Professor Pat Utomi on Monday decried bad leadership in Nigeria, saying the country was held hostage by few greedy individuals.
Utomi, who stated this in a chat with journalists, dismissed the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) counterpart as bereft of people-centred ideologies.
The Labour Party chieftain blamed the undevelopment in the country on lack of proactive leadership, adding that the major political parties had nothing for Nigerians.
Utomi said: “Now, with all of these problems staring at us, Nigerian political parties missed the script. The script is that a political party is a source of recruitment of the best available talents into groups that have competing ideas of 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 manage that process.
“Another group says you can use markets to achieve a lot. And yes you can. It depends on how you run the markets and the institutions that support the markets. But the political parties that Nigerian politicians came with believe in nothing. It was just machine politics – the machine for capturing power, usually financed by a few people who are big men who take money mainly from the treasury of the state.
“And so, these parties came to be tools in their nature in terms of how they dominate the politics but they did not manage them to create a developmental notion of society. Seeking power between them now became a series of transactions. ‘Okay, I will give you Nigerian Ports Authority, you will get NIMASA, and you will get Airports Authority’. They share everything, as APC and PDP are doing now. They share government and the mindset of those who are investing to get their share is to loot.
“They will make some pronouncements because they need legitimacy. Government will do this for the people’. But as you are seeing clearly, Nigeria has been moving progressively backwards. So, the nature and structure of these political parties basically got us to a point where it has become implausible, not impossible, that something coming out of the PDP or the APC could lead to Nigeria making a major leap forward.
“And you can see it in the nature of how they choose their candidates, which is what brought us to the no alternative scenario that we have come to. Even though there are quite a number of good people that could have come out of the APC, the APC process necessarily had to end up where it ended.”
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