By Festus Orumen
Without having been formally accused by anyone of being an idol worshiper, All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship candidate for Delta State, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege, says he is a Catholic and not a pagan, and, that it is his late father, Justice James Omo-Agege, that was a pagan. We find it truly shameful that Omo-Agege would so casually throw his late father under the bus, and, in such a traitorous most morally reprehensible manner, all in furtherance of his desperation to impose himself on Deltans as a governor.
Indeed, his father was a pagan to the core who, nevertheless, also syncretically identified as a Catholic Christian even though everyone knew him to be a chief priest of “Igbe”, a well-known marine spirit in Delta State.
The problem with Omo-Agege’s denial is that absolutely everyone in Delta State who truly knows his or her political onions already and fully knows him to be a core “Igbe” man who, as first son of his father, took over from him and, in fact, became chief priest of the “Igbe” cult at Orhomuru-Orogun upon his father’s demise! Absolutely everyone in Orogun and Ughelli know Ovie Omo-Agege to have taken up the mantle as a chief priest after his father died. It is truly surprising the sort of lies people are prepared to say and the truths they would deny in furtherance of their political ambitions!
Does Ovie Omo-Agege really expect us to believe he is a model Christian with no allegiance to “Igbe”? Why then did he build his house in Orhomuru-Orogun just exactly by the side of the river when there are far better and more stable plots of land available to him in his hometown?
It is instructive that Omo-Agege sought to also distance his siblings from “Igbe”, even though no one had accused them either of being devotees of the Water Spirit and, quite frankly, no one is even interested. But it is clear that Omo-Agege is keenly aware that the religious configuration of his family is a matter of public knowledge in Delta State and, indeed, a notorious fact across Urhobo land.
Everybody in Orogun and elsewhere in Ughelli North Local Government Area knows that the Omo-Ageges are full fledged generational devotees of Igbe, that it is their family that brought their own particular “Igbe” cult to Orogun, that it is therefore more or less essentially a family deity (though which other people can pay allegiance to but always under the supervision and guidance of the Omo-Ageges, themselves), and, that up till today, the Omo-Ageges do not joke with the “Igbe” they inherited from their ancestors! It is indeed an embarrassment, in and of itself for Omo-Agege to attempt to deny what the entire who is who in Delta politics know him to be.
The Omo-Ageges regularly go to their village to worship their father’s “Igbe” and absolutely everyone in Delta State, who knows who is who in the state, knows that fully well. Now, we have freedom of religion in this country and everybody’s religious preferences must be respected as long as they keep their activities within the ambit of the law.
But a man, especially a public figure who is at present Deputy Senate President and currently running for the Governorship of Delta State should be honest and forthright enough to own up to his true religious affiliation unless he has something truly dark, dirty, putrid and nasty to hide. There is absolutely no need to lie about your religion for our various religious identities are something we should all be proud of. Omo-Agege should come clean before Deltans and own up to the traditional African religion he practices not just as a devotee but presides over as chief priest whom other pagans regularly go to for oracular consultations!
Since Governor Ifeanyi Okowa came on board, the Government House in Asaba had been fully dedicated to the Holy Spirit and most Deltans would prefer this state of affairs to continue in submission to Our Lord Jesus Christ. Deltans therefore deserve to know the sort of Governor and Government House they would have if someone like Omo-Agege were to become their number one citizen. Deltans deserve to know the direction in which such a man would lead the state if he were to become their chief executive.
This is a state whose people have moved past many of the diabolical proclivities of the past and are now fully committed to Christ Jesus under the Umbrella of the Holy Spirit. Deltans therefore deserve full disclosure so that they know whether they want to go back to the ways of the ancestors or continue moving into the light of Christ Jesus.
Orumen, a commentator on national issues, writes from Ughelli.
Note: Views and comments are not reflection or part of the newspaper.