Professor Pat Utomi denounced bad leadership in Nigeria on Monday, saying the country was held hostage by a few greedy individuals.
Utomi, who made this point in a chat with journalists, dismissed the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its counterpart the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) for lacking people-centered ideologies.
The Labor Party chief blamed the country’s underdevelopment on a lack of proactive leadership, adding that the main political parties had nothing for Nigerians.
Utomi said: “Now with all these issues watching us, the Nigerian political parties have missed the script. The script is that a political party is a source of recruitment for the best available talent in groups that have conflicting ideas about how to order society. So this idea, which is called ideology, says that you can use state control to achieve a lot. And yes you can. It depends on how you handle that process.
“Another group says that you can use the markets to achieve a lot. And yes you can. It depends on how you manage the markets and the institutions that support them. But the political parties that the Nigerian politicians came with don’t believe in anything. It was just machine politics: the machine to capture power, usually financed by a few people who are big men who take money mainly from the state treasury.
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“And so these parties became tools in their nature in terms of how they dominate politics, but they failed to create a notion of development of society. The search for power between them now became a series of transactions. ‘Okay, I’ll give them the Nigerian Ports Authority, they’ll get NIMASA and they’ll get the Airports Authority.’ They share everything, as APC and PDP are doing now. They share the government and the mentality of those who are investing to get their share is looting.
“They will make some pronouncements because they need legitimacy. The government will do this for the people.’ But as you can clearly see, Nigeria has been progressively going backwards. So the nature and structure of these political parties basically got us to a point where it’s become unlikely, not impossible, that something coming out of the PDP or the APC could lead Nigeria to make a big leap forward.
“And you can see it in the nature of how they choose their candidates, which is what led us to the no-choice scenario we’ve come to. Although there are quite a few good people who could have left APC, the APC process necessarily had to end where it ended.”
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