A Professor of the Political Economy and Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Prof. Pat Utomi has said he was shocked to read of a statement credited to him in social media conveying a very erroneous impression that President Muhammadu Buhari was responsible for the 1983 coup that toppled the Shehu Shagari’s civilian administration in 1983, and that in doing so, Buhari prevented Dr. Alex Ekwueme from becoming President.
Utomi stated this while addressing journalists in Warri after a programme organized by the Warri Diocese of Catholic Youths Organisation (CYON), tagged: “28th Annual Leadership Symposium and Summit,” where he gave a keynote address.
He was emphatic that his thoughts on the subject were obviously taken out of context. To be clear, he stated that, “it was younger military officers of the time that carried out the December 1983 coup and Major General Muhammadu Buhari, as he was at the time, being a more senior officer was only called upon to head the government. Buhari, himself, has at various times denied any inferences that he was involved; and not been the mastermind means he could not have harboured any thoughts of preventing late former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme from becoming the country’s president”, as was alluded to in a section of the media.
He further stressed that under the present Buhari-led democratic administration, the nation has begun to experience some steady progression in growth parameters.
According to him, “if the level of renewed growth is sustained, Nigeria will soon be in the league of prosperous nations, as the government continues to block loopholes.
“One thing that this administration is doing is changing our orientation as a people; it is making progress by giving Nigeria a new sense of direction and though we are not there yet, if we continue on this path, we would sooner be out of the woods,” he added.