By Taiye Agbaje
Six days after his election as Deputy Senate President of the 9th Senate, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege has pledged that the presiding officers, in the Senate would be servant leaders to their colleagues.
Omo-Agege, who spoke on Monday when the Senate Press Corps paid him a congratulatory visit at his residence in Abuja, said all that transpired in the 8th Senate was now history.
The lawmaker, who thanked his colleagues for voting across party lines for him to emerge as Nigeria’s deputy senate president, described all the senators in the upper chamber as ‘‘co-equals.”
‘‘My biggest thanks go to my colleagues, this election that just took place, tough as it was, had an electorate of about 109.
‘‘All of us are co-equals elected to represent our various senatorial districts and they had to make judgment as to who should become the first-among-equal and the second-among-equal.
‘‘We are servant leaders; we are not anything different from our colleagues. The only difference between them and I and the Senate President is that, somebody has to preside when we sit.
‘‘I thank them, especially the 67 of them in my own case who felt, notwithstanding certain issues that were raised, that they should give me the opportunity to serve in this capacity,” he said.
He said when he accepted his nomination as a candidate for the position of deputy senate president; he did so ‘‘with humility, gratitude to all his colleagues and malice toward none.
”This is 9th Senate and all that transpired in the 8th Senate is now history, now we have to look forward.
‘‘I will be fair to everybody now as a presiding officer. I will no longer be partisan.
‘‘Everybody will be carried along because I had 68 votes and we are only 62 APC Senators.
‘‘But I was elected by 68 of my colleagues, so the support cuts across party lines.”
He urged all the legislators in the red chamber to cooperate toward ensuring the growth and progress of the country.
‘‘As we move forward, we are first and foremost Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Before, we were Senators of either APC, PDP or YPP extraction.”
Omo-Agege assured the people that bills and motions emanating from the upper House would no longer be on partisan basis.
‘‘Every bill, every motion, indeed, every activity that will come before the 9th Senate will be viewed in the best interest of the nation, not necessarily partisan consideration.”
“We will only be interested in bills that will positively impact on the lives of the Nigerian people.
‘‘This is what they expect of us and this is what they should get.”
He said the 9th Senate would provide the enabling environment for President Muhammadu Buhari to implement the Next Level Agenda which the party campaigned on.
‘‘I don’t think anyone will feel offended if we fight to create enabling environment for the content of the Next Level Agenda.“
He said that the agenda brought “Mr President and a lot of us in government for those issues to be implemented.”
Omo-Agege, who thanked the press corps for the visit, also lauded Buhari and his party for their support.
‘‘My thanks, especially go to Mr President and the executive arm for the confidence and the support they provided for me in a run-up to the elections.
‘‘My thanks also go to the National Chairman of our party, Adams Oshiomhole, and the members of the National Working Committee, for deeming fit me to be supported for this position,” he said.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Senate Press Corps, Ezrel Tabiowo, congratulated Mr Omo-Agege on his election.
He urged the 9th Senate to come up with legislation that would bring about the desired change Nigerians yearned for.
‘‘We have no doubt that the present team will work toward ensuring a better Nigeria,” he said.