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Pat Utomi’s power of ideas into Nigeria’s 2011 presidential elections. By Chido Nwangwu

Utomi is an eternal optimist on Nigeria and one of Africa’s leading persons of ideas. Utomi has the substance of the message, a deep public policy knowledge, the business and leadership experience and the charisma.

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Pat Utomi’s power of ideas into Nigeria’s 2011 presidential elections.

By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfrica, and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com

http://usafricaonline.com/2011/01/16/pat-utomi-power-of-ideas-into-nigerias-2011-presidential-elections-by-chido-nwangwu

USAfrica, January 16, 2011: One of Africa’s leading management and public policy expert, Pat Okedinachi Utomi has dared Nigerians to work towards their shared dreams of a better and more productive country.

Pat.Utomi.USAfricaphoto.2006boston-by-ChidoNwangwu

Utomi, a Professor of business management and founder of the Lagos Business School, made this call as he emerged from the January 13, 2011 national convention of Nigeria’s Social Democratic Mega Party (SDMP) in Abuja, as its presidential candidate for the April 2011 election.

He promised a government which will tackle the exploding crises of unemployment especially among Nigeria’s youth.  Utomi who serves on the boards of several corporations in and outside Nigeria recalled in the acceptance speech which USAfrica has a copy that in November 2010 “in as far away as London…I was approached by a Nigerian with the CV of a relative who had been unable to find work more than seven years after earning a University Degree.  How can anyone sleep with such a burden….”

On the issue of  agriculture and food security, the creatively engaged man who was born on February 6, 1956, said he dreams and foresees “possibilities of huge opportunities for jobs in the Agriculture sector….” He argued that the sectors “are daily threatened by policy neglect of integrated rural development and low support for agriculture.   I still remember agricultural extension services that made an egg for a penny promise successful in the 1960s.  I cannot but dare to dream of how agriculture can fill bellies give the dignity of employment to many.”

Utomi is an eternal optimist on Nigeria and one of Africa’s leading persons of ideas.  Utomi has the substance of the message, a deep public policy knowledge, the business and leadership experience and the charisma.

One of his advantages is that he has a huge network of younger Nigerian business and financial services leaders as friends and financial supporters going into the 2011 April elections.

He seeks to take on the problems of power generation and electricity supply which have been critical drawbacks for businesses and well-being. Utomi has made a promise to work towards “banishing today’s black outs” and improving the air quality and the overall quality of life for Nigerians and those who invest there. He moved further to promise on other infrastructural needs that “I dare to dream to have rapid rail transit, and PPP facilitated world class road infrastructure, just as I seek leadership example that salvages our extant collapse of culture marked by declining work ethic, a plague of systemic corruption, election rigging and derision for the dignity of the human person as life is treated of no worth.”

Utomi, a fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants of Nigeria returned to the roots of his family values and the dedication of his late mother who was widowed, asserting that “my very life itself is an improbable dream come true.  People so easily forget that I am the product of the tenacity of a widow who was a simple trader.”

One of the turning points in his professional/corporate life followed, only a few months after his return to Nigeria from his post-graduate education at the Indiana University in Bloomington, USA. In 1986, he was employed by the Volkswagen of Nigeria (VWON) as the Corporate Affairs director and later in 1991 as its Deputy Managing Director. According to several accounts, Nigeria’s former Vice-President (1979-1983) Alex Ekwueme sought Utomi’s public policy ideas on a number of issues, and later recommended his brief role and appointment as Special Assistant to former President Shehu Shagari.

Shortly after the December 31, 1983 military coup led by then General Muhammadu Buhari (also a presidential candidate in 2007 and for the 2011 election) which ended Shagari’s presidency, Utomi began investing substantially in information/media, educational and financial services interests.

In 2007, he contested for the post of Nigeria’s president under the banner of the of the African Democratic Congress of Nigeria (ADC). Prof. Utomi reflected on that experience, as published here on USAfricaonline.com on April 27, 2007, titled “How the 2007 Nigeria campaign has made a Nehemiah of me.”

http://usafricaonline.com/patutomi2007.nigeriastrugg.html

A savvy networker, Pat Utomi (aka Patito)  was many years ahead of me at our alma mater, the great University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) where he remains an outstanding personage among our  esteemed alumni of Lions and Lionesses. Since 1987 (inside Nigeria) and the 1990s to date (here in the U.S), I have known and interacted with Professor Utomi as professionals dedicated to human development, economic empowerment, justice and transparency, respect for the environment, nationalities questions, media freedom and the enthronement of the fundamentals of democratic rights.

I know that Pat Utomi is a can-do, proud son of the Igbo from the oil-rich Delta State of Nigeria with a global dedication to the entire Nigeria.

As a matter of dispassionate assessment, I believe that Prof. Pat Utomi has what it takes to, optimally, turn Nigeria around.

But  the USAfrica special series on the April 2011 Nigeria Elections on his candidacy (and others) will be incomplete is we fail to note that  the SDMP party he leads with the very progressive Olu Falae (as chairman), will need to expand its alliances and base to be well-positioned to take on the very powerful and forceful PDP machine, amplified especially by the power of President Goodluck Jonathan’s incumbency and leverage.

The SDMP’s operational structure needs to be enhanced; be better positioned to optimally and aggressively engage the practical attention and aspirations of the millions of Nigerians who have suffered decades of incompetent and corrupt and poor performing governments, military and civilian.

A prayerful man of christian faith who believes in the provenance of God in human lives, the lanky technocrat Utomi believes “For what I have become, and can be, by the Grace of God, I have many, who were God’s instruments to be thankful to.  From a father who taught me the meaning of hard work and a sense of duty before he passed away so young, to a mother who stood like a rock of Gilbratar, and in a quarter of a century as a widow before she too answered an early call from the creator.”

At almost 27 years old, he had his doctorate degree and two masters degree; an unusual feat. The April 2011 is another unusual challenge for this same blessed man who  said: “I have inherited the courage to give of myself for the good of all.” How will Nigerians respond?  Time and INEC will tell….

Chido.Nwangwu.USAfrica.classmag.publisher

• Chido Nwangwu is the Founder and Publisher of USAfrica, and first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the internet USAfricaonline.com; The Black Business Journal, CLASSmagazine,  PhotoWorks.TV,  AchebeBooks.comNigeria360USAfricaTV and several blogs, assessed by The New York TImes as the largest and arguably most influential multimedia networks for Africans and Americans. He served on the editorial board of the Daily Times of Nigeria in Lagos and worked for the Nigerian Television Authority (news) in the 1980s; served on a publicity committee of the Holocaust Museum, Houston; recipient of an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree in May 2009; adviser on Africa to Houston’s former Mayor Dr. Lee Brown. Chido appears as an analyst on CNN, VOA, SABC, CBSNews, ABCNews, FOXNews, NBCNews, etc. Chido@USAfricaonline.com. wireless: 1-832-45-CHIDO (24436). Office: 713-270-5500.

USAfrica multimedia networks’ Founder Chido Nwangwu and our editorial executives plan to do an additional interview with Utomi and his vision for Nigeria in February 2011. We welcome USAfrica readers’ questions to news@USAfricaonline.com
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http://usafricaonline.com/2009/07/07/chido-obamaafrica09/
Special News Insight, USAfrica multimedia networks, Nigeria360 e-group and CLASSmagazine, Houston. http://usafricaonline.com/2010/09/08/jonathan-firing-servicechiefs-onovo2010-by-chido/
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See the October 17, 2001 special report/alert: Nigeria’s bin-Laden cheerleaders could ignite religious war, destabilize Africa. By USAfrica’s Publisher Chido Nwangwu.http://usafricaonline.com/chido.binladennigeria.html
310 killed by Nigeria’s ‘talibans’ in Bauchi, Yobe n Maiduguri; crises escalate. USAfricaonline.com  on  July 28, 2009.

www.usafricaonline.com/chido.ngrtalibans09.html

Special News Insight by Chido Nwangwu, USAfrica multimedia networks, Nigeria360 e-group and CLASSmagazine, Houston.
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USAfrica multimedia networks’ Founder Chido Nwangwu and our editorial executives plan to do a profile interview of Prof. pat Utomi and his vision for Nigeria in February 2011. We welcome USAfrica readers’ questions to news@USAfricaonline.com

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Special News Insight by Chido Nwangwu, USAfrica multimedia networks, Nigeria360 e-group and CLASSmagazine, Houston. http://usafricaonline.com/2010/09/08/jonathan-firing-servicechiefs-onovo2010-by-chido/

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AFRICA

World SOCCER SHOWDOWN: South Africa backs Morocco; U.S under pressure

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Special to USAfrica [Houston]  • USAfricaonline.com  •  @Chido247  @USAfricalive

“It is an old myth that Africa doesn’t have the capacity, and naysayers should stop using the political argument. Africa hosted the best Fifa World Cup ever and with good support, Morocco can emulate South Africa,” said the SAFA president Jordaan.

Johannesburg – South Africa Football Association (SAFA) president Danny Jordaan has promised Morocco that South Africa will give its unqualified support to secure another World Cup on the African continent in 2026.

Morocco is vying to stage the world’s biggest football prize against a joint bid by Canada, Mexico and the U.S.

The Moroccan delegation comprises ex-Senegal and Liverpool striker El Hadji Diouf and former Cameroonian goalkeeper Joseph-Antoine Bell.

Jordaan said it would be great for Africa to have a second bite of the World Cup cherry, adding Morocco’s bid was Africa’s bid.

Jordaan assured Morocco that he would personally lobby for the Council for Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) and the rest of the continent to rally behind the Moroccans.

In his remarks, Antoine Bell said Morocco had all the ingredients to host another spectacular World Cup.

“South Africa showed the way and I am confident Morocco will follow suit. The country has international standards, from the stadiums to top infrastructure. Morocco can compete with the best in the world,” he said.

By giving Morocco its support, South Africa’s voice would make all the difference on the continent, Bell said.

“When South Africa talks on the continent, the rest of the continent listens hence it is vital for South Africa to support Morocco. South Africa has the experience and Morocco will use this experience to win the 2016 bid,” added Bell. African News Agency

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AFRICA

USAfrica: Catholic priest Etienne killed by militia in DR Congo, after a wedding mass

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Special to USAfrica [Houston]  •  @USAfricaLIVE

Goma – A Catholic priest was found shot dead hours after he said mass in Democratic Republic of Congo’s restive North Kivu province, a member of the church told AFP.

“Father Etienne Sengiyumva was killed [on] Sunday by the Mai Mai Nyatura (militia) in Kyahemba where he had just celebrated a mass including a baptism and a wedding,” father Gonzague Nzabanita, head of the Goma diocese where the incident occurred, told AFP.

The Mai Mai Nyatura are an armed group operating in North Kivu, in eastern DRC.

Nzabanita said Sengiyumva, 38, had had lunch with local faithful before “we found him shot in the head”.

North and South Kivu provinces are in the grip of a wave of violence among militia groups, which often extort money from civilians or fight each other for control of mineral resources.

Last week unknown assailants kidnapped a Catholic priest in North Kivu, demanding $500 000 for his release.

Eastern DRC has been torn apart by more than 20 years of armed conflict, fuelled by ethnic and land disputes, competition for control of the region’s mineral resources, and rivalry between regional powers.

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AFRICA

USAfrica: Nigeria’s LOOTERS LIST and Buhari’s selective corruption targets. By Majeed Dahiru

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PDP vs APC Looters List and Buhari’s selective corruption targets

By Majeed Dahiru

Special to USAfrica {Houston] • USAfricaonline.com • @USAfricaLive

 

Timipriye Silva, a former governor and PDP chieftain, who became a founding member and financier of APC, had his corruption charges quashed by a federal high court and Buhari’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed to appeal the N19.5 billion fraud case.

More curious are the missing names of some accused looters with marital ties to Nigeria’s First and Second families. Gimba Yau Kumo, the PDP appointed former managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank and now son-in-law of President Buhari, who was similarly accused of fraudulent activities amounting to about N3 billion and reportedly being investigated by EFCC, is missing from [Buhari’s Information Minister] Lai Mohammed’s list.

For a party that has been accused of destroying Nigeria by squandering accrued oil revenues estimated at over $500 billion in sixteen years, it is confounding that Lai’s list is not only exclusively comprised of PDP looters but also captures the last two years of PDP’s last lap in power and included just Goodluck Jonathan’s associates, who supported him against candidate Buhari, while also relating only to funds used in the last electioneering campaign of the PDP.

Whenever the obviously abysmal performance of the Muhammadu Buhari administration appears to be gaining sustained attention, and leading to murmuring within the rank and file of his supporters, a tale of humungous looting by opposition elements is usually spun and thrown into the public space to distract people away from the core issue of the failure of governance.

Like a fit of deja vu, the recently unveiled list of looters by Lai Mohammed, a fellow who comes across as more of President Muhammadu Buhari’s chief propagandist than a minister of the federal republic of Nigeria in charge of information and culture, didn’t come as a surprise. The list is all too familiar as the unveiling was a summarised rehash of politically exposed individuals who are members of the opposition party, close associates of former President Goodluck Jonathan, particularly his appointees in government, who have been named and shamed several times in well-coordinated media trials.

First on Lai’s list is Uche Secondus, the chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Lai had this to say of Secondus: “On the 19th of February 2015, he took N200 million only from the office of the NSA”. An unidentified former financial secretary of the PDP was similarly accused of “taking” N600 million from the same office of the National Security Adviser. Lai Mohammed also re-revealed that frontline member of PDP and media mogul, who deployed his media power to promote Goodluck Jonathan by de-marketing the Buhari candidacy in the run up to 2015 presidential election, Raymond Dokpesi, is on trial for “taking” N2.1 billion from the office of the then NSA. Lai also reminded Nigerians that his shouting match and former spokesman of the PDP, Olisa Metuh is on trial for “collecting” N1.4 billion from the same office of the NSA.

Lai Mohammed’s expanded follow up list included the usual suspects – former ministers, PDP state governors, service chiefs, presidential aides, associates and family members of former President Goodluck Jonathan, who were collectively accused of looting Nigeria of close to $2.1 billion through the office of the former NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.).

The choice of words like “took” and “collected” deployed by Lai to describe the manner in which those named received these monies was deliberate for the maximum effect of propaganda, portraying the accused persons as looters who broke into NSA vault and catered away boxes of cash at something akin to a gun point.

While the clamp down on PDP looters who supported Goodluck Jonathan and are still members of the former ruling party has been heavy handed, others who decamped from PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the eve of the 2015 elections and supported candidate Buhari’s campaign with their share of loot have been forgiven. For example, former NSA, Sambo Dasuki is being treated as an apostate for his role in the disbursement of funds that were used to oil Goodluck Jonathan’s electioneering effort. He has been kept in detention illegally and in defiance of several judicial rulings. Judging by the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption standard of an accusation being tantamount to guilt, in clear contempt of court proceedings by the resort to the naming and shaming suspects even before investigations and criminal prosecution are concluded and convictions obtained, it becomes curious that Lai’s list didn’t reveal any new name. Rather some names were either missing or omitted from what is a familiar list. This appears so because the bulk of PDP bigwigs who “destroyed” Nigeria in sixteen years of national rule are firmly in control of the APC, from its elected national executives to the National Assembly and appointed members of the federal executive council. The majority of APC-elected governors were also former members of the PDP. Even recently decamped PDP members to APC, such as Musiliu Obanikoro and Sulivan Chime, who have been prominently named and shamed in the recent past, were conspicuously missing from the released list of looters.

More curious are the missing names of some accused looters with marital ties to the first and second families. Gimba Yau Kumo, a former PDP appointed managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank and now son-in-law of President Buhari, who was similarly accused of fraudulent activities amounting to about N3 billion and reportedly being investigated by EFCC, is missing from Lai’s list. Also missing on that list is Bola Shagaya.

Arguably one of Africa’s richest women, with a reputation for close business and political ties to all first families in the past two decades, Bola Shagaya was exceptionally close to the Goodluck Jonathan family. Often described as a bosom friend of former first lady Patience Jonathan, she has been accused, in numerous instances, allegedly, of acting as Patience Jonathan’s front for the laundering of illicit money estimated at over N13 billion, while engaging in other fraudulent activities involved in state capture. All that may be in the past now as she has found her way back to reckoning with the marriage of her son, Seun Bakare to Damilola, the daughter of Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo. Little wonder then, Bola Shagaya’s name is not on Lai’s looters list.

In a clear display of the arrogance of ignorance, the Buhari administration has narrowed its war on corruption to the hounding of members of the Jonathan administration, other individuals and organisations that were known to have worked against the emergence of the President [Buhari] in the 2015 presidential elections. This is clearly evident in the selective nature of the current anti-corruption effort.

The tone of generalisation of the PDP as the problem of Nigeria, as an indicator of corruption, should make all members of PDP (both former and present) and their collaborators in other parties guilty, hence qualifying them for naming and shaming, while being liable for criminal prosecution.

Therefore, Buhari’s list of looters is devoid of integrity, because his selective war on corruption is indicative of corruption in itself. All that is required of a former PDP looter is to get baptised into APC and profess Buhari as the saviour of Nigeria. This is precisely responsible for the failure and ineffectiveness of the war on corruption. Nothing has changed as the current APC looters continue to loot Nigeria, while the redeemed former PDP looters continue to enjoy their loot in hibernation under the abundant grace of the infallible Buhari.

• Dahiru is based in Abuja 

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