Pat Utomi steps out with a new deal for a new Delta, says electing criminals, corrupt politicians makes the voter an accomplice


Renowned Political Economist, Prof Pat Utomi on Sunday, October 29, 2017 in Asaba at a consultation with leaders, faithful and supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) offered himself to be used of Deltans to reverse the retrogression going in Delta state by providing leadership that will set the tone for progressive democratic system of governance that will be beneficial to all.
Speaking extempore in a speech laced with oration, scholarship and practical initiative, he called attention to what George Orwell wrote in the book Animal Farm, and quoted him as saying that where a people deliberately elect criminals, and corrupt politicians, that those people are not victims but accomplices.
Utomi then declared: “I think that leadership is a about passion. The day you lose it, you are dead. How do we collectively create processes even as a political process that can translate into what government can continue to use to touch the people and transform society? This is the movement that I am saying I am willing and ready and able to help organize; things I have done for dozens of years as a private citizen in communities, to do it together with all of us here to which we claim our revolution to make the future of our children a different one from what we have achieved in recent times.”
Calling his mission the Gideon project, stressing that it is the Gideon of the Bible, which does not depend on the power of anybody, but the will of God to triumph, he said: “I seek nothing but to do a duty. And you and I, if we commit to working together we would go forward, and history would record what would happen. I am available, I am willing, I am able. I say to you together let us renew our state.”
With the acronym, 2019 PUSH (Pat Utomi Support Hub) everywhere, and the slogan “A new deal for a new Delta, Prof. Utomi fielding questions later from journalists spoke about what he found objectionable with the current system of governance in Delta state: He said: “The truth of the matter is that it is not hard for anybody who is from Delta to feel frustrated. You can please, compare with Anambra and Edo.
“If you check the last report of allocation, Delta received about N14 point something billion. What these other states received were in N3billion range. I don’t have to tell you to compare the structure of the schools, compare security. Something obviously is not as they should be . Working together, perhaps we can find a different path for Delta.”
Asked if he was ready to pull the strings if he receives his party’s nod, Utomi said: “Yes, a lot of work has gone into this and that’s the emphasis. What I have been working at for the last year and half, I have visited most of the state very quietly, talking to most of the leaders who have been at loggerheads and have managed to come to a place and a time of unity, the unity that should propel us to redefining things and helping our people into action.”
For an APC senatorial aspirant, Barrister Felix Morka from Ika South, speaking on what the consultative meeting of Prof Pat Utomi is all about, he said: “Essentially, Prof. Pat Utomi is today coming out to join in solidarity with his brothers and sisters from Delta State, and with Deltans to share with them his own understanding of all of what is going on in our state. He is simply saying that as a citizen of Delta he too is tired and ashamed of the decadence that has become of governance in our state. He is ashamed and tired of people living as though there was no government. That he is ashamed that a state like Delta endowed with enormous resources, human and material resources, but the people live in indignity rather than live in dignity. That he is tired, and he is willing , and he is stepping out to join Deltans to begin the pursuit of a new vista in recreating the whole essence of government in making citizenship worth it in our democracy; in bringing democracy home to the dining tables of the people, bringing it to the clinics, to schools to make democracy meaningful in the lives of our people. That he is offering himself to lead that effort, to lead that challenge to bring Delta out of this mess.”
Asked how prepared Utomi and APC are prepared to uproot the PDP dynasty and hegemony in Delta state, Morka said: “The state of hopelessness that the ruling PDP has foisted on Delta State is by itself sufficient to defeat the legacy and to defeat the hegemony tht the PDP has built. I don’t think Pat is doing it all by himself. Pat is one of the founding members of APC. He is a national leader of our party. So, Pat is not alone, we are standing with him. Members of the party are standing with him. And Deltans who have been dealt a very poor hand by the PDP over these years, where for nearly 20 years of our democracy, this party has nothing to show that Delta, this state that has enough potentials, the potentials of our state has been suppressed by the greed, by the selfishness, by the visionlessness of the ruling party. So, in Utomi, we the people of Delta are willing to stand and to seek that new mandate for him to lead us to that place where we need to be, where we ought to have been a long time ago. Look at Lagos state, they have moved ahead, Delta, we have been retrogressing. But Utomi is saying that time is time enough, that he will step out and be counted in this effort.”
On how well he is working in pursuit of his senatorial ambition, Morka said he is not relenting in the work as work is going on steadily. He said: “Yes, I stand committed to that declaration. And already, we are at work, and we are not going to rest until we are declared winners of that election in 2019. Because it is not about mine aspiration, it’s about the complete failure of leadership and the betrayal of the public trust that the past and present holders of that office have perpetrated.
“We cannot stand back; we must raise questions and demand answers from them to justify nearly 20 years of failed representation; a representation that has not even started to bring us close to any reckoning of our destiny. That is my mission, my interest. I am only doing this because I feel my people deserve so much better,” Barrister Morked declared.
Below is excerpts from Pat Utomi’s speech rendered extempore as recorded by, and titled by our editors as “I’m available, willing, send me.”
“As we entered driving through the old Midwest textile mill and the road was in such a state .do you know what a friend said; Oga thought /Asaba has only one or two streets, why can’t you people even just maintain this one’. But you know hope is the essence of the people of faith. And we have hope that these things will change. I believe that these things will change because when I look at the youths of state, many of them losing the most important time in them life without getting the education that would make them get ahead, in the age of knowledge. In today’s world the thing that you need to compete is how well educated you are. Not how certificated you are. Because there are many who are certificated illiterates, but those who are truly educated would find something and would make progress. And so that says to me that there is work for you and for me. It is that hope that we can make a great difference that brings me to this meeting. That belief, that commitment, that if we together says to each other, yes, we can, indeed, we will.
And so I come saying to you that it’s time for Delta to arise and claim the possibilities.
Many years ago I was traveling in India, and in front of a church was a remarkable sign, not more than 15,20 years ago actually, it never left me. I have use it many times is a candle. We have seen our country come out of challenging times, but we have seen some states light a candle from elsewhere and the darkness around them was broken. Remarkably, two of these states are our neighbours, to our East and to our West.
I am privileged to be intimately associated with the efforts of both sides, as part of the light that came to our neighbours to the West, it came to our neighbours to West, it came from a state called Lagos where I was at the heart of the effort at transformation. I don’t know how many of you saw the allocations that were announced a few weeks ago. Both of those states to our West and our East got about 1/7 of the what Delta State got. But those states have better road net works than Delta, both states.
Schools than Delta, both states have better security than Delta. Why should we live in such misery? And I asked myself why? And the reason is because you and I have not risen to our citizenship duties. And so I thought that it was important for us to challenge ah other, and to say that the time is now, to prepare the generations that will be born after from looking fack at our times and leaving us a curse because we did not do our bit. So that their times would be better times.
Every generation has obligation to make its shoulder available for the next generation to stand on so that they can better see tomorrow and tomorrow can be greater than yesterday. But the tragedy of our circumstance is that we are too easy to accept that which is unacceptable. We must say the time for change is now.
If we are going to bring change about, in these times, we must come to a few basic understanding of things. And one of those understandings was offered to us by a man who would go on to be declared by Time Magazine as the man of the 20th century. The name is Atobanstine.
Atobanstine says to us that to do the same thing repeatedly and expect a different result is a definition of in sanity. For us to continue with what we have had in Delta and expect something different shows that we are in asylum, an all of us need psychiatric care. Unfortunately, there are stories in history where the mad man took over the asylum and chased away the psychiatrists.
One asylum that was greatly described in a remarkable book was called ‘Animal Farm’. That same George Orwell is the one that says to us that where a people deliberately elect criminals, and corrupt politicians, those people are not victims, they are accomplices. And so we must ask ourselves, have we been accomplices to the danger and damage that has been the story of the journey of our state? Ask yourself in your conscience; examine your conscience. Are you a victim or are you are accomplice?
It’s easy to play game of momentary gain, shiagwair, and you put in your pocket and you become an accomplice to a damaged future for your children.
We must say to ourselves that enough is enough. The time has come for real men to stand up and be counted, and women. In fact the woman stand up more quickly to be counted, and the men too. The time to stand up and be counted is now.
But it shall not be by just sloganeering. It shall be, in my view, through a revolution. A few people, one man; no one man can save anybody. But the people can save themselves if they have a revolution that changes mindsets. That says that the reason my children are not becoming what they should become is because they do not have good education. And that we must all collectively ensure that there is a new thing happening to education in our state.
One of my favorite countries in the world is a country called Finland. It’s a very small country. Some of the finest technologies; most of you a few years ago, all that was ringing in your pocket was Nokia phones, made in that small country where the teacher is king.
The teacher is paid much higher than the chief executive of many companies. We must move this state to a state where teachers are kings. To get to that kind of situation, must take a single minded commitment by everybody. That’s when the things are beginning to change; you know that business as usual is not going to continue.
We all say the National Assembly voted for local government autonomy recently. That when things run well, when local governments really become true local governments it means that parents, local governments officials would be the ones looking at the quality of those schools for their children. Because they care more about the future of their children than people far away somewhere.
We most move our state in that direction. The countries that are leading in the world today are countries that paid the most attention to education and health care. We need to do a number of things in our state to create those conditions and then put in place infrastructures that would enable people who have that education and who are well to use to create opportunities to transform societies. We have to create jobs for our people. We must stop this kidnapping going on because people have nothing else to turn to. We must stop this 419s that are taking place because people do not have something better to aspire to. We must stop this loss of dignity of our people. This is a duty that we all share, not one man will offer but together we can make the difference. And so the people must own their revolution.
So, I have come here to make a clarion call for a time together. A week ago, last Friday, I was here in Asaba and I had the pleasure of the company of many of the leaders of Delta North. And I said to them, I am not looking for anything. And really I’m not, but I am ashamed. In Anioma language it is uyagami. I am ashamed that I come from a place in which we are seen as people who don’t do well. I am ashamed that I come from a place that God has given such enormous resources that I can be one of the most better places to live on Earth . But it’s a place of misery and vice. And I said to myself I have seen enough, I want when judgment comes to be judged according to the efforts that I have put in, and I am willing to put in the effort to be able to stand on the judgment day. But because I look for nothing I said to them if you think that things are wrong, if you think you want me to go on an errand for you, say that to me and let me know. Because on my own I am not looking to go anywhere. And they said we want you to go on errand. And I said if you say that loud enough I would say here I am send me.
We had a good meeting; it was interactive and we went forward from that meeting. And I want to say to you that what I have come here to say is that I am going to be at the path, at the heart of an effort at organizing our people across this state beginning on the fact of you who has asked me to go forth, to run a system in which the citizens engage and create the process of transformation even at the party process that then becomes government. That we would take a system in which we create in every ward in this country, community organizers whose business is to find out what they need in their community; to engage their community on a constant basis in soul search town hall meetings to say what do we want in this community, and government will empower the people to transform their own lives, not come and transform their lives for them. This is the kind of initiative I say that I want to bring myself out to be part of organizing.
I said to a few people who insisted with me yesterday in Ibusa an experience that hit my soul a few weeks ago. I came to Ibusa and I want to mass, I am involved in a few things around Ibusa, we are building a vocational training school somewhere there, we are building another school in the church, and the school is designed to be a school for the poor to give them the quality of education that some of the richest of the rich are not able to access. That is the essential design of it because of the experience I had in India and elsewhere. But the very fine aspect, the children of the poor I gave them free education, world class.
We do not have to be in government to have impact. And I have had the good fortune by God’s grace to be involved in a number of things of that native.
In Lagos where I have lived for many years, we started a programme in Ajegunle to find young people from very, very poor neighbourhoods and put them through nearly one year of an entrepreneurship development programme, and their empower them with base capital, equipment to start a business that they have identified after this long period of training. The impact has been remarkable in Lagos, and I introduced it in Delta. We have 400 young professional Deltans, 100 out of a programme in Ibusa, 100 out of Agbor, 100 out of Ozoro,100 out of Warri.I went to mass thismorining as I came into Ibusa,to have quick morning mass,and a woman comes up to me where I was praying and says she does not want to disturb me and she knows that it might be difficult for her to be able to talk to me outside. She said that she has a son that she had given up on her son for God, just waiting for the day he would commit suicide. This boy has no interest in listening, he was always unkempt, he was always just trying to get into trouble, he was frustrated. She herself has just retired. And she said that when that programme was coming, it was announced in church and the boy went in. She said that if she looks at her son now she would begin to cry; that he is full of life, he believes there is a great future for him, he dresses well. As she was talking to me in church, she started crying, I had to resist tears coming out of my own eyes.
I think that leadership is about passion. The day you lose it you are dead. How do we collectively create processes even as a political process that can translate into what government can continue to use to touch the people and transform society? This is the movement that I am saying I am willing and ready and able to help organize, things I have done for dozens of years as a private citizen in communities. To do it together with all of us here to which we claim our revolution to make the future of our children a different one from what we achieved in recent times.
My change to you is that if you want us to embank on this journey together, it will involve you and I working together with real commitment .It’s not about gains; it’s not about saying this in the morning and saying that….Let me tell you what I call this project, I call it the Gideon project. I don’t know if you know this Gideon. It is the Gideon of the Bible. I’m sure the story of Gideon. It does not depend on the power of anybody. It’s God’s will that will triumph. God loves this state and because He loves this state whether you come and say this in the morning to this person, and saying another to this person, God will do what He will do, he would eliminate you are He would be glorified.
So I want to say to you that I seek nothing but to do a duty. And you and I, if we commit to working together, we would go forward, and history would record what would happened. I am available, I am willing, I am able, I say to you together let us renew our state.
Thank you God bless you.”

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