A renowned political economist and one of the governorship aspirants on the platform of the All Progressives Congress in Delta State, Prof. Pat Utomi, says four years was enough for him to develop a masterplan that will fix and transform the state to the envy of others in Nigeria.
The former presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress stated that he was committed to serving only one term of four years if elected in the 2019 general elections, adding that it would be a thing of natural justice to give the ticket of the APC to an aspirant from his Delta North Senatorial District to battle incumbent Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Utomi spoke when he led members of the Pat Utomi Support Hub (PUSH 2019) on a consultative visit to leaders and members of Ijaw APC in Delta at the home of the former Acting Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission, Pastor Power Aginighan in Udu Council area of the state.
He promised that in two years of his administration, he would have put the state on the path of development that subsequent administrations would build on, adding that his government would focus critical fundamentals such as good education that will help drive the process.
He said, “The development process is such that if you get it right, you get ownership of it and people owned the process. Two years is enough to make it irreversible. If it belongs to the people, nobody will be able to take it and that is what is important.
“There are a number of cities that are famous in the world for unbelievable development. When I first passed through Dubai several years ago, it was desert village, but today, the progress happened so fast that it is not reversible. Singapore was just a fishing village that was nowhere near Burutu and today, it is the highest in per capita income in the world.
“My political life is about ideas, commitment towards serving the people with passion because anything we can dream, we can make up. It’s the absence of a clear dream and passionate commitment that has kept us back. People who are not as smart as us have made so much progress. So, what we need is smart political leaders and this kind of engagement provides us such opportunity for that.”
Utomi observed that the crisis rocking the state chapter of the party was over-exaggerated and expressed optimism that the crisis would soon be over as it prepares to dislodge the Governor Okowa-led PDP government.
The APC governorship hopeful also hailed the defection of the immediate past governor of the state, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, saying that his coming would strengthen and unite the various camps struggling for the structure of the party in the state.
“I was expecting him (Uduaghan), and I am happy. Two of us have spoken frequently about this matter and his coming will strengthen the APC. He will bring social network into the party. What he was saying earlier is that he needed to see more engagement in building the party. He was complaining that many persons were struggling to capture structures. Uduaghan coming along will add a lot of substance to our efforts.
“The crisis is really over exaggerated, truly speaking. I’m very certain that by the time we bring few people to come in and harmonise with different groups to feel a sense of belonging, we will have a good flow.
“It’s a very simple thing. It is a logical process of justice that people from Delta North should expect to serve eight years. It’s just natural justice, and I generally support that. But I know that in spite of that, if you take that away, if you put any candidate who has offered himself from any part of this state against my credentials, they won’t stand up”, he added.
In his remark, Delta Ijaw APC leader, Pastor Aginighan noted that credentials of Utomi for the governorship seat remained unquestionable as he has distinguished himself as an illustrious son of the state, adding that the Ijaw will make their position known after consulting with other governorship aspirants on the APC platform.