Pat Utomi, a Professor of political economy and a management expert has described political parties in Nigeria as becoming anti-intellectuals, where people who think are isolated.
Prof. Utomi was a guest on ARISE News where he spoke on the state of the nation and noted that Nigeria cannot make any progress where the thinking of political parties in the country is that “if you think you are a problem.”
“I say I belong to a political party but I say publicly, repeatedly that there is no political party in Nigeria. We tried to organise one and state capture captured it, so it turned out not to be a political party,” Prof Utomi said.
“Until a political party articulates a set of ideas about the world and say that our business is to recruit people who believe in these ideas and then form institutions that socialise those people into a complete understanding and then get them in competition with one another about who will be most remembered for advancing those ideas.
“In Nigeria, we concocted this funny thing in 1999, allowed soldiers and their bagmen who had looted the Nigerian treasury to be able to fund some funny arrangement around the country and Nigerian political parties actually became anti-intellectual.
“The thinking in Nigerian political parties is that if you think you are a problem and the goal of the party is to isolate people who think. This country cannot make any progress, we’ll sit in the gutters, that’s the only way a country like that goes.”
Utomi, who’s also a former presidential candidate called for a change in the kind of political parties in the country, and one that will be led by people of ideas.
“We must change the kind of political parties we have, find people of ideas who have a vision of the country as leadership is about knowledge, it’s about a sense of service. If either is missing you can’t be a leader,” he said.
“If you look at the Nigerian political arena, knowledge is completely missing, they have no idea of where the country should be going. A sense of service does not exist because state capture and the advance of self overtakes everything.”
By Abel Ejikeme