A councillor would’ve done better than you, Utomi replies Uduaghan

Past Governor of Delta State, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan (L), ace economist, Professor Pat Utomi (R)
Past Governor of Delta State, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan (L), ace economist, Professor Pat Utomi (R)

Following the uncomplimentary remarks hurled asking to go begin his political career as a councillor in his Ward, ace economist, Professor Patrick has said that a councillor would perform much better for Deltans than the immediate past Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan did in eight years.

Read also: Go contest for councillorship, Uduaghan to Utomi

Uduaghan had, last week at the Asaba gathering of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) members to celebrate the recent victory at the Supreme Court, derisively urged Prof Utomi to drop the idea of being governor of Delta State and go for councillorship position at his Ward to learn the ropes of politics and governance.

Reacting swiftly to Uduaghan’s derogatory comment, Utomi lashed back at him, saying a “Councillor would have even done much better for our people than Uduaghan did then as Governor.”

“There is extreme misuse of the opportunities available to Delta State.”

“It will take a serious and truly capable government to vigorously tap its potentials and create jobs for our teeming youths.”

This is one of the many reasons I believe Delta State needs new political leadership in 2019.

“Deltans are not meant to suffer from the jeopardy of a clueless administration, especially at this critical phase of its existence.”

In a lengthy statement signed and released to journalists late Sunday, Utomi urged Uduaghan to cover his face in shame for running aground the economy of Delta State with a debt burden of over N600m.

“I would have imagined that Uduaghan will be very sober and saddened by his legacy of mismanagement and gross wastage that he left behind in Delta State.”

“Trying to spin his poor record in the hope that Deltans would have forgotten so soon is a failed attempt to rewrite history.”

“Undoubtedly, he knows that only few Deltans speak well of him and it is his pain to struggle with that reality.”

“As he grapples with history, what is more important to Deltans today is how we can rectify the wrong policies, decisions and actions of the past, so that we can create a government that would not only meet the needs of our people today but guarantee a better life for successive generations.”

“This is the task that I have offered to commit myself to between now and 2023.”

“We are already looking forward to 2019 with hope and renewed zeal for the beginning of a ‘New Delta’ teeming with opportunities and alive with possibilities,” the renowned economist noted.

Describing Uduaghan’s legacy as a sad reflection of the awful chapter of the state’s history, Prof Utomi disclosed that “Deltans will prefer that Uduaghan give account for the IPP project he abandoned in Oghara that gulped over N20 billion under his administration with nothing to show seven years after.”

“We welcome any debate on how to efficiently utilize scarce state resources for the maximum benefit of the people and prevent such colossal waste as was witnessed under Uduaghan – and is still the experience today under the current administration.”

Reacting to Uduaghan’s allegation that Prof Utomi hardly spent five minutes during an investment summit he was asked to spearhead, the latter inferred the former as never honouring his words.

Utomi said: “Uduaghan must note that some of the world’s most valuable companies today, including Google and Facebook started in Stanford dorms that went across to become a value-creating ecosystem with Venture Capitalists in place.”

“We planned the same program for Illah, and if the government of Delta State has not sabotaged this laudable project, it would have today become a reputable ICT hub driven by a learning centre of post-graduate level, just like Stanford, creating thousands of jobs for Deltans.”

“It is the kind of hub in Silicon valley that makes the State of California the biggest economy in the United States of America; bigger than most countries in Europe and the world.”

“Despite the sabotage, we still set up ‘Socket Works’, a pioneer e-Government service provider which created Nigeria’s new Passport, and partners with the Immigration Services till date.”

“Also, I invited Uduaghan to do the ground-breaking of a Youth Centre to be built in Ibusa by an NGO that I founded called Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL), dedicated to the uplift of the youths of Delta state for free.”

“The location was in a developing area and Uduaghan as governor, pledged to tar the road in the next quarter. He publicly asked then Commissioner for Works, Mr. Paul Osaji, to commence work immediately on this road that would have linked Ibusa and Okpanam.”

“But the road remains a mirage till date. CVL has started constructing another model at a different location.”

It will be recalled that Uduaghan’s tirade against Utomi came on the heels of the latter’s prior claims at the opening ceremony of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) 2017 week in Warri that both Uduaghan and Chief James  Ibori mortgaged the future of Delta State through heavy debts incurred during their 16-year in power.

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