Obarisi Ovie Omo-Agege @57: A life of Selfless Giving By Mike De Cerutti Osagi
The great Saint Ignatius Loyola, a Jesuit Theologian was point blank right when he once said about Generosity that " To give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek rest; to labor and not ask for reward, save that of knowing that we do thy will
This eternal quote best describes the life and times of the current Deputy President of Nigeria's Senate in person of Obarisi Ovie Omo - Agege who early in the week clocked a remarkable 57 years on earth
This prolific tribute could not have been possible without first, the divine Grace of Our almighty GOD who blessed we humans with inspirations and secondly , as part of fall out of a token tribute I posted on 3rd August as mark of the Obarisi's birthday
The reaction and fall out of comments that greeted the piece was amazing In that tribute, I had eulogized the DPS as a most decent and complete gentleman For the records, here is what we posted
* In that report, I had explained my philosophy of life thus as very different from how many outsiders view life Once I Cherish a brand for one reason or the other, I celebrate him or her fearlessly & wonderfully even in their death, I hardly forget them or their birth dates
Today and this week, I will beam my torchlight on His Excellency, Deputy President of Senate ( DPS) Obarisi Omo-Agege, who just clocked 57 years I have not met him formally or neither has applied for a lunch or dinner interview date
But I respect his essence a lot. On November 10, 2019; history was made when for the first time in our history, the CPAA honored me with an impressive award as Best humanitarian writer in Nigeria, an event held in Lagos two weeks after, the Obarisi Omo-Agege sent me a robust congratulations letter and wished me all the best in my new passionate voyage
Speaking about such deeds, leading men's style stockiest and up market wardrobe consultant, whom close circle of friends often refers to as " Dr " Tex Egbedi CEO of Texen Ltd described such initiative by Senator Obarisi Omo-Agege as nothing but height of gentlemanly act in a land where our politicians hardly have courtesy to reply letters; calls or SMS from unknown people
Today, we are thus taking the liberty to tell you why The DPS is loved from at home , far and near and we will taking the readers once again on an eventful, rollicking journey through the astonishing and eventful life of the dynamic African Silent Action Senator, politician and aerial philanthropist; from the Rustic tranquility of his early youths, through the ever vacillating Corporate world and steady rise to the top and his philanthropic Gesture, every paragraph is loaded to the hilt.
To shoot the piece now. Obarisi story reminds one of the globally famous and evergreen quotations by Reverend Jesse Jackson the erstwhile America’s black Presidential candidate, At a historic Democratic Convention in New York. Thundered The black pearl: ‘All of us are not born giants, with silver Spoons in our mouth and gold slippers on our feet. Some of are born short of hope, short of opportunity, abandoned, neglected, homeless, motherless, teeth crooked, eyes tangled, dream busted. But somebody has got to measure their greatness not By leaping up but by reaching out and loving and caring and Sharing.’’…THAT IS THE STORY OF OBARISI FOR YOU
A Life of Service
Chosen by his people to representing Delta Central District in the National Assembly, Omo-Agege, a trained lawyer hails from Orogun in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State. He became the DPS when he secured 68 votes in the election to defeat Ike Ekweremadu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who polled 37 votes. Two members abstained from voting.
The outspoken Omo-Agege has been a staunch supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari. And is his acceptance speech, the senator stated that he holds no grudges towards anybody. The senator was endorsed by his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and he defeated the longest serving Deputy Senate President, Ekweremadu who was gunning for his fourth term in the role.
Below is the profile of the newly elected DPS
Obarisi Omo-Agege was born on August 3, 1963 in Delta State. He attended St. George Grammar school, Obinomba Obiaruku. Delta State. Education Omo-Agege graduated in 1985 from the University of Benin with a degree in Law.
He was called to the Nigerian bar in 1986. In 2002, he obtained his master’s degree in law from Tulane University Law School. Career Omo-Agege was deployed to Kwara State for his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
He completed his NYSC with the Directorate of Criminal investigation and intelligence, Nigerian Police Force, Kwara State Command.
Omo-Agege started his career in law by working with PAT OKUPA & Co in Lagos in 1987. In 1989, Omo-Agege moved to Lagos and co-founded a law firm; Agege & Co. Omo-Agege moved to the US in 1990, where he worked as a foreign associate at Charles O Agege’s law office in Los Angeles, California. Omo-Agege was called to the state bar of California, United State District Court and the United States Supreme Court, Washington, DC. Omo-Agege returned to Nigeria in 1992 to establish Omo-Agege & Associates where he was also Senior Partner.
In 1996, he merged his firm Omo-Agege & associates in a partnership resulting in the name Agege & Esin. Political life Omo-Agege started out in politics by contesting for the ticket to be a representative at the Delta State House of Representatives under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, a ticket he lost in the party primaries.
In 2003, former governor of Delta State, James Ibori, appointed Omo-Agege as an executive assistant, a position he held for two years. He was later appointed as a commissioner for special duties by the governor. Omo-Agege ran for the office of the Governor of Delta State but lost out at the People Democratic Party’s primaries to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan.
Omo-Agege was appointed as the Secretary to State government (SSG) of Delta State by Governor James Ibori in 2007. Omo-Agege ran for senate in 2015 under the platform of the Labour Party (Nigeria). He was elected as senator representing Delta central senatorial district on March 28, 2015. Omo-Agege defected from the Labour Party to the All Progressive Congress (APC) on March 7, 2017. Ovie Omo-Agege is the Senator elects representing Delta Central in 2019 general election.
•A Life of Giving
In the words of Mother Theresa, “In life, if we can't feed hundreds of mouths or souls, let us feed just one”
The Obarisi can be said to have adopted this quotation as his guiding philosophy and had gone extra miles to be taking care of several hundreds and thousands of people, long before he became a Senator
He had not only provided scholarships to many poor students both in and out of his community, he has also provided start up capitals to many widow's, jobless mortals as well as empowering many on the streets
Only recently, in a report by one of his aides, when it became evident that COVID-19 had metamorphosed into a pandemic, the world was suddenly faced with the existential threat of the century. A new struggle between life and livelihood suddenly ensued.
To execute the purpose of His Excellency's magnanimous personal donation, he went further to carefully assemble a very responsible, competent and incorruptible group of young leaders to deliver his message directly to the people without any compromise on their brief.
Today, everywhere in Urhoboland and Delta Central is aglow with joyful reactions from grateful recipients of the donation that are chosen at random and without partisan considerations or other such sentiments. Once again, there is joy in the land as DSP's team penetrates all the nooks and crannies of Urhobo, spreading a piece of the most Distinguished Senator's magnanimity to our wonderfully appreciative hearts, old women and men dancing on streets and praying endlessly for a profoundly good leader. One who is always doing well.
• A Rare Gentleman
On a lighters mood, the Obarisi of Urhobo land can be described as a rare gentleman who operates an open door policy This writer can testify to it. Shortly been decorated as best Humanitarian writer in the Country, Obarisi was the first top Government official to write and blessed me, saying I have chosen a good course and must continue using my pen to fight and defend the oppressed in the land
He is also said to have once warned his aids that they must make sure that any letter or request from outsiders that comes to him, must be brought to his attention; this is very rare in a Country like Nigeria ,where office holders and top Government officials often carries themselves as " tin gods "
What of his humble disposition?
He had never hidden his love and admiration for the Commander in Chief, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR and once when photo of him kneeling down and greeting the Head of State, many laughed and called him names, not forgetting that even the Holy Bible warned us that “God will oppose the proud and give Grace to the humble "
A most charismatic leader, Obarisi's loyalty has been described as absolute and this can be attested to the manner he speaks and defend the Senate President, Dr Ahmed Lawan ,wherever the opportunity arises, today the National Assembly ( Senate) now enjoy intense peace of a river with rancor or political vendetta's even from opposition parties
As the world celebrates The DPS Obarisi Ovie Omo-Agege at 57; we pray the good Lord continue to guide him and he leads not only his people but outsiders as well and may his intense giving spirit never dries out Happy many Returns, Obarisi
• Osagie: A humanitarian, journalist, author, brand, image & Reputation consultant wrote this tribute from his Abuja base He can be reached via: chief firstname.lastname@example.org or SMS +234 7042631895