It appears that we are living in an era in which failed politicians and technocrats have taken on the role of fortune tellers, spreading false prophecies in the name of political relevance. The other time, it was the deposed Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi prophesying that the “country is on extra time”. This time also a failed technocrat, in the person of Patrick Utomi, popularly known as Pat Utomi, was quoted in the Sunday Telegraph as saying “there’ll be no Nigeria if 2023 election fails”. What a doomsday astrologer.
Utomi’s statement is not surprising, as he is well-known for his criticism of successive administrations merely for financial and political reasons. Over time, he and his likes deliberately turn blind eyes to the numerous achievements recorded by so far. His recent frustration and maligning the administration stems from his being denied an appointment despite his presumed contributions to President Buhari’s victory in 2015. Utomi ought to have known better that President Buhari is a man of integrity and does not associate with political jobbers, bad failures and despicable personalities. It is an open secret that Utomi has a jinxed and holds a world record for failure. Anything he touches dies. This is evidenced by his mismanagement of the promising Volkswagen Nigeria in the 1980s and the company’s total collapse. It is also on record that Platinum-Habib Bank was bankrupt under the incapable leadership of Utomi, a supposed expert in Political Economy and Management. Expert in Failure, indeed!
Utomi in the interview quoted a Forbes article which described Nigeria as Africa’s money-losing machine and added that ‘they are ashamed of where Nigeria is, compared to where it should have been in the world’. Knowing fully that the reasons the country is in the mess as he described is not farfetched. Is anyone surprised? Nigeria is where it is for people like Utomi who crumbled the country. Pat is a failed politician. At each turn of Presidential elections he is always behind a third force that will upstage the status quo. The names of the political gladiators Utomi referred to as the promoters of theso-called “Third Forces” are also laughable and pitiful. Utomi really needs a refresher lesson in Nigerian politics and should be advised to revisit his former State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan’s advice “to go back to the grassroots and start his political career from councillorship level”.
To him Nigeria is a failed state. Utomi’s comments portray his cluelessness, given that he feigns ignorance of the effects of COVID even on powerful economies. Given the rise in military takeovers in West African and sub-Saharan region, Utomi’s declaration that Nigeria is better off under a military regime is an open call for a coup d’état in Nigeria. Hence, Utomi should be summoned by appropriate security agencies to explain his statement, just as the late Dr. Obadiah Mailafia and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Umar Na’abba, were summoned by both the police and the State Security Services (SSS). Does Utomi’s preference for Military rule stem from the patronage he received under such regimes?
Utomi and his ilk should be aware that Nigerians are enlightened and will not be fooled by political hustlers or sponsored propagandists. He and his cohorts should return to the drawing board and devise a new sailable strategy. Nigeria does not require failed technocrats and displaced politicians like Utomi to lead the country in 2023 and beyond. Leaders with impeccable integrity, pragmatic, progressive, unifier, patriotic and the best economic capabilities will remain the best for our beloved country. It is the time for Utomi to bury his face in shame for calling for a Military rule or preferring same. Shame!
Sam Chibueze is a Public Commentator based in Asaba, Delta State.