Published On: Fri, Dec 28th, 2012

2015: Utomi under Pressure to Run as Delta Governor

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Pat Utomi


By Our Reporter
Erudite economist and two-time presidential candidate, Prof. Pat Utomi, has come under enormous pressure to scale down his ambition and contest as governor of his home state, Delta, in 2015.
“A lot of notable individuals and groups from Delta State have mounted pressure on Prof. Utomi to run because they believe he has bright chances of winning and will set fresh standards as a governor,” one of Utomi’s allies told newsmen

Utomi, who unsuccessfully ran for president in 2007 and 2011 on the platforms of fringe parties, last year decamped to Nigeria’s second largest party, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). We learnt that Utomi made up his mind to join ACN after discussions with the party’s leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who has led ACN to successfully retake the South-West from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in addition to taking Edo in the South-South and making incursions into the country’s South-East.

Though PDP remains in power in Delta, ACN’s ability to take over neighbouring Edo as well as the party’s popularity in Delta have raised the hopes of those seeking to persuade Utomi to run as governor. According to Anioma Voice, one of the groups mounting pressure on Utomi, “the ability and capability of the ACN to match the ruling party PDP in all ramifications” is not in doubt.

Anioma Voice appealed to every Anioma person (Utomi is from Anioma) “to show his or her support for Prof. Pat Utomi,” saying: “It has become necessary for Prof. Utomi to be supported by his own people.”

We confirmed that a group known as the Coalition of All Anioma Groups (CCAAG) has already assigned to itself the task of convincing Utomi “to come back home and rescue Delta” when incumbent Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan finishes his second and final term in 2015.

Chuks Esogbue, a prime mover of CCAAG said, “I want to assure you that Pat Utomi has an overwhelming support among Anioma intellectuals and activists, but we still need to sell him to the grassroots.”

Asked if Utomi has given any indication of answering the call of his people, Esogbue said: “He may have his eyes still on the presidency. We are still trying to convince him. We pray he bows to the wishes of the people because Delta State really needs him.”

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