Pat Utomi and his many failures

By Ademola Ajayi

Prof. Patrick Okedinachi Utomi, is an attention grabbing political economist who craves an altruistic reputation of himself. In the twilight of any dispensation and consequent to elections, voices like his, turn loud, with sensational solutions to Nigeria’s socio economic challenges.

But Utomi never been a political interloper, at barely 27, was engaged by Vice President Ekwueme to work on policy documents. Since then, he’s remained an insider. So lucky, Utomi wound up that tour as Special Adviser during the Shagari Presidency that ended abruptly in 1983. Sadly, he refuses to acknowledge that 1983 also foreclosed his luck at being anything near nationalistic.

Everything he’s touched from then on has ended distastefully sour and contentious. He yet feigns a holier than thou omniscience and embarrasses himself every single time he brags about his midastouch to transform the country into an enclave of abundance.

In Utomi’s self-indulgence, he has sought to champion good governance and accountability, but has only leveraged on them to remain relevant. This highly political Utomi however, has a knack for failure and is a czar that exists in his unsuccessful political pedestal. Reason why his political grouse is this deep.

Cunningly he’ll swing in between political parties and affiliations, yet success deludes him. Unsurprisingly, to vent his frustrations, he canvasses attention under any guise. In his latest public piece to propagate one too many typical Third Force movements, Utomi appears to throw a sumptuous bone to a non-existent hungry dog.

In an interview granted to the Telegraph Newspaper, Mr. Utomi ascribed democratic positivity to Military regimes in Nigeria and was definitive, how illogically inconsistent with his prior projection of himself. This hypocrisy cannot be unusual. It is absolutely preposterous for a once upon a time proponent of good governance to subscribe to Military incursion, considering current wave of coups in the sub-region.

Utomi lack of patriotism and disregard for caution is mind blogging. Why had he so fervently in times past accused Military dictatorships as responsible for Nigeria’s woes only to revere them in the same coin? This administration he now earnestly attacks recognizes his style, he is all talk little action, so they ignore his tantrums.

His business history is an avalanche of evidence of refusal to forth-rightly acknowledge his blunder or culpability. As first indigenous MD of Volkswagen Nigeria, he carries an enormous moral burden on the failure of that industry, he will refute any guilt now and again and conveniently attribute it Nigerian government, but truth glares! One can only imagine the immense contribution to GDP missed through that trailblazing exit of VWN, and then others.

Yet again, Utomi as Vice-Chairman, Platinum–Habib Bank superintended varying indiscretions that sunk the bank. He colluded with Atuche’s misdemeanors, however when called to question, Atuche fell alone.  Can Utomi in all honesty extricate himself from the PHB mess? He is guilty of negligence or collusion but chooses to hypocritically refute his role in what still stands as monumental fraud.

Now he seats on an imaginative fence to feign detachment to Nigeria’s woes because in his amnesia, the only truth he can remember is that himself or even the Military are all better than Buhari, for Nigeria. Says Pat Utomi whose administrative prowess outside any interview or class room setting, remains doubtful!  At 65, it is pitiably reprehensive that no proof exist of his boardroom success nor his success in matching theoretical verbose with any sort of economic or political achievement. Little wonder he descends against good conscience to spew unsavory narratives against the country.

Nonetheless, with respite to Utomi who might still belong to the ruling APC, Nigerians aren’t stupid. He has already claimed that the alternative coalition currently being coordinated will soon parade a host of trusted intelligentsia, who will make public their disbelief in the government of the day.

He might simply quit the narcissistic delusion and re-acquaint those other party faithful their role in the mess he mourns. Utomi has unwittingly indicated that his third force is gathering up ASUU, students and those who coordinated ENDSARS for their initiative, Nigerians will not settle for loose cannons.

Nothing positive can emerge from political conspirators whose frustration and desperation means any and every body is condemnable. In fixing what he refers to as failure, he can start by making atonement for his part in the fray. I think he has a case to answer if in 2022, he foresees Nigeria ending before 2027. Much more to explain for recommending Military rule was more democratic and Nigeria fared better then, so what Utomi?

Ajayi is a Political analyst based in Ibadan

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