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OVIE-OMO AGEGE’S ATTACK: THE PARABLE OF CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE OWL
Barr. Akpomuosho Ivweghrebuno
In this era of animal kingdom where the blood of dogs and baboons would soon be spilled to chase all the hyenas and jackals out of the kingdom, the faith of the innocent owl rest in the balance. A common African adage posits that ‘when an owl hoots at night and a neighbour’s child dies the following morning, accusing fingers would be pointed at the poor retiree (omọtogbẹ) or the widow in the village.’ In such situations, no amount of denial would be able to save the accused person from being humiliated in the court of the like mind judges whose minds have already been made up to crucify her. This is largely due to the fact that the owl is a sworn enemy of mankind. The inability of the owl to prove its innocence could be seen from two perspectives. Firstly, the appearance of the owl portrays some elements of ugliness and it’s frightening. And secondly, the level of stigmatization against the owl by other birds is appalling.
In this essay, I intend to present two incidences that occurred during political gathering in the Effurun Main Market, one involving members of the Urhobo Youth Leaders Association (UYLA) in 2015 and the other was that involving the Senator representing Delta Central at the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Abuja, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege just recently.
In 2015, during the 9-day market-to-market campaign rally for Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (Presidential candidate), Sen. Author Ifeanyi Okowa, (Governorship candidate), and all Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidates in the 2015, armed gun men interrupted the gathering in Uvwie Main Market, Effurun. Bloodbath was however averted as the respected UYLA members applied a high level of diplomacy. Note that it was a PDP gathering. There was no Sheriff or Makarfi faction then. And no accusing finger was pointed towards the opposition party, the All Progressive Alliance, APC.
Just recently, a similar incidence repeated itself. This time, it was the empowerment programme organized by Sen. Omo-Agege exclusively for market women and okada riders. The event involved the distribution of raw cash to the market women and okada riders. This excludes the youths (in other areas of endeavor) from the list of the people to be empowered. Whereas these youths were active during the elections, so far, there are no known empowerments for them from the Urhobo Senator, and no known people oriented constituency projects for his two wasted years; an action which ordinarily could provoke the wrath of the youths.
Reports in recent times have shown that Senators especially of the ruling APC are often stoned or attacked owing to their abysmal failure. This is not unconnected with their campaign promise, in which they stated that they should be stoned if the electorates are not satisfied with their performance after two years. Thus there is the possibility that the attack on Sen. Omo-Agege may possibly be as a result of his failure. Thus far, his main achievement has been the regular update, by his media aid, of the proceedings of the Nigeria Senate- A meeting which he barely contributes to, from all indications. Perhaps, his only known contribution to the activities of the senate is the obnoxious law banning academic staff from helping willing students.
In the two events presented above, a sane person will deduce that the dog has just been given a bad name in order to hang it because despite the Delta State Police Commissioner’s report that there was no assassination attempt on the Senator and his family members, there are still insinuations from the APC supporters that PDP members are responsible. Though, the action must be condemned in its entirety, but the sameness of attacks show that the youths involved are not members of any political party rather it is an expression of accumulated vexatious anger occasioned by non-performance of political leaders.
Barr. Ivweghrebunor writes from Effurun.