By Dr. Christopher Ugo
As it has been since biblical times, it still is true today that “A prophet is not without honour except in his hometown and in his household”, and also true is that in every few generations, an extraordinary person emerges who distorts and outgrows many conventional definitions of success. A few days ago, Chief Edwin Chukwunwike Uzor, a former transition Chairman of PDP in Delta State, rent the air on social media with wild vituperations in an awkward attempt to discredit the respectable personality of a man of distinction, Prof. Pat Utomi. It is even more saddening to note that it is just an effort to score cheap points for his political masters who know too well that Prof Pat Utomi is a jewel of inestimable value.
But as irritating as it was, he was surely not going to get any dignified response from a man like Prof. Utomi because all he mouthed was without substance; however, I think that ignoring him may embolden other ignoramuses of his ilk who seek undue relevance by casting aspersions on persons of integrity and honour. Besides, our society now runs on a misconceived notion that “loud is strong and quiet is weak”.
It is a fact that one of the saddest commentaries of PDP in Delta state is that it has been elevating many men without honour, and who lack capacity into positions of authority; ‘Chief’ Edwin Uzor who, before dabbling into politics was said to be a questionable character that had earned an infamous reputation of being a dubious and callous con-man plying his trade around the streets of Warri.
However, being an ignoble and mercantile political jobber that has been benefitting from PDP corrupt tendencies, it was not much of a surprise that even with all the mud that clung to him, he had to be wangled from wherever and then eventually to the top as PDP Chairman in Delta State. It is actions like this that speaks volumes of the type of characters and persons that have been in power in Delta state for nearly two decades! It is such disgusting reality that most Deltans are wishing to change.
Edwin Uzor is not a stranger to seeking compensation for loud-mouthing and engaging in very dishonourable acts, even in his role of a leader of the PDP. He would not have forgotten how he was almost lynched by aggrieved PDP contestants due to his dubious acts of swindling and duping them of millions of naira, promising them tickets that were not available during PDP party primaries both as State Auditor, and later when he was State Chairman. He will surely not have forgotten the crowd that waylaid him in Kwale during 2015 campaigns? On that day, judgment was to come, but a good Samaritan saved him from a wild and angry mob.
Therefore, for Edwin Uzor, a hangers-on kind of personality to speak to the towering standing of Prof. Pat Utomi as not being in touch with reality because he desires to free Delta State from the humiliation and disgrace that it has become in the eyes of the world, if just to redirect it and place it on a firm pathway to progress and development, is the height of self-defeatism and ignorance. What other reality exists in Delta State except that PDP has continued to inflict a plague of entrenched corruption, looting, abysmal mis-governance and the worst form of political malfeasance on the state.
People like Edwin Uzor can never appreciate the Greek philosopher, Herodotus, who said “the only good is knowledge; the only evil is ignorance”. It is such ignorance of his that is afraid of and restrains change. It reflects in his mixing up ideas surrounding ‘Ease of Doing Business’ and ‘Competitiveness’. Just before he ignorantly takes unmerited pride in Governor Okowa’s contribution to Delta State being 2nd on the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria (NCCN) ranking, Uzor must come to learn the hard facts.
First, and according to same 2017 NCCN assessment, Delta is reported to be 4th on page 53 of the same report, but somehow it found it”s way to 2nd position by the usual PDP way. In the same report, Delta State sloppily ranks 23rd on the Economy, and 29th on Quality of Roads. It was not a surprise to see Delta State ranked 7th on Security and Instability while Edo State was 36th. This highlights just how insecure the social environment that has forced multinational companies including Shell and Elf (now Total) out of the state is, yet the same government restricts development to the oil producing zones by strangulating Desopadec? The facts don’t like, so Edwin Uzor and the PDP-led state government under Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa should better hide their heads in shame for trying to hoodwink Nigerians, and Deltans in particular, by misinterpreting the results, not minding the misery around the state only because it’s potential is left untapped by the government.
Prof. Utomi’s statement that Delta State is in a peculiar mess and that Deltans are going through misery is as clear as day, and is now supported by empirical NCCN data. Deltans are neither blind nor deaf, and they have only been enduring the bad taste of the bitter pill known as PDP. They now know better that in the PDP are the real accidental managers, political jobbers and undertakers, who they should never listen to nor put their fate in come 2019 general election.
Edwin Uzor’s personal attack on Prof. Utomi is thus laughable and pathetic because it was addressed to the same Deltans that have been crying of political and economic oppression for very long. Prof. Utomi has listened intently and he made a choice not just to stand with, but to champion an effort for the redemption of Delta State, and he fully appreciates that it could be at some tremendous personal cost to him, including such irrational acts coming from Edwin Uzor who are not comfortable with an organized system.
The cycle of abuses, wicked allegations and victimization from such people can never dissuade nor prevent Prof. Utomi from pursuing with passion and determination the effort to secure a new deal for, and with the people of Delta State, in order to create a new Delta that is full of hope and opportunities.
To be clear, Prof. Utomi would lead Delta State in a completely new direction and away from the troubles of the past. He will fight every day for a more just, equitable and progressive Delta State. In so doing, he will collaborate with many public-spirited Deltans in APC and beyond in this effort to free Delta State from the mess it has become. Most Deltans appreciate Prof. Utomi as a trustworthy man and believe in his sense of commitment when he says “Delta Arise”, because it is by that level of commitment that will happiness be on its way.
By Dr. Christopher Ugo,
An APC chieftain