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S’South Alliance With The North Shouldn’t Stop – Omo-Agege

Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo Agege

Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo Agege

Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege has come out to say that the long-standing pact between South-South region and the North as a political power should continue.

He recently revealed this while speaking with the media, and Nigerians have been reacting.

According to him, he is happy with how the recent setback in terms of the historical alignment pattern of the South-South have been addressed, even if there is still a lot of work to be done.

He added that with 2023 fast approaching, the South-South politicians and the people now have another opportunity to determine whether to remain in opposition, or to return to the traditional political dispositions.

His words, “For some time now, there has been a setback in terms of the historical alignment pattern of the South-South. I am happy to say, however, that some other well-meaning South-South politicians have begun to redress this gap. We have made giant strides, but there is still a lot of work to be done.”

“With 2023 fast approaching, the South-South politicians and the people will have another opportunity to determine whether to remain in opposition or to return to our traditional political dispositions. It is my hope that the APC as a party, will see the opportunity that lies ahead in doing business with the South-South and will do everything possible to take advantage of the emerging opportunity.”

“I do not agree with your profiling of South-South politicians. First, the North is not the enemy of the South-South as your question seems to suggest. Secondly, in politics there are limits to what an individual politician can do without concerting with others.”

“Therefore, compromise which is simply to adapt one’s own position to make it acceptable to others in order to reach an agreement is necessary and inevitable. In fact, politics is all about compromise. It is the only way to get things done for your people and move forward.”

“This applies to all politicians, including Northern politicians. For South-South politicians, the need to make concessions and compromises is even greater because we are minorities. Some of these concessions are easy to make but others may require sacrifices. But it is wrong and inappropriate to say that politicians from South-South pander to the north.”

“Thirdly, the North and the South-South regions have cooperated to the mutual benefit of both regions. And because of the cooperation and compromises we have had, the North and the South-South have historically had strong alliances. At the heart of the North – South-South alliance is our common interest and commitment to justice and the unity of our country which have enabled us work together for the good of our people and the country at large.”

“The truth is that the South-South has always allied with the national ruling party at each point in time; a tendency you really cannot fault if you must be Pan-Nigerian. In the First Republic, majority of the people in what is today South-South were in the NCNC, the dominant party in the Eastern region which went into alliance with the NPC, the overwhelmingly dominant party in Northern Region, to form the national government.”

“If you recall, the first most prominent South-South politician at Independence, the late Festus Okotie-Eboh was the National Treasurer of NCNC and the NPC/NCNC alliance made it possible for Okotie-Eboh to become Finance Minister in the Tafawa Balewa Federal Government.”

“Let us not forget that the alliance also helped in the creation of the Mid-Western region. Okotie-Eboh was particularly very instrumental to creation of Mid-Western region. Did Okotie-Eboh compromise the interest of the Midwestern region? The answer is an emphatic no. Indeed, history has it that when Tafawa Balewa developed cold feet on the creation of the Mid-Western region at the last minute, it was Okotie-Eboh who told him it was too late to withdraw support. And in the spirit of cooperation and the alliance of NPC and NCNC, Balewa gave the final okay.”

“In the Second Republic, the control of the South-South shifted to the Hausa-Fulani dominated NPN which won the former Cross River State that consisted of the present Akwa Ibom and Cross River states. There was also the former Rivers State which consisted the present Rivers and Bayelsa states. In 1982, the Shagari NPN administration established the Delta Steel Complex in the South-South.”

“During this Fourth Republic and consistent with the historical antecedents, the South-South had been controlled by the national ruling party until 2015 when the All Progressives Congress won the presidency. And over this period, the 13 per cent Derivation principle was implemented as enshrined in the constitution, the NDDC and the Amnesty Program were established. We also had the Vice President and ultimately the President.”


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