Washington DC, September 16, 2022: Professor Pat Utomi, a political economist and a top adviser to the Labour Party of Nigeria Presidential candidate Mr Peter Obi, has called on Diaspora Nigerians to step up to their rightful lead roles to transform Nigeria from a “consumption to production” country. He made this clarion call at a recent virtual conference, jointly convened by the Washington DC-based Professor Eddie Oparaoji-led Nigerian-American Coalition for Justice and Democracy (NACJD, aka Coalition) and the Dr Nosike Agokei-led Patito Political Front, titled, “The INEC and the Urgency to Save Nigeria: Matters Arising from Obi’s Diaspora Consultation.” He said, “the future depends on you, most of the transformations experienced in other countries came from the Diaspora. You are the life support machine for Nigeria. it is appropriate that the resources of the Diaspora be deployed to change things in Nigeria.”
Professor Utomi further observed that, “given the current laws in Nigeria, the Labour Party may not be able to go out to solicit for funds but Nigerians abroad have a moral obligation albeit duty to use their resources to create conditions that will change Nigeria. No law can stop that. This is the reality that we must showcase and use to pitch momentum to the new Nigeria.”
Responding to a question from a participant, Sir Nick Nwuda, regarding limits on campaign contributions, Professor Utomi said, “there are no limits on campaign contributions to the candidates but there are limits on what the candidates can spend. We encourage you to not give us money but undertake to deliver some areas or states or do certain things to facilitate voting for our candidate and you won’t be dealing with any limitations or constraints. These are some of the ways we can make things to happen.” On an inquiry by Chairman of the Coalition, Professor Eddie Oparaoji, on lessons learned from his recent tour of the USA with Mr Peter Obi, Utomi said, “the important message is that Diasporans are ready to be partners in the rebuilding of Nigeria. By the time the new government comes in next year, the economy will be on life support. Diasporans will be major partners in resuscitating it.”
Professor Utomi traced the genesis of our current woes to the 1966 military coup. The coming of the military, he said, led to the abandonment of federalism and the result has been a faltering nation state that has been terribly underperforming its peers around the world and left the country desperately looking for redemption. Consequently, Nigerians led by her youths have come to their wits end, and resolved they can’t take these anymore, and must take back their country. Thus, a major revolution is afoot and needs the support of the Nigerian Diaspora to sustain and succeed.
Other notable participants and questioners at the conference include Barr Festus Ogun (Esq). Barr Mrs Helen Mbakwe, Mr Chijike Ndukwu, Dr Nosike Agokei, Mr Yakubu Isa, Mr Emma Odoemene, Dr Jude Iheoma, Dr. Dorothy Ezekwe Anya, Dr. Casmir Uchegbu, Mr. Isiaka Busari, Chief Festus Anaele, Barr Ekeleoma Chuku and Dr. Sly Onyia.
The NACJD is a Washington, DC, USA Research and Good Governance advocacy non-profit organization, that lobbies the US Government, the Congress, and the policy-making community to influence US policies on Nigeria.