it is an attempt to overthrow a branch of the federal government of Nigeria by force, and it must be treated as such.
We also associate ourselves with the comments of the Senate President who endorsed the pronouncement of the Deputy Senate President and our great party leader, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, that the National Assembly is ready to get to the roots of this assault on democracy and ensure that those who are responsible, no matter how remote, will be brought to justice.
The Delta State PDP condemns in its entirety, this unwanted and undeserved smear which has been brought upon our state and tarnished the name of Delta State in the national space, irrespective of the perceived and assumed causes attending it.
There is an existential truism that Ignorance of the law is not an excuse to commit a crime no matter the circumstance and we make bold to state here categorically, that Treason is a weighty crime whose consequences should be well known, especially to a lawyer of long standing and a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
We are particularly desirous that this matter is addressed with the importance and urgency it requires and deserves to reassure Nigerians that a gang of thugs cannot just walk into a high security environment like the National Assembly, stroll into the Senate chambers, effortlessly pick up the mace, which is the very symbol of our democracy and gleefully run out with it like a trophy toy, in the full presence of helpless Nigerians, only to dump it under a bridge near the city gate of the Federal capital territory, in an APC administration. What a mockery of governance. What a ridiculous travesty for our nation.
The danger which this invasion and high Treason portends for our country is too much to be ignored and unpunished.
Long live PDP
Long live Nigeria.
Signed: IFEANYI MICHAEL OSUOZA,
STATE PUBLICITY SECRETARY,
PDP, DELTA STATE