Prof. Pat Utomi, a political economist, said on Tuesday that officials of the Labour Party were receiving millions of naira from politicians from various parties to encourage them to defect before the February 25 presidential election.
He said that Nigeria had failed to establish real political parties and blamed politicians for the problems the country was facing.
During the unveiling of the Independent Campaign Council Secretariat of TBT, Utomi, convener of The Big-Tent, a coalition of political parties, social movements, and civil society organizations in support of LP presidential candidate Peter Obi, made these statements.
He said that Obi, a former governor of Anambra State, was discovered by young Nigerians who were fed up with the terrible state of the country. He added that the LP would focus on improving the lives of ordinary Nigerians rather than serving the egotistical needs of a few powerful elites.
“Transactions of a nature where people do not appear to matter have resulted from the focus on power over purpose. Some of these political parties are paying officials from the Labour Party millions of dollars to leave as we speak. However, they continue to ignore the fact that what we require is a new Nigeria in which our children can live happily and without fear, he stated.
Utomi said that the All Progressives Congress seemed only interested in gaining power and that it lacked ideology.
He promised that Obi would transform Nigeria into a producer nation if elected.
Utomi stated, “Our nation requires renewal.” It is simple to place blame for Nigeria’s problems on anyone, but it is time to move forward, consider the future, and put the past behind us. The simple truth is that yesterday was extremely expensive. The nation that our ancestors left us was a great one with great potential. I enjoy bringing up 1960 frequently.
Obi frequently discusses the transition from consumption to production. However, we started producing in 1960. I often tell people that when our ancestors looked at their resources, they realized that the main reason Nigeria was colonized was to get raw materials for Europe. However, the colonizers did not even attempt to industrialize Nigeria.
Indeed, Nigeria technically had two factories at the time of self-government. However, the rapidity with which the young men and women who took over in 1956 and 1957 brought us into production was unbelievable. I think we can still bring about the same kind of transition.
Our failure to establish genuine political parties is fundamental to the development challenge we face. That, I believe, marked the beginning of the APC’s formation. They founded the APC with a focus on power over purpose, which prevented the formation of a genuine political party, and Nigeria has suffered as a result.