By DENNIS OTU
In a remarkable twist of fate, one individual finds himself ascending to new heights, while another experiences a significant decline. The established order has been overturned, capturing the attention of all who bear witness to this extraordinary transformation.
Time marches on, and even the most powerful has crumbled like a house of cards.
Festus Egwarewa Keyamo (SAN), the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development of Nigeria, currently finds himself riding high on the winds of success. But the same cannot be said for former Deputy Senate President and governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.
Once a prominent figure as Deputy Senate President, Senator Omo-Agege commanded respect and attention. His authority was unquestionable. He held sway over the Delta State APC, wielding his influence with confidence.
However, those days now seem like a distant memory. The tides have turned, and Omo-Agege has been pushed aside, relegated to the periphery.
The Aviation Minister has stolen the limelight from the once-dominant figure, leaving him in the shadows. History has been made, and time has revealed its capricious nature.
At a recent reception held in honour of the Minister, Keyamo in Effurun, the headquarters of Uvwie Local Government Area in Delta State, it was a vibrant and colorful affair, attracting prominent Nigerians from all corners of the country.
Rt Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, at the ceremony that had in attendance, traditional rulers from across the state, dignitaries across divides amongst others, described the minister as Delta pride whose dedication to state and nation had seen him reappointed as member of the Federal Executive Council.
Governor Oborevwori represented by the Commissioner for work, rural development Mr Charles Aniagwu, hailed the minister for his appointment noting that it has brought pride to Delta and the Urhobo nation and implored him to continue to give quality service to the nation.
The Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom, HRM, Dr Emmanuel Sideso Abe 1, in his speech expressed joy in the reappointment of Olorogun Festus Keyamo as member of the Federal Executive Council, noting that it came as a big source of inspiration to all sons and daughters of the kingdom and urged the minister to use his position to attract laudable projects to the state as well as the Urhobo nation.
Expressing gratitude to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the monarch called for more federal presence as well as rehabilitation of some failed portions of federal roads in the state, revitalisation of the Osubi airport, the Koko, and Sapele seaports to decongest the Lagos sea port as well as federal government intervention in land reclamation by the Nigerian Army and now allegedly being sold to private developers.
While speaking, the minister expressed gratitude to the monarch and people of the kingdom for the show of love and support towards him. He assured Uvwie kingdom, the Urhobo nation and Delta state to always represent them effectively, emphasizing that he would strive to exceed the expectations of Nigerians in revamping the aviation sector.
Top Government officials in the ministry were also not left out. They accompanied the Minister to the Grand reception held at the Palace of the Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom. The reception climaxed with entertainment including cultural displays from different ethnic nationalities domiciled in the kingdom as well as presentation of gifts.
Other dignitaries in attendance were the chairman Delta state board of internal revenue, Chief Solomon Ighrakpata, lawmakers across the country, Uvwie council chairman, Hon Ramsey Onoyake, director generals from various Federal Government Agencies and Parastals and host of others
However, the conspicuous presence of the National Security Adviser, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu at the occasion was unmistaken, both in its significance and giving effect to the clout of the personality being honoured. It was a bold statement that Keyamo was the man to deal with if you needed anything from President Tinubu as far as APC in Delta State is concerned.
Curiously, the former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, was noticeably absent from the guest list, having reportedly not received invitation from the Minister.
A reliable source had confided that the Minister intentionally excluded the former Deputy Senate President from the ceremony, sending a clear message that his leadership of the APC in the state has become a thing of the past.
The Minister has openly asserted his control over the party in the state, firmly establishing himself as the new authority, leaving Omo-Agege in the shadows. Day by day, Omo-Agege, finds himself sinking deeper into irrelevance in Delta State, overshadowed by the Aviation Minister’s soaring presence.
The once-authoritative words of the former Deputy Senate President reportedly holds little weight now, as APC members in the state turn their attention towards the Aviation Minister, who confidently assumes the role of the party’s leader.
All eyes are on Keyamo, hoping for effective leadership; free from the dictatorial tendencies displayed by Omo-Agege. And stakeholders of the party are making no pretences about who is the new kid on the block.
With the recent victory of the Delta State Governor, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori at the Appeal Court on November 24th, 2023, Omo-Agege’s relevance in Delta State politics appears to have waned even further. Meanwhile, that of the Aviation Minister stands tall within the APC in the state, casting a long shadow over his political adversaries.
It is evident that Keyamo has overshadowed Omo-Agege, effectively diminishing his influence and stripping him of his former power. The once-powerful figure now finds himself grappling with the harsh reality of a diminished political standing. Indeed, nothing lasts forever.
Party members applaud the Aviation Minister for ushering in an early retirement for the once-prominent figure within Delta State politics.
Undoubtedly, this is a challenging period for the former Deputy Senate President, as he navigates the unfamiliar territory of diminished influence. How swiftly time flies, altering the landscape of power and prominence.
While Governor Oborevwori holds sway as father to all Deltans and leader of the PDP in the state, Keyamo betrides the isle as leader of the opposition APC. There are expectations that this development would result in noticeable progress for all.
Already, the Governor has signposted that he is willing to work with Keyamo by ensuring that his government was effectively represented at the reception. That Oborevwori has kickstarted massive construction of flyovers and bridges in Warri and environs from Effurun, should not be lost on the minister. Only time will tell how long this seeming rapprochement between Sheriff and Keyamo would last. Deltans are watching. True, just a matter of time.
DENNIS OTU IS SENIOR SPECIAL ASSISTANT ( MEDIA) TO THE DELTA STATE GOVERNOR.