BY MARTINS ITUA

There’s news that Prof. Pat Utomi, renowned Economist who indicated interest in participating in the APC gubernatorial primary elections was still trying to locate the venue of the primaries when he heard that the results of the elections had been announced in favour of one of the billionaires in Delta State. Out of shock, I’m told that he concluded that APC is a wicked party.

When you look at it, you would imagine that the people of Delta State will be excited that someone with the pedigree and track record of Prof. Utomi is coming to turn things around in the state and bring the much needed development that has eluded the State for so long.

In the past, Delta State has been governed by people who simply milked the State dry and left it in debt and extreme poverty without building any notable infrastructure in the State. First, James Ibori had been their Governor and he was later convicted in the UK for money laundering and sent to jail. He left and handed over to his cousin, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan who further impoverished the State. Recently, when Uduaghan was asked on a national television about his legacy after being Governor for 8 years in Delta State and his response was that fewer women were dying from birth-related cases. This was a man who controlled billions of Naira during his eight years as Governor and he was bold enough to publicly declare that the only thing he can be remembered for was that fewer women were dying from child birth.

So one would wonder why people would rather have charlatans and robbers govern them instead of people who have excelled in business or public sector. The answers are not farfetched.

1. The game of politics is often played in the gutter and educated people who have any reputation to protect are wary of being smeared in the mud and totally detest politics.

2. The level of poverty is alarming and voters are more likely to vote for people who are able to meet their temporary needs of quenching hunger than delivering long-term economic growth and development.

3. The resources of the Country are often concentrated in the hands of a few thieves who are able to buy votes. In addition, many educated people are often unable to even purchase declaration of interest forms which can cost as much as N20m or more. It’s on record that APC Presidential forms were sold for N45m and of course, only the current President bought it.

4. Religious and ethnic considerations. Sadly but truely, people really have no regards for competence in choosing leaders as long as the candidate shares their religious beliefs and come from the same section of the Country or State.

The sad reality is that Nigeria will remain in perpetual servitude for as long as we are governed by the worst amongst us. Politicians have deliberately left people in extreme penury to ensure that by simply giving them peanuts, the people will vote for them.

When you’re ill or your vehicle has a problem, you’re less concerned by what religion the doctor professes or their ethnic background. You’re more likely to be concerned by whether they are competent enough to fix the problem. Until we adopt this paradigm as our national ideology and philosophy in choosing our leaders, true and real development will remain a mirage.