By Fred Edoreh
As Ola Rotimi once wrote, “when you have a hundred yams and you lie you have 200, after eating your hundred yams, you will eat your hundred lies.”
The adage is succinct on the folly of self deception, and that is the problem with Omo-Agege in his bid for the Delta State governorship. He inflicted many wrong assumptions constructed by himself upon himself.
First, he misconstrued the notoriety he earned from the stealing of the Senate mace as popularity.
It was always something to talk about but Deltans knew the act was despicable and characterises the actor as an objectionable fellow never to be entrusted with state power.
Agege did not know that. He thought it was hip and that having been rewarded with the position of DSP for the banditry, Deltans would be intimidated with so called “federal might.” He so boasted about it but failed to see that “that time done pass.”
The highest he could do was allegedly to threaten his Orogun people in the name of some unnamed Deputy Inspector General of Police, that anyone who voted against him would be killed, then electoral officers were held hostage for several days to force them to pad up Ughelli North result for him.
He could not do that across Delta. Even for Ethiope East, they only tinkered and tinkered with the result till they saw that it was becoming too clearly unreasonable.
True, the entrance of the Obidients jolted both the PDP and the APC in the Presidential election, with the PDP losing Delta just as the APC lost Lagos.
However, Agege deceived himself with the falsehood of the APC winning Delta South and Delta Central Senatorial seats as he failed to tell himself two truths: that Michael Diden of the PDP won in seven of the eight local government areas – Isoko North, Patani, Warri South West, Warri North, Bomadi, Burutu and Warri South – while Joel Onowakpor of the APC won only in his Isoko South homeland.
The tally was about 56,000 votes to 50,000, but to help the APC, the Zonal Collation Officer connived to cancel Warri South result in which Diden polled 9,000 votes against Onowakpor’s 2,000 to bring down Diden’s score to about 47,000 and Onowakpor’s to about 49,000, disregading that the results had been certified at polling units, at the wards and at the LGA collation centres. The return is still in contention.
Meanwhile, in the February 25 election, the PDP won seven of the state’s 10 House of Representatives seats, Labour won two while the APC trailed with just one. A pointer to the strength of the APC in Delta grassroots.
In same election, Labour scored 348,000 votes, PDP 161,000 while the APC also trailed with 98,000, about 16% of the total votes in the Presidential. Another pointer to the none acceptance of the APC in Delta.
Coming into the Gubernatorial election in Delta, the Labour Party candidate was somewhat unknown, unfollowed even by the Obidients, many of whom felt he is unserious and not the same personality as idol Peter Obi.
The race was therefore for the PDP and APC to harvest the Obidients in the Governorship election.
The PDP had a strong structure, personnel and boots on ground across all the communities, wards, LGAs and Senatorial Districts to do so.
This was helped by the return of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa from Presidential election duties to lead the mobilisation.
The PDP candidate, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori’s campaign was also smart enough to re-adapt his strategy to the reality with the quick redesign of “Obidiently Sheriffied” which burst the box office.
Agege and the APC did not have such assets, neither in personnel and intelligence.
Having not been in government, having no strength of State Assemblymen nor Commissioners nor Council Chairmen nor Councillors, they lacked the strength and the reach to re-mobilise.
Worse is that the APC in Delta had always been a mad house. Once it was Otega Omerhor’s party, later Great Ogboru’s party.
Their last attempt to elect a new state executive resulted in the attempted assassination of its former state secretary who had to leave with Ogboru to APGA.
The party had swirled and swirled in whirlwinds until Agege seized and appropriated it to himself, effectively driving away or alienating virtually all its founders and pillars.
We are witnesses to accusations and counter-accusations between Agege and the likes of Lauretta Onochie and Cairo Ojougbo. It’s Minister of State from Delta State, Festus Keyamo, also clearly distanced himself from Agege.
The likes of Otega had been so badly bitten within the party that he knew not to be sucked in too deep again.
Then, we have also seen the eventual expulsion of Agege himself by a faction of the party. These tell the story of a party that lacks form, character, strength and organisation.
Agege was left with no option than to dwell in the strategy of propaganda, lies and make-belief.
He was however oblivious of the fact that for all the old and tired lies they told Deltans not only knew the truth, it all increasingly questioned his character.
The resort to making noise about decampees from the PDP to APC was also just an exercise in delusion.
Many of the so called decampees were already “exed” by the party and even their coy to remain to do damage within was of no effect.
When they left, it was good riddance. Agege bought the rubbish to ride on but they were mostly spent forces who had lost elections over and over in their constituencies and were driven by the bitterness of their valuelessness.
They were more like Sgt Fallstaff’s soldiers, heavy in speech, faff in substance but hoping that Agege could deploy federal might to steal Delta Governorship like the Senate mace.
It did not work. It could never have worked because Deltans knew better. The Civil Servants, for instance, were scared of the prospect of a reign of banditry in their Government.
The Obidients saw him as a representation of the enemy, of everything they are opposed to, someone never to be dined with, not even with a long laddle.
At the end, however, while PDP harvested the chunk of Obidients and called back its aggrieved genuine members to harness 200,000 more votes to post over 360,000 votes in the Governorship election, the APC added additional 140,000 questionable votes to finish with about 240,000 votes while Labour was left with about 48,000.
Remarkably, while the PDP with its reach penetrated evenly to win 21 of the 25 LGAs, Agege could only shore up to win only in four LGAs in his homeland Delta Central where Oborevwori also took equal share.
Agege’s spread in the Governorship election represents 16% performance which is consistent with same 16% performance scored by the APC in the Presidential election in Delta. It is what it is.
Delta North was never receptive of him, not with the pain they feel over the stealing and conversion of the earlier proposed and passed Federal Polytechnic, Kwale, to Orogun Polytechnic, and the strong suspicion that he had an agenda to relocate the state capital from Asaba to Orogun.
They feared that someone who could steal the mace of the National Assembly and temporarily stopped the function of an arm of government could do even worse in just a state.
Perhaps, Agege did not do the needful before coming into the election.
He should have asked himself two questions: “Who am I? Who do the people say I am?”
A sincere answer to these questions would have saved him the misadventure, but there is no medicine for self conceit, especially with the cult of sycophant white and red garment dancers and drunk prophetesses around him.
It is the same for supporters who, like flies without advisers, follow the corpse to the grave.
Agege ran and lost in his self conceit and self deceit.
Going to court is simply to save face and see if the federal might can help bear some influence on the judiciary to achieve the magic of Hope Uzodimma, but at the end, he will only have to eat his remaining hundred lies.