2007: The Opportunity for Nigerians to Reclaim Nigeria*

(c) RestoreNigeria.org

Enough is enough! The rise of apathy and inaction of the good people of Nigeria who ought to participate in the electoral process has become a source of worry and concern. Nigeria is where she is today because the people of this great country have consciously and unconsciously refused to participate towards the building of a new Nigeria. We appreciate and understand the reason for the inaction and apathy; it is simply because we have become the victims of failed promises. Most governments from the point of independence have always proposed beautiful programmes, but their inability to actualize these promises has always brought about a sense of hopelessness on the polity. Those in government have continued to develop “fat cheeks” while the institutions that could provide quality services to the people of Nigeria are collapsing. This state of atrophy is vividly encapsulated in the state of our country’s educational sector and the staggering unemployment figures. Imagine a country that produces well over 130, 000 graduates annually and can only offer a paltry 13, 000 jobs without creating an enabling environment for entrepreneurship to thrive.

Where do they go? What do they do?

We have come to the conclusion that it is in fact unhealthy for us to continue this way. Something has got to happen and it has got to happen fast! I mean very fast!! It is as a result of this development that we the concerned youths of this great country Nigeria, have decided to be fully engaged in this electoral process in order to safeguard our future. This act needless to say is the first of its kind in recent times where young people come together to volunteer their time and resources, to give credence to true democracy. This is the time to ask the question “what can I do”? The answer to this question is relatively simple; we will arise as young people all over the country to rally around a credible candidate. One of immense vision, integrity, imbued with intellectual prowess, one whose antecedents have proven beyond reasonable doubt his ability to propagate to reality the cravings of the Nigerian youth.

This great man in question is no other than Professor Pat Utomi. A man who exudes the characteristics and the pedigree that our ailing country Nigeria is in dire need of. Any which way we look at it, his only crime would be that he is a “good man” and has no place in the Nigerian politics. Says who?

The only way he is going to get there is if we say “no” to the money politics and give credible people like him a fighting chance. This is why we beckon on you the civil societies, the press and most of all the Nigerian youth to join us (Utomi for President Volunteer Force) to make a difference and break these chains of poverty, manipulation and injustice. Join us as we march forward to the realization of the Nigeria of our dreams, the Nigeria our founding fathers so fervently fought for, the Nigeria we so desperately need at this delicate juncture of our nascent democracy.

Take a stand for this positive movement, march with us today and tell your children tomorrow that you were a part of the catalyst that brought about the transformation of our father land.

We would like to seize this opportunity to formally present to the good people of Nigeria, and indeed the entire world, the Utomi for President Volunteer Force (UFPVF). Our mandate is to become a 5 million-strong force (made up of Nigerians below the age of 40) by March 2007. For further inquiry on how you too can be a member of the Utomi for President Volunteer Force (UFPVF), please contact us at:

9 Adebola Street
Off Adeniran Ogunsanya Street
+234-1- 8731861 (Charles)
+234-1-8731489 (Martha)
+234-1- 4823856 (Linus)

*Mr. Linus Okorie read this speech at the public presentation of the UFPVF in Lagos, Nigeria

Goldman Sachs Internship Opportunity (The Africa Inititiave)

(c) GS 2006

Goldman Sachs (GS), a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm, has announced its Spring Internship Program called “The Africa Initiative.”

This program is for undergraduate students studying in Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa. If studying in a Ghanaian or Nigerian university, you must currently be in the first year of a three year course or the second year of a four year course. If studying in South Africa, you will be in the second year of a three year course or third year of a four year course.

In order to provide program participants with an insight into our businesses and culture, program attendees will be flown to London to spend up to 10 days in our offices during April 2007. The program features seminars, divisional rotations, interesting assignments and a range of social events.

High-potential participants will be invited back to the firm the following year for an 8-10 week fully-funded internship during June/July 2008. The purpose of these internships are to identify strong candidates to whom we may ultimately extend fulltime Analyst offers in 2009.

There is a two-step application process – both stages must be completed:

  1. Step 1: Apply online (www.gs.com/careers) and upload you CV and cover letter. Select Internship = New Analyst.
  2. Step 2: Visit the Upcoming Events in Europe page and register using the “Goldman Sachs Africa Initiative” link where you will answer two essays:

  • 1. What are your key strengths? (300 words)
  • 2. Why should you be selected for this program? (300 words)

The application deadline is 31 January 2007. Please note that you must be studying at a university in South Africa, Ghana or Nigeria to apply to participate in this initiative. For additonal information, please click here

“Envisioning a New Nigeria” – Pat Utomi

Declaration Speech by Professor Pat Utomi, Aspirant for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria made at the Yaradua Centre, Abuja on Monday December 4, 2006.

Enabled by God’s Grace, hope from a life long commitment to the Advancement of the Common Good, and the Goodwill of so many who care, I stand before you, anxious about the failings of yesterday and the challenges of this moment, yet much hopeful for rebirth and renewal for our country. I come firm in my conviction that we can reclaim the promise of our country for which our Nation’s founding fathers gave their youth. It is with this hope that I welcome you most warmly to this unveiling of a dream.

The promise of a new nation shaped by the integrity of the men who led the independence struggle; the selfless giving of the Sarduana of Sokoto, the focus and rigor of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the intellectual sagacity of Zik of Africa and the people centered commitment of Aminu Kano has in 40 wilderness years since 1966 given way to self doubt. To many, self doubt has given way to despair.

The time has come to reject self pity and helplessness and hopelessness that defines the Nigerian condition. In the last six months I have traversed this blessed land adorned by the pain of its children. I have spoken to the market women in Mushin whose growth is stymied by the paradox of declining purchasing power in time of windfall revenue flows.

As the only Aspirant to the Presidency who has toured Nigeria meeting the people, as different from arriving state capitals in chartered flights to shake hands with Governors and receive Chieftaincy titles, I have come to a true discovery of the Nigerian condition, beyond cold statistics. I have felt the pain of market women in Dugbe in Ibadan, listened to the cry of the unemployed in Kano, felt the pain of the Aba teacher, dealt with the anguish of the Birnin Kebbi family that lost a breadwinner in yet another air disaster. The cry of my beloved country rises to eardrum piercing decibel levels inside of me.

The Nigerian Condition

Human material progress has been in steady ascent all over the world in this post-colonial epoch, everywhere, but in Africa. In few places in Africa is this sad trend more palpable, more real, more painful than in one of the truly potentially high performing economies of the continent, Nigeria. Just about every statistic of note points to Nigeria as a laggard, even in Africa, but an elite, content with sharing that which comes from a natural resource prospected and managed in an enclave, by foreign enterprises, repeatedly wallow in self congratulations of being a great and prosperous country. All because the people, some 150 million of or so of us do not seem to matter. If we counted, the statistics showing that 71% of us live in poverty as the Economist reminded us just the week before a minister told us that of the 130,000 graduates our universities will turn out just 10% are likely to find jobs, these would be reason for a state of emergency rather than the erring of a Governor who probably was never elected by the people.

On Employment

Erstwhile National Planning Minister, Ayo Ogunlade at a conference here in Abuja reviewed unemployment figures and thought a national crisis was imminent. Today the situation is much worse. With so many unemployed our angry and idle youth are a ticking time bomb. Tackling this monster must be job 1 if Nigeria is to be renewed.

Security of Life and Property

I was at a friend’s burial a week ago. He was an entrepreneur and outstanding executive who found a major company a decade ago. This high powered human capital did not live to be 50. The reason; he dared to go to church on Sunday morning and some robbers accosted him for his cell phone.

Health Care

If my late friend made it to the hospital his chance of survival would have been remote. Our hospitals have been described in coup day broadcast as mere consulting clinics. Evidence is they have declined further. We now invest much money to buy aircraft to ostensibly fly out a few privileged people for the price of two world class hospitals. Last year, I heard a most apt description of our health care system by a Professor of Medicine, Fola Tayo. He called it a “man-made disaster”. Part of the challenge of healthcare which we must raise here is the lack of portable drinking water. Some of my friends joke that Nigerian doctors prescribe for typhoid fever before they examine a patient because of this reality.


The collapse of infrastructure is one of the great spectacles of the Nigerian condition. From the streets of Aba and Port-Harcourt to the unbelievable state of the Lagos-Benin Highway and the manoeuvring art of driving on the Gusau-Sokoto road, I came, as I travelled around Nigeria, to appreciate the Canadian diplomat who, speaking to human rights advocates described the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway as an assault on the fundamental human rights of all those who ply the road. With epileptic power supply not only making social life so frustrating, but also triggering off the current de-industrialization mode of an economy that was only beginning its nascent stages of manufacturing capacity development, our work to join civilized society is clearly cut out for us.


At a time in human history when human capital is the essential ingredient of human material progress, Nigeria has consistently fallen below UNESCO ratios for investment in education. From the early 1960s when the Ashby Commission found the quality of tertiary education in Nigeria comparable to the best in the world to these times when foreign universities doubt the acceptability of our graduates for graduate study, education in Nigeria has lost its shine. Some of my friends have to send their children to go to school in Ghana, in this age of the knowledge worker.

Crises of Values

Little else from Agriculture, to the rule of law and the essence of civilized living like clean water can be said to be okay in Nigeria. If the truth must be told culture is in decay, there is a crises of values in our land, and value shapes human progress. Culture matters. Values shape the policy choices we make, the way our institutions evolve, how we grow human capital and develop a spirit of enterprise. It is these factors that determine progress. Given the crises of values that envelopes Nigeria there is little wonder we live in a prolonged no growth era. But hope is not lost.

A New Beginning

From the ashes of the rot of Nigeria’s years in the wilderness a new Nigeria must arise, like the Phoenix. It must spread its wings over all of its children; poor or rich; old and young; Nupe and Efik; Animist or Buddhist. Surely dry bones can rise and walk again.

I have a vision that I must pursue with passion. It is of a Nigeria with a people of industry and integrity who are prosperous, and live in harmony, one with the other as mostly middle class people, inspiring an African Renaissance in which the dignity of the human person is at the centre of all public choice.

Our mission in public life is therefore to affect those factors in the politics and governance of our country that cripple the Nigerian condition. These have been summed up in our trinity of purpose: To build a viable political opposition through consolidation and organizing, achieve a democratization of political party processes, and transform Nigeria’s inchoate economy into a globally competitive one that raises the quality of life of the citizens.

Job Creation as Job 1:
Our top priority is job creation. Poverty alleviation is meaningless unless you can create quality jobs in a sustainable manner. Our strategy for creating these jobs will, remarkably also help deal with the infrastructure, food security and manufacturing challenges we confront. To increase purchasing power, and the scope of citizens entering the consumer economy, we propose creating jobs through massive infrastructure projects involving networks of super highways, and Standard Gauge Railways across the country. This will not only open up the country and facilitate commerce it will immediately put millions of Nigerians to work, providing incomes that will increase demands for basic need products and household consumables. The chain of circular income flows will stimulate further investments in the economy and renewed growth in other sectors.

We expect to drive this ambitious initiative through a variety of Build Operate and Transfer agreements that will initially rely on collaterising part of our foreign reserves, forward deals; and citizen stakeholder group monitored direct construction contracts. Most of the infrastructure will come from private foreign capital.

Jobs in Agriculture:
Jobs will also come with programme designed to renew agriculture. Back in 1960 Agriculture accounted for 73 % of the labour force and 64% of output. It is noteworthy that the Nigerian of that time had a higher quality of life than today’s Nigerian. Our challenge is to make agriculture profitable and, therefore, attractive to young gifted and educated people. A lesson from extant experience in Pakistan where agricultural infrastructure like irrigation have benefited from private investment as well as that of countries challenged by the environment like Israel should be solutory for our new Nigeria.

Jobs through Manufacturing:
The decline in manufacturing contribution to GDP from 1980, is so steep that alarm bells should have gone off long ago. From double digit rates to less than 4% means a huge loss of jobs and an upswing in the misery index. A major reason for this is the power supply situation. Our Bring Your Own Infrastructure (BYOI) economy has been unkind to manufacturing and to jobs. The short term solution is to concentrate manufacturing within enclaves in which all infrastructure are provided at world class level. It is as such that our vision includes providing an industrial park in each of six zones of economic development into which we have partitioned Nigeria. Using Private/Public sector partnership we hope to spare these enclaves the damage of bureaucratic meddling and the transaction cost of corruption. Our contract with the Diaspora also aims to mobilize world class labour force competences to make these six industrial parks competitive growth modes around which international standard housing with appropriate mortgage finance complements could make nuclei of new cities of world class.

The Spirit of Enterprise:
We hope to move from job creation to wealth creation by stimulating the spirit of enterprise and growth of SMEs through an entrepreneurship extension service initiative. The NYSC could be a platform for this initiative which we believe will do for business development what agricultural extension service did for agriculture in the 1960s.

If Chief Obafemi Awolowo was a visionary, his approach to education as a universal good for all citizens made him a true sage. We know today that education is key to the future.

Our vision of a new Nigeria is one in which investment in education not only meets and surpasses UNESCO ratios but is so creatively implemented that between the tiers of government, education of quality will be collaboratively delivered as citizen right at certain levels and one to which options for access is expanded and available at tertiary levels using student loan schemes, scholarships, etc. All parts of Nigeria that have lower levels of educational attainment will receive agreed special interventions. Emphasis will be on functional education and a values component that drives a work, creativity and entrepreneurial ethic.

Institution Building, Rule of Law and Security of Life and Property:
There are many aspirants who mount platitudes to continuing the reforms of the present administration. Most of them are clueless about why, in spite of those reforms, Nigerians are poorer and less secure today than they were eight years ago. One reason is that our institutions are weak and produce the phenomenon of a recursive economy with two steps forward, with policy reform, and four steps backward, shortly after because institutions fail to set boundaries to conduct. Our team will work assiduously with civil society and a more vibrant and committed bureaucracy to ensure institution-building.

The rule of law is fundamental to building institutions. You can not have institutions that ensure economic prosperity, like stock markets, working effectively in the same environment where arbitrariness reigns when it comes to impeachment of Governors. We are persuaded that our vision of a prosperous Nigeria is hinged on fastidious observance of the rule of law, property rights and ensuring effective policing.

We propose police reforms including multi-tier policing (federal, state and local) and significant increase in the number of and quality of men in uniform. Equipping the force to be mobile and effective in communication is key to reforming it.

Our commitment to re-build the man-made disaster called the health sector though steeped in private health care and the wisdom in prevention being better than cure, aims ultimately, in the area of managing disease at the elimination of the need to fly Nigerians abroad for medical care.

As a private citizen, some 15 years ago, I began a programme of bringing in Nigerian Trauma Surgeons abroad to help upgrade the skills available. That programme which ran for a few years followed an automobile mishap in which I almost died, on July 12, 1991. It made me sensitive to the urgent need for quality trauma care. I am therefore committed to some world class hospitals being built as centres of excellence in various areas of specialized medical care. These would be in public/private sector partnerships, the same basis for pursuing state of the art research into tropical health challenges like malaria which have both been so attractive to multinational pharmaceutical firms because African are considered too poor to pay for the outcomes of such research effort. I have publicly committed to WHO’s STOP TB CAMPAIGN. I will give it more teeth and ensure that instead of countries like Kenya being used as example for us to emulate Nigeria will be the poster child of healthcare delivery in this area.

My conscience is assaulted daily by statistics which show that life expectancy in Nigeria has dropped from 53 years in 1991 to 46 years in 2003 and lower today; that malaria still claims 25% of our infants, something so preventable; and that 55,000 mothers die at child birth every year in this land. I am even more disturbed by the fact that even those who live can have greater material prospects if human capital, the ultimate economic tool of the age of the knowledge workers is enhanced. And human capital is essentially about education and health care. To fail to commit most of government resources in these two social sectors is unbelievable lack of wisdom. We must change that.

One has to acknowledge that the legacy of the current administration is founded on thoughtful ideas of macro economic policy choice. Our goal will be to continue the move from inefficient statistic approaches to more market driven choices with the insistence on the people being the central determinant of final choice. In following current public choice orientation for macroeconomic policy we will be introducing higher level of transparency; citizen-stakeholder monitoring of the budget and policy implementation and strict adherence to the Fiscal Responsibility Act when law results from the bill which I consider one of the biggest accomplishment of the current regime.

In addition I would seek constitutional amendments that would allow for a future fund and a stabilization fund in place of the current excess crude management system.

Youth and Women Affairs:
We cannot pursue all that is attractive to change for the good of Nigeria. We must focus on a few. Job creation, education and law and order top our priorities. Special attention to those who bear the brunt of our inchoate economy, the youth and women as well as the socially challenged will be an integral part of our effort.

I have said without equivocation that I will have a cabinet that will be up to 50 percent female because there is evidence that they perform and may tend to be less corrupt. My commitment to the youth is too well known to need elaboration. We will certainly embrace the ideas of the Centre for Values in Leadership which I founded to develop young people into leadership roles by making their voices count in decision making. As I have said repeatedly we should not engage in the deceit of calling them leaders of tomorrow. The youths are leaders of the moment. It is indeed their energy, passion, and risk orientation that will liberate Nigeria from descent into anarchy and set it on course to being a strong economic player in the comity of Nations.


Martin Luther King had a dream. I too dream. I see visions of a society written off for yesterday’s failings but whose youth embrace new ideas and say never again, become a land of integrity, of industry of harmonious co-existence, respected by the world and cherished by its neighbours as it lives the rule of law and upholds the dignity of the human person. I share today with passion my vision of a nation where family values are held dear and progress enjoyed in humble acknowledgement of the creator’s gifting. I do indeed have a dream of a glorious new dawn that is inclusive of all, no matter the tongue they speak nor the faith they profess, for non is the child of a lesser God. I give you the new Nigeria which will be built not because I am a superman or know better than others, but because we work as a team each bringing some of those great gifts God randomly distributed to his children. I give you a new Nigeria. Close your eyes for one second and imagine the possibilities.

Reclaim your country.

God bless you all.

“Let The Rainbow Take Shape” — Pat Utomi

Prof. Pat Utomi for President!

Speech by presidential aspirant Prof. Pat Utomi at send-forth rally at the Oshimili South local government arcade, Nnebisi road Asaba


From the deep creeks of the Niger Delta to the sandy dunes that border the receding Lake Chad, and the bush paths that make it hard to tell whether it is the soil of Benin Republic or that of Nigeria’s Kwara State and the mountain ranges that allow us a glimpse of Benue, Cross Rivers State, and in fact Cameroon, I greet you the varied, the gifted and the long suffering people of our beloved country. I salute you in great tribute as I acknowledge that the moment is now for identifying where the rain began to wet our heads and that acting jointly we may draw down the evidence that it is time to play because the rain is gone – the rainbow.

I thank you who have come from great distances to gather in the quest for reasoning together on how to escape this rain that has hammered down so hard on us that a country which should be prosperous is inhabited by some of the poorest people on earth. Folklore tells us that in the abundance of water the fool is thirsty. But we are thirsty with water everywhere; there is soap in our eyes irritating those vital organs even though we are in a pool of water. Reflect, my people; reflect. Unless we can put on thinking caps ours may be like the sad story of some of our regional compatriots who watched, in denial about predicted doom, until they were consumed by it.

Such ominous portends about us too have rung out. Many of us remain unconcerned, or convinced that our personal circumstances will shield us from whatever may come. But I urge you to look at people who thought like them a few years ago in Cote d’voire and a few years earlier still, in Liberia. It is these reflections that led me to stand from the comforts of my immediate environment, persuaded that on the raising of an army of servant leaders dedicated to making the true needs of the people the essence of public life and deeply passionate that advancing the Common Good could save the fast rushing Nigerian train from the precipice.

Prof. Pat Utomi for President!

I have since embarked on a tour of this vast country, talking to the rich, the poor, the women, the men, the young and the old, in languages I could speak and in those I could not speak. I discovered an amazing thing; we all want similar things. How we want them may differ, but in brotherhood we stand in seeking a better future for our children, a reduction in the toil with which we eke out an improved quality of life for ourselves.

The years of innocence have been consumed by the dark clouds of corruption, and the despising of intellect and people of ideas. The result is clear. Instead of hospitals we have homes of death; in place of schools, we have sheds of unlearning and illiteracy; rather than export food and agricultural produce as we used to we have become the world’s biggest importer of Rice and even Palm Seedlings that were taken from here have sent back their grandchildren as imported oil from Malaysia. Tell me, my people, how long shall we kill our prophets and wander in the wilderness.

Prof. Pat Utomi for President!

As I traveled around the country, consulting and listening to the people I felt the pain of this blessed land; I heard the cries of little children, innocents who did not choose to be born here, and felt the agony of mothers who could not provide, and the anguish of widows deprived of what little they had to live on. It became clear to me that it would be hard for me on judgment day if I did not come forward and say to you that you have a choice.

Nigeria needs a revolution. Nigerians must arise and throw off the yoke of leaders who do not care, who may not know, and who in greed and mindless selfishness hold them in bondage, sacrificing even the future of their own children because they lack the wisdom to see that even their own children, no matter how much of the public treasure they despoil, are likely victims of a mortgaged future. It is a revolution we can accomplish without a shot being fired. I have stood up to be counted in offering myself as willing to go forth and contest the market place of ideas with my vision of a new Nigeria. If that vision, which we shall offer on Monday pleases you then I would in deep humility go forward as your servant to contest elections for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. But there is much work to do.

Prof. Pat Utomi for President!

Many times when change has become imperative in Africa we have failed the people badly because self-centered elite hold on to fiefdoms fractured political parties are reluctant to coalesce into one solid opposition block. FORD in Kenya went down that path and left a tired Arap Moi regime in power. Even in Nigeria our previous democratic incarnations suffered from this disease. I have therefore deliberately encouraged the road to a coalition of interests since I indicated interest in participating in partisan politics. It has been a big challenge managing egos in that quest to evolve structure that will best serve the desperate desire of the Nigerian people for change which was so palpable as I toured the country.

But I must thank those who I pressured with these burden. They include Chief Okey Nwosu, Chairman of ADC, leaders of AC, Chairman of Union of Political Parties, Chief Okpara, Chief Olu Falae, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, Dr. John Obayuwana and other too numerous to be named.

It is my fervent hope and prayer, for the sake of the Nigerian people, that this effort not be in vain because of narrow mindedness. Only a Rainbow, that coalition of colours in the spectrum will signal that the rain is about to stop beating the Nigerian people.

Your royal highnesses, Chiefs, Honourables, Distinguish Ladies and Gentlemen I have a dream of a country radically different from what we have now. A country where the youth have hope, the elder have contentment and the families have peace and joy, and have a dream of a country where justice reign and the rule of law is taken as a fact of life. I have a dream of progress, prosperity and the elevation of the dignity of the human person such that strife which is the hallmark of present Nigerian life recedes into only remembrance of history as on educated middle class for bread that it is a majority of the people drive a globally competitive economy. I am most grateful that you have given so generously of yourself on this working day to send me forth into the political arena to seek to make these dreams come true.

May God bless you, bless your children and bless our dear country.

— Pat Utomi.