Political Economist, Professor Pat Utomi, on Sunday told a hybrid meeting of Nigerians in Dallas, Texas, in the United States, that they had a duty to champion a massive intervention to rescue Nigeria.
Professor Utomi said the clarion call had become imperative, following a look at the apocalyptic image of where Nigeria may be headed under the current political stewardship which has left insecurity, poverty, unemployment, and anger as the main landmarks on the streets of the nation.
While noting that the diaspora remit more money home than Nigeria earns from crude oil sales, the former presidential adviser and public intellectual, who is leading a shadow government of a coalition of national redemption movements, said the diaspora were high stakeholders with a moral obligation to help halt the drift in Nigeria.
Utomi referenced India where a huge coalition of the diaspora and change agents swept off the old order, brought PM Narendra Modi to power, and fundamentally altered the structure of India’s politics.
According to him, the diaspora, which has higher competencies and a global network but is being blocked from their natural role in national rejuvenation by professional politicians in Nigeria who thrive on exclusion to achieve state capture, deserves a place at the table.
This is as he lamented that this political class, which continues to exclude women, youth and intellectuals, while incorporating drug barons and fraudsters, works hard to deny diaspora voting rights which many African countries allow and encourage.
He assured his audience that within three weeks the NCFront Movement, several of the political parties and civil society organizations will announce a political party platform that will enable Nigeria to begin again and claim the promise of the founding fathers that peace and prosperity will define the future, in brotherhood, though tribe and tongue may differ.
Utomi told them that the shadow government, which he leads, has offered an economic revival blueprint that has a critical role assigned to the diaspora.
He further indicated that the national economic strategy, which is built on clusters of manufacturing hubs and technology parks in the six zones of Nigeria driving global value chains anchored on the latent comparative advantage of each zone’s factor endowments, will produce a dramatic turnaround in Nigeria’s fortunes.
The economist promised that as soon as the current government is replaced, there would be a diaspora global roadshow to showcase opportunities for diaspora joint ventures on the select endowments around which the value chains will be rolled out, assuring that this would quickly bring us to a full-employment economy and make Nigeria the true powerhouse of AfCFTA.
Announcing that the alternative government’s strategy involves a marshal plan type saturation investment in education, healthcare, and the stimulation of markets that would further yield a prosperity paradox in infrastructure, Utomi urged the diaspora to key into the policy agenda of the shadow government and contribute to the development of the policy planks of the shadow cabinet teams.
Referring to the PDP and APC as the same, and as ‘bankrupt nabobs of retrograde opportunism,’ Utomi said Nigeria must move away from the politics of big men to those of big ideas.
He said it was this politics of big men that deluded many, including himself, to think Buhari would help eliminate corruption only for corruption to get worse on his watch.
He regretted that governing had reached its lowest ebb in memory with Nigeria’s import bills having at its top two items Nigeria should be exporting, premium motor spirit and food.
These kinds of failures, Prof Utomi told the group of mainly professional Nigerian men and women during the three- and half-hour session was the tradition of the anti-people government of corrupt big men that APC and PDP represents.
“A government that cares for and loves its people will not have politicians obsessed with self-love when just a little thoughtfulness can reduce the sufferings of the people and accelerate the pace of progress.
“To achieve a purposeful, people-centered government required leaders of integrity, character, and a heart for the people,” the political economist insisted.
He said that to save Nigeria, the line in the sand for 2023 will have to separate leaders with these attributes from the current professional politicians who have practically run Nigeria aground.