Utomi Describes Nigerian Political Parties As ‘Machines To Rig Elections’

Utomi Describes Nigerian Political Parties As 'Machines To Rig Elections'
Professor Pat Utomi

 

A former presidential candidate and founder of the Centre for Values in Leadership, Professor Pat Utomi, believes political parties are mere apparatuses to doctor the outcomes of elections in Nigeria.

Professor Utomi, who a guest on Channels Television’s special political programme, observed that the country needs a social movement to bring its people into a certain commitment to the political process.

READ ALSO: We’ve Not Had A Democracy In Nigeria – Utomi

“I belong to one and I can tell you we do not have political parties in Nigeria,” he said during the latest episode of Roadmap 2019 with Ladi Akeredolu-Ale on Monday.

“Political parties matter but we have refused to build political parties; what we have done is that we have created machines to rig elections.”

The professor of political economy noted further that Nigerian parties lack certain objectives, including ideas and how to govern a people to achieve a certain goal.

He added that such situation has compounded the problem of oligopoly in party organisation and called on politicians in the country create parties that would encourage citizens’ participation and public engagement.

He also stressed the need to prevent the nation’s political system from falling, noting that Nigeria has yet to practice democracy since the return to civil rule in almost 20 years.

Utomi was worried about the future of the country, saying the present leaders do not seem to have given the youths the needed support to play key roles in the affairs of the country.

“The future frightens me; it frightens me because we’re at the dawn of the fourth industrial revolution. Five years from now, many of us are going to be moving around in driverless cars – there will be essentially machines doing most of the jobs that we are doing today.

“Our country doesn’t seem to even have begun discussing the subject, not to talk of developing a strategy for it and this is what I expect politicians to be doing,” he said.

We’ve Not Had A Democracy In Nigeria – Utomi

We’ve Not Had A Democracy In Nigeria – Utomi
Professor Pat Utomi

 

The founder of the Centre for Values in Leadership, Professor Pat Utomi, believes that Nigeria has yet to practice democracy, almost two decades after it returned to civil rule.

He said this during an interview on Channels Television’s Roadmap 2019, special political programme which airs on Mondays.

Professor Utomi insisted that the absence of significant civic engagement has had a negative impact on the credibility and usefulness of the nation’s political process.

“I think the biggest challenge for the political process is citizenship – citizen engagement, participation; because let us be honest, we’ve not had a democracy,” he said.

The former presidential candidate argued strongly that Nigeria lacks democracy, although some people may disagree with him about the process.

He also faulted the electoral process in the country, alleging that the results of elections were written by some individuals in some corner.

According to Utomi, “Most people know that as much as possible, real citizens are discouraged from even thinking about voting and that the people who play this power game look for some poor, hapless people who don’t even know what they are doing, to collect a few N100 and cast a vote, and they would then extend whatever they’ve cast in some doctoring and call it election outcomes.”

The professor of political economy, however, noted that it was important for the citizens to participate more in politics, adding that their failure made the nation’s democracy untenable.

He warned Nigerians that it was time they up their game and get involved in the process of selecting their leaders as it was becoming obvious that what the government does affect their lives.

Professor Utomi also took a swipe at the category of individuals who feel because they could take care of their immediate needs, they worry less about the affairs of the country.

He, however, stressed the importance of a two-democracy system and the need to educate the electorate on why they should cast their votes without inducement.

Restructuring Is Not Something To Kill For – Pat Utomi

 

Amid the calls for restructuring by some group leaders, Professor Pat Utomi has said restructuring is a continuous conversation in a Federal arrangement and it is not something to kill for.

Speaking on Monday at The Platform, a programme organized by Covenant Christian Center in Lagos, the economist said Nigerians must understand that the discussion about restructuring is not a blame game or an opportunity to hurl abuse at one region or the other.

“What we must do is understand that restructuring is part of a continuous conversation in a Federal arrangement. It is not something to abuse people about or kill people about. It is something to engage in.

“If you consider how many Nigerians are talking about restructuring today, it seems like a life or death matter. When you look at the emotions that are expressed and you can detach yourself and watch it, you will probably see that there is no better presentation on Broadway or in Nollywood, that Nigerians display while discussing this matter.”

READ ALSO: We Must Avoid Things That Make Nigerians Miserable – Enelamah

He compared Nigerians call for restructuring as the biblical tower of Babel with the participants expressing anger in confusion but emphasised that the nation can grow if we consider the strength of each region.

“We have people who are angry because they feel that they are being shortchanged in the Nigerian project. We have people who have been ‘blessed’ by the rent economy, who think that they are going to lose something that they were getting.

“We have those who have profited from the order and think it is their turn to abuse and take advantage of things. We have people who are vigorous but not rigorous in the conversation. We have this whole array of positions on this matter,” he said.

Utomi, who is also a management expert said these array of different groups with varying opinions can be fused together to build growth if we consider the strength of each region.

“The point is that each region has its peculiarity and can grow quickly and the Federation can come from this kind of competition that is playing out.”

Improper Budget Processes Responsible For Nigeria’s Backwardness – Pat Utomi

A renowned Professor of Economics, Pat Utomi, has blamed Nigeria’s backwardness on the lack of vision as well as absence of consultation of the masses in the budget processes which according to him, is made worse by leaders without capacity.

Professor Utomi who was a guest speaker at the maiden Budget Roundtable Seminar of the UNIzik Business School of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

Speaking on the theme: Budget Processes in Nigeria, Challenges and Implication in National Development, he trailed the problem of the country from the military era to over dependence on oil and to the cluelessness of some Nigerian leaders.

He stated that as a matter of urgency, a complete and total reform of government is what the country needs.

Furthermore, he advocated leadership brilliance and disciplined execution of budgets which would have peoples’ priorities reflected in order to save the economic situation in the country.

Other speakers also insisted that a budget must contain what the people want, while putting in perspective, future economic challenges and changes for easy and proper adaptation and adjustment.

Keynote speaker and House member representing Nnewi North, Nnewi South and Ekwusigo federal constituency, as well as the Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Appropriation, Mr Chris Azubogu, noted that asides poor funding of budget, lopsided budgeting, deficit and high profile debt profile, citizen participation is a major factor affecting the actualization of the national budget.

He however gave an assurance of imminent budget reforms.

Soludo, Utomi, Others Call For Nnamdi Kanu’s Release

Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB, Chukwuma Soludo, Pat UtomiA former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, and Professor Pat Utomi, are demanding the immediate release of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

Both men spoke on Tuesday at a media briefing in Abuja under the aegis of the Nzuko Umunna, a group of Igbo professionals.

They also condemned the alleged killing of IPOB members in the southeast and urged states where the alleged killings took place to set up a panel of inquiry in their various states.

The call for Kanu’s release followed a series of protests, including that of members of the IPOB in Southeast Nigeria.

The pro-Biafra leader was arrested in Lagos on 14 October, 2015 and has been held in prison since then, despite various court orders that ruled for his release.

Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court in Abuja had declined to release the detainee on bail in his ruling in January 2016.

The court also denied bail to two other pro-Biafra agitators, Benjamin Madubugwu and David Nwawuisi, who are facing trial with Kanu.

The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) had also called for his release, based on the court rulings which granted him bail on three occasions.

The National Chairman of APGA, Mr Victor Oye, asked the government to obey the rule of law in the prosecution of the case.

Recession: Forum Lists Changes Needed To Reflate Nigeria’s Economy

Pat-UtomiParticipants in a conference held in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, have identified critical issues they said must be addressed for the nation to come out of current economic recession.

Lack of political will to develop the manufacturing sector of the economy is a major reason the nation is in recession, they said.

The former Coordinator of the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP), Mr Magnus Kpakol, was one of the participants in the conference that focused on ‘the Role of Monetary Policy in Job Creation’.

It was organised by the Economics and Business Strategies Limited in Abuja.

Lack Of Ability To Produce

According to Mr Kpakol, dearth of foreign exchange and high inflation rate in Nigeria is caused by the lack of ability to produce for export.

Nigeria’s currency, the Naira, has continued to decline against the dollar since the nation’s foreign exchange policies made it difficult for importers to have access to the dollar like they used to.

Most of the items in Nigeria are imported. Poor power supply and other factors had stifled manufacturing, with most companies having to generate their own power. The high cost of production has made locally manufactured goods expensive.

The conference had series of lectures targeted at driving the economy seen as the largest in Africa.

Other discussants, a professor of economics, Pat Utomi, and a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Obadiah Mailafia, emphasised the need to improve involvement in agriculture and manufacturing in the nation that had depended largely on crude oil sales for revenue.

Agriculture was the mainstay of the nation’s economy before the discovery of crude oil.

Meanwhile, the keynote speaker, Anita Campion, stressed the need to have a policy that encourages production, processing and export of agricultural products.

The conference came at a time that unemployment is on the increase and the economy is in recession.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria’s unemployment rate rose from 12.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2016 to 13.3 per cent at the end of the second quarter.

Despite the situation, experts at the conference believe that right economic policies that encourage private investments could turn the situation around.

Professor Pat Utomi Celebrates 60th Birthday

Pat UtomiThe Founder of the Centre for Value and Leadership, Professor Pat Utomi, has joined the league of those in the diamond age.

The one-time presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Mega Party, called up friends, family and admirers for a celebration of the new era in his life.

Known for being outspoken, he is a professor of Political Economy, a Management Expert and Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants of Nigeria.

Born in Kaduna, the north-western part of Nigeria, the professor who is an indigene of Ibuzo in Delta State, served as a Special Adviser to former President Shehu Shagari during Nigeria’s second republic.

 

He cuts a jack and master figure in all his trades, leaving a trail of excellence as he moves on to the next one.

Professor Pat Utomi spoke to Channels Television’s Metrofile and reflects on the state of the nation as he marks another milestone in his life.

“We are not where we should be,” he said.

Enjoy the interview and happy scenes from the 60th birthday celebration.

Here, the usually serious minded professor shows the other side of him with unbelievable dance steps to upbeat Nigerian hip hop music.

Nigeria’s Tragedy Revolves Around The Average Citizen – Pat Utomi

Pat_Utomi_PlatformRenowned economist and former presidential aspirant, Prof. Pat Utomi, on Thursday said the tragedy of the Nigeria revolves around the endless appetite of the average Nigerian to engage in corruption.

He also noted that the Nigeria is on the threshold of history and every individual owes the country a duty to make it work.

Speaking during The Platform, a programme that reflected on Nigeria’s past in order to fashion out the right polices for the future, Prof Utomi noted that “the part of the challenge we have developed here is that we have not developed an appropriate cultural vision for dying a little for the next person.

We have developed a culture of me, myself and I and that is part of the tragedy of the situation that we live in”, he said.

He further noted that “also very important is the disposition to learning; unless we have a learning culture, we are going to keep making the mistakes of yesterday”, insisting that “we have to have people who draw from yesterday’s experience and say never again”.

Prof Utomi maintained that corruption is big on the agenda today and part of the challenge is that people do not realize that the culture that have come to accept corruption is hanging itself in a fundamental way.

He wondered “why we have for 30 years talked about diversifying the base of our economy and not done anything about it”.

The Platform is an annual programme conveyed by the Senior Pastor of the Covenant Christian Centre, Mr Poju Oyemade.

Obiano, Utomi Ask Media To Be Committed To Society Development

Pat Utomi and Willie ObianoThe Anambra State governor, Willie Obiano and Professor Pat Utomi, have emphasised the need for the media to be committed to its role, saying “no democratic society can thrive without a robust media.

They spoke at the 13th anniversary lecture of the state owned media, Anambra Broadcasting Service, ABS, held at the Women Development Center in Awka on Wednesday, the state’s capital.

Addressing the gathering, the State Governor said he was committed to building a better state owned media, saying he would begin by overhauling, re-branding and re-positioning the outfit to fulfil its mandate to the government and the people of the state.

Mr Obiano said his administration had great interest in the media, as he knew it would help in shaping the progress of the state.

The Strategic Role

In his speech, Professor Pat Utomi, said the media had great influence on the society, but stressed that “a media that plays its role right will be a driver of progress and will help build strong institutions”.

He reminded the media professionals of the strategic role they have to play for a progressive nation building.

Professor Utomi spoke on the topic, ‘Media, Politics and Nation Building’.

He stated that the media had great influence and at such set the agenda in everything, but insisted that the issue of culture should not be disregarded.

“While media remains vibrant in Nigeria, it should not keep quiet in campaigning against elements that bring about the collapse of culture. The only thing that can save culture is leadership while culture shapes human progress,” Professor Utomi said.

Media professionals present were urged to always go for training that would promote professionalism.

They were also encouraged to uphold the ethics of practice and consider the quality of the people that enter the profession and their sense of self-worth.

Metrofile: Dayo Keshi Oozes Fabulosity And Class AT 60!

Dayo KeshiThe wife of Ambassador Joe Keshi, Mrs. Dayo Keshi recently celebrated her 60th birthday and retirement from the Federal Civil Service after serving for 31 years.

Some of the invited guests were big wigs in the Civil Service, ministers, diplomats including Minister of Culture, Edem Duke, Minister of State For Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, former Minister of Power, Berth Nnaji, former Presidential aspirant, Pat Utomi, former Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro.

Problem Of Nationality Is Hindering Nigeria’s Growth – Pat Utomi

A former presidential candidate in Nigeria, Professor Pat Utomi, has stressed the need for the ‘problem of nationality’ in Nigeria to be addressed, in order for the country to progress. progress.  

At a session held on Sunday, organised by a group called “the 150 Million Nigerians for Change”, Professor Utomi, expressed belief that the proposed national conference would address the issue.

“We know that something is wrong and any people who find a problem must look at how to solve these problems. And this thing is clear to any serious observer, that part of the Nigerian challenge and the reason Nigeria is not where it should be is that there is a problem of nationality which takes away some commitments to building the Nigerian nation,” he said.

The Tricky Part

Also at the meeting, organised to look at the challenges that the proposed national conference could solve, were other eminent Nigerians among whom are,  the leader of the Oodua Peoples Conference, Dr Fredrick Fasehun and a member of the Presidential Advisory committee on National Conference, Mr Tony Uranta.

Dr Fasehun said the proposed conference would create an opportunity to build national trust and define a glorious future for Nigerians.

Looking at the challenges the conference could also pose for the nation, he said: “We have always maintained that whoever brings this dream into reality will have his name written in gold. But the tricky part is how to manage this initiative.

He, however, lauded President Goodluck Jonathan for initiating the conference, saying “the president, through this initiative, has won himself a well-deserved place in history”.

Pat Utomi, Sim Shagaya And Mario Valles To Speak At TENT

Organisers of Techie Entrepreneurial Nigerian Talented (TENT), Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN), have named Sim Shagaya, Mario Valle and Pat Utomi as the key note speakers at the 2013 edition of the event.

The annual event, which is a platform where budding Nigerian ‘technoprenuers’ showcase their work, connect with resources, and inspire innovation is themed ‘Competence. Collaboration. Competition.’

TENT will hold from Tuesday November  26 to Thursday November 28, 2013 at the Lagos eLearning Centre, Odunlami Street, Lagos.

Keynote speakers at this year’s TENT Gathering are Sim Shagaya (CEO and Founder of two web based businesses), Mario Valle (Director Business Development (Emerging Markets) at Electronic Arts) and Prof. Pat Utomi.

Other speakers include Oreoluwa Somolu (W.TEC), Emeka Okoye (Vikanti), Osayi Alile Oruene (WimBiz), Chude Jideonwo (RED Media), Emmanuel Oluwatosin (Nokia) and Victor Asemota (Swifta).

TENT will also host students from Lagos State Polytechnic, Benson Idahosa University, Covenant University, Federal University of Technology Akure, University of Ibadan, University of Lagos, Lagos State University, Yaba College of Technology, Adekunle Ajasin University, University of Ilorin, National Open University of Nigeria, Obafemi Awolowo University, Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Babcock University, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Ogbomosho, Kogi State University, Tai Solarin University of Education, University of Nigeria Nsukka, Kwara Polytechnic, University of Uyo and University of Calabar, among others.