- Omo-Agege: Pro-Saraki senators’ grouse against us
Chuks Okocha and Deji Elumoye in Abuja
The Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, wednesday condemned agitations for the return to regional system of government, stating that it will not lead to the continued and sustained unity in Nigeria.
This is coming as the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, alleged that senators loyal to former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, labelled him and late Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu ‘rebels’ because they believed that the duo invaded the Red Chamber on April 18, 2018, to cart away the mace.
Both Lawan and Omo-Agege spoke yesterday at the valedictory session held in honour of the late Uwajumogu.
Uwajumogu, who represented Imo North senatorial district on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), died on December 18, 2019.
The Senate conducted a valedictory session for Uwajimogu, describing him variously in emotional laden voices as a resourceful politician who touched the lives of many that came across him while alive.
In his tribute, the Senate president said late Senator Uwajimugo lived and died to ensure a good and united Nigeria, and that his pan-Nigerian lifestyle was against the agitations of regionalism, warning that a return to regionalism will hurt the expected united Nigeria which late Uwajimogu stood for.
Lawan said the late senator was close to all senators despite being the only senator from the Southeast on the APC platform in the eighth Senate before defection.
According to the Senate president, “Though he took his oath of office in the eighth and ninth Senate late, he (late senator) ensured the need for the continued unity of Nigeria in all his actions,” stating that one of his last motions was the maltreatment of Nigerians in Ghana, and he followed it up with him (Lawan) that the executive arm of government should take it up.
Lawan described him as a senator who was free with all his colleagues, and that he lived and died for his people and the Senate, stating that he was a friend to everyone and deep in his submissions, and that though he is dead, “he left humanity for us. That is what our late colleague lived and died for.”
The Senate president said that he would sent a delegation to his burial on Friday.
Meanwhile, Ovie Omo-Agege at the valedictory session yesterday revealed that he worked closely with late Senator Uwajumogu.
As senators took turn to speak on their individual perspective of the later lawmaker, the deputy Senate president noted that the eighth Senate believed and suspected the “he and late Uwajumogu invaded the Red Chamber on April 18, 2018, to cart away the mace.
According to him, other colleagues loyal to Dr. Bukola Saraki-led Senate labelled them rebels. He explained how both of them have the same political trajectory, saying they came to the Senate at the same year having navigated through political stormy waters of their regions, as he lamented that late Uwajumogu could only live for 52 years, saying God did not allow him to live longer.
Leading the valedictory session, which incidentally is the only thing in the order paper, the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, in an emotion laden voice, said late Uwajimogu was an articulate politicians who is reserve and soft spoken.
The Senate leader said he was an industrialist cum philanthropist who gave hope to many people as he was the Imo State campaign coordinator of late Chief MKO Abiola in 1993.
In his tribute, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who disclosed that death in the Senate chamber was becoming too alarming as in 17 years in the Senate, 13 senators have since died. Quoting the biblical verses, the former deputy Senate president said the death of Uwajimogu reminds one that life is ephemeral, explaining that as the Senate mourns him, politicians are already strategising on how to replace him in the Senate.
Also, former Governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha, lamented his death, but wished him well in the journey beyond, saying: “Ben you came, Ben you conquered. Ben good night!”