The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Sunday, said the All Progressives Congress (APC) had little doubts about Senate President Ahmad Lawan and his deputy, Ovie Omo-Agege, prior to their emergence as leaders of the Senate.
They were the unanimous choice of most of the APC members, he said.
The pastor made the comment during a Thanksgiving service for Mr Omo-Agege in Efurrun, Delta State, according to a statement by Mr Omo-Agege’s media aide, Yomi Odunuga.
The vice president who described Mr Omo-Agege as a brilliant and bright lawyer, noted that such qualities are however, not sufficient to win elections in a rugged terrain.
“Everybody knows it is a very rugged terrain. It is not just the brilliance but a lot of courage. Both himself and Senator Lawan were the unanimous choice of most of us in the APC. At last at the leadership of the APC, there were very little doubts that these two and we worked very hard to make it happen. The reasons are very simple.
“Senator Lawan has always proven to be a party person and same as Ovie. A part of Ovie that I do not know very well is his commitment to Christian faith. But hearing him singing some choruses, preach, reading one or two verses of scripture, I am convinced that Ovie has a long way to go in the ministry as well,” he said.
In his speech, Mr Lawan said Mr Omo-Agege has been a big blessing to the Senate. This is even as he boasted about the unity that exists in the Senate.
“He is a big blessing for us even though none of us emerged unopposed, other senators ran against us but today the senate is one. In fact here, we have all the principal officers of the PDP in the Senate, led by no other person but the leader of the minority, Senator Abaribe.
“I believe this is necessary particularly in this time. Politics were done by the time of elections but it now the time for governance. I am happy with our governance and working with Mr. President to ensure that we are able to fix all the challenges we face as a country. We need to continue for Nigeria.”
While he urged the attendees to continue to pray and work for Nigerians, he said the Senate has since decided to work harmoniously with the executive because “it is a must.”
“The framers of the 1999 constitution did not envisage that National Assembly should fight with Mr President for progressives to be established. It is assumed there will be disagreements between the two arms of government but even then it is assumed the differences will be for national interest and that is what we are trying to do. We will continue to support M. President all the way.”
Mr Lawan further described his deputy as one who is loyal, committed, dedicated, courageous and never shy of taking responsibility.
In his homily, Anthony Ozele emphasised the need for love, forgiveness and oneness in political parties and across the country.
This is even as the reverend father preached against politicians seeking to make trouble in the name of vengeance.
He praised Mr Omo-Agege for his upright spirit and admonished him to attend to the relevant needs of the people of Delta Central which he (Omo-Agege) represents.
“Omo-Agege, We do not need Federal Polytechnic in Warri Central, we need Warri port; we need Sapele Port; we need Aladja rolling mill. We do not need a Federal Polytechnic in Delta state, we need a university of food science and technology.
He urged the APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, and the Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo, to assist Mr Omo-Agege in bringing home dividends democracy in Delta Central.
“Mr Vice President sir, you are an ardent believer. Delta State is the chick that lays the golden egg and needs federal support. We need your voice to re-echo the voice of the senator to bring home to our people in Delta central and other parts of the Delta state.
“Distinguished Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, be wise and be courageous. We know courage is not a virtue in which you are lacking; in wisdom be wise. Be mindful of fair weather friends because a leader is only as good as those he surrounds himself with. For the sake of your people, reach out your hands across the political divide; search for common grounds.
“While congratulating you on your recent appointment to head the Constitution review committee at the national assembly, be sure to let the Lord guide you; together you can bequeath to Nigerian the document that can really be reflective of the aspirations of the people of Nigeria,”
He further said Nigerians should be thankful that the country is still standing today “only by grace because if the corruption, nepotism and decay that we witness in this nation was to exist in some other countries, they would have long be gone.”
The event attracted dignitaries from all walks of life including Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Governors Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Nasiru El-Rufai (Kaduna), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa) and Hope Uzodinma (Imo).
Others are former Delta State Governor, James Ibori; APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole; Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Silva; Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo; Clerk of the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani-Omolori; lawmakers from both chambers of the National Assembly, captains of industry, among others.