One of Nigeria’s foremost political economists and former presidential candidate, Professor Pat Utomi, on Saturday said that the country is gradually dying from the actions of its political class.
Prof. Utomi further stated that all general elections conducted in the country since1999 have been rigged but did not name those behind the rigging.
Utomi, who dropped the bombshell as the guest speaker at the 4th Convocation Ceremony of McPherson University, Seriki Sotayo, Ogun State, said that Nigeria is like what the United States of America was in 1979, a country in decline.
”The world says Nigeria has lost its strategic relevance in the world. But can the youths of Nigeria embrace the spirit of enterprise and through it save their country that once was a country of great promise,” Utomi asked.
Giving reasons for his position, Prof Utomi said the poverty level in the country is so alarming that citizens can feel it, and that violence has become rampant, with kidnappings in the South East, South-South and Boko Haram violence in the North East.
“Our politicians are a disgrace, they don’t play by the rules. We have never had free and fair general elections since 1999. I have the fact, all the elections were rigged,” he said.
”In many ways, Nigeria is like America was in 1979, a country in decline.”
Utomi, who spoke on ”Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists” said it is the youth of the country that can save it if given the opportunity like the American youth did in the 1980s.
He observed that the current reality in the country is that government action or regulatory risk is the most likely reason for business failure in Nigeria.
The Vice Chancellor of McPherson University, Prof. Adeniyi Agunbiade, said last year it graduated 70 graduates, noting that ”this year, we are releasing 92 young people into the world of works.”
Prof. Agunbiade disclosed that 15 of the graduating students made First Class (16.3 per cent), 38 are in the Second Class Upper Division (41.3 per cent) while 31 are recorded Second Class Lower Division (33.7 per cent) and others fell into Third Class (8.7 per cent) category.
He explained that the university recorded full accreditation for the four programmes visited by the National Universities Commission (NUC) in October/November, 2018, which are Microbiology, Computer Science and Biochemistry programmes in the College of Natural and Applied Sciences which were presented for re-accreditation and Mass Communication Programme in the College of Social and Management Sciences, which faced accreditation for the first time.
”Four other undergraduate programmes Political Science, Information Technology, Software Engineering and Bachelor of Nursing Science and some postgraduate programmes have been approved by Senate and the Governing Council and presented to NUC for verification and take-off in the current or next academic session. While one of them, the Bachelor of Nursing Science programme, will be visited in the next two weeks, the rest are expected to be visited later in the new session. Our request for approval to commence running of part-time programmes is also receiving the attention of the NUC,” the VC stressed.
The University also conferred honorary degrees on former General Overseer of Foursquare Gospel Church, Rev. Wilson Badejo and on the pioneer Pro Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of McPherson University, Prof Israel Adu.