Professor Pat Utomi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) came under attack last Friday in Asaba when former governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan and Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prof. Sam Oyovbaire took serious exceptions to his criticisms of the government of Delta state over claims that the government has over borrowed. They both spoke at a PDP stake holders meeting.
Firing the first salvo, Oyovbaire, a professor of political science criticized Utomi for not observing “intellectual rules of engagement in his criticism. “In Delta State, what has the federal Government done? Is it that five school children are being fed with half spoon of rice? How has the Delta state over borrowed? Over borrowed from where, Oyovbaire asked.
Dr. Uduaghan advised those aspiring for elective political offices not to be blinded by their ambitions and resort to peddling falsehood against government, but should base their arguments on facts and issues.
Pointing out that every man has a right to aspire to any political office in the country, but cautioned that such a person must not tell lies and blackmail government to achieve such aspiration. “Tell the people what you can do for them, do not spread lies,” he said.
He debunked the allegations of financial mismanagement against the state government by Prof. Pat Utomi, and urged him not to sacrifice the truth on the altar of political expediency, even as he
urged the Lagos based political economist to consider actualizing his political ambition by contesting for Councillorship position so as to get basic facts on issues affecting governance in the state.
The former governor recalled that his experience with Utomi has distinguished the Prof. as someone with bogus ideas but, who even at that lacks the necessary composure to execute it.
Uduaghan recalled that as the Governor of Delta State, his administration made Prof. Utomi chairman and member of several committees as opportunities for the Lagos-based lecturer to contribute to the development of the state but discovered that “if Prof. Utomi attended any of the meetings, he will not spend more than five minutes.”
Uduaghan continued:“He bragged about his reach internationally, how he was going to bring international investors and we had to partner with him to organize a business forum outside the country with Nigerians in Diaspora for us to get the investors but, he did not spend 5 minutes before he left us, no investor came to the state through him.
“You people should ask Prof. Utomi where the Silicon Valley is. He took us to his home town, Ibusa for the foundation laying ceremony of Silicon Valley, till date, there is nothing to show that the project has commenced; he has contested for the Presidency, he now wants to be Governor but, I think he should start from his Ward, he should contest for Councilor.
“It is not good to condemn what the incumbent Governor is doing because of your ambition, rather, you should bring out your programmes and sell to the people,” Dr Uduaghan said, declaring that “Governor Okowa has done excellently well and we should join hands with him to develop the state”
The former Governor advised members of the PDP to remain united and urged those in elective or appointive positions to empower Deltans through the spread of democratic dividends.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa at the occasion, urged members of the PDP to open their doors to any Nigerian wishing to join the party including members of the All Progressive Congress (APC), while the Chairman of the party in the state, Barr. Kingsley Esiso said the meeting was necessary for members to be abreast with happenings in the party.