BY ISAAC OLAMIKAN
A professor of political economy, Prof. Pat Utomi, has called on young Nigerians to work harder to identify the nation’s problems and proffer lasting solutions in order to protect their future.
Utomi, who made the call at an event tagged, “Discover Me,” and organised by the Simply Worship International Ministry in Benin, Edo State, said that corruption had become a major problem hindering the progress of the country and urged the youths to take urgent steps to prevent the persistent plundering of the nation’s wealth.
Utomi said, “First of all, I think it is important to understand that corruption is very frightening; it is destroying our country and people find all kinds of things that distract us from the main understanding of how terrible corruption is against the progress of our country.
“We must collectively work to reduce, if not eliminate, corruption from our body polity. The second thing is that I am one of those repulsed a little bit by the excessive partisanship of the Nigerian situation.
“We must, as a people, collectively recognise some problems we have as a country and work together to solve them and not reducing them (because) that is what makes it easy for the bad people to get away with it.
“As a person that many entities turn to for opinions on what to do in Nigeria, I know how many times major corporations around the world have turned away from investing in Nigeria after seeing the opportunity because of the fact that in Nigeria, there is so much corruption.
“In Nigeria, one of the biggest risks is regulatory risk; government institutions are a major risk for business because of the ineptitude, sometimes, because of the partisanship and personal nature of their decisions. So, it is important that we work across party lines to stop these things.”
Utomi stated that the younger generation must resist the temptation to allow their political decisions to be determined by unscrupulous politicians.
He said, “Young Nigerians should be looking at ideas that will make that future one in which they can be competitive with anybody on planet earth. They should be looking at people whose track records show a commitment to service, a commitment to thinking very clearly about things and not allowing themselves to be sucked into a one-bag-of-rice kind of basis for making decisions.
“Young people, first of all, have to realise that leading is not about saying, ‘It is my turn; you have to give it (leadership) to me.’ You have to be prepared to lead.”
He stated that Nigeria needed a system based on honesty and merit, which it currently lacked, in order to surmount the numerous problems.
Utomi added, “If we can bring more honesty into our system, if we can allow merit to determine things more in our system, then there will be a culture of justice. One of the reasons Nigeria is in trouble is the level of injustice in the system.
“The poor man’s son does not have the opportunity that used to be taken for granted, if he just focused on his books and studied 30 years ago. And so, we have these disruptions in the system. So, we need a more merit-driven system. We need a more just system. Once we have that, Nigeria will rise up again.”
The Senior Pastor of SWIM, Rev. David Atenaga, explained that the event was held to inspire the youths to realise their essence in life and enable them to live purpose-driven lives.
Atenaga said, “It is not so much about government; it is about us. If a man finds his purpose, he can actually make the most of life from wherever he is. True greatness or wealth in life is created only when you solve problems.”
2 Apr at 19:03
COSON CRISIS: EDO MEMBERS THREATEN TO DRAG EFE OMOROGBE BEFORE BENIN MONARCH
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Members of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) Edo State chapter have threatened to report Efe Omorogbe, whose activity they deemed inimical to their well-being, to the Benin Monarch, His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare 11, N’Ogidigan.
Addressing the press on Monday, the aggrieved musicians advised Efe Omorogbe, who is of Edo State extraction, “to desist from further being used as an instrument of destabilisation in the society.”
The Edo artistes alleged that on December 7th, 2017 Efe “led a couple to remove the chairman of the Governing Board of COSON, Chief Tony Okoroji,” adding that is being named by his cohorts to succeed Chief Tony Okoroji was to impose on him “shoes larger than life for you to fit in.”
They observed that his “so called appointment as chairman of COSON was mute and very unpopular with vexatious reactions across the creative industry at home and abroad.
“You will recall the disgraceful treatment you received on the 19th of December, 2017, from the COSON members across the country who gathered at the COSON Arena at COSON House in Lagos and strongly opposed and nullified your kangaroo appointment as COSON chairman.”
In conclusion, the Edo COSON members expressed shock that Efe, despite the democratic choice of Chief Okoroji as COSON chairman, “have mischieviously and fraudulently parade yourself as chairman of COSON. Your behaviour is contrary to the norms and culture of the great people of Edo State.
“We are embarrassed by your behaviour and thereby denounce your unwholesome activities targeted at destroying the unsurpassed respect associated with COSON.
“We warn that if you continue to allow yourself to be used to destabilize COSON, an organisation which we are very proud of and which is catering for our needs, we may have no choice but to drag you before the Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty, Oba Ewuare 11, so that you can be called to order with appropriate sanctions imposed on you for the show of shame and the conduct that negates the value, norms and culture of our great people and the creative community in general.”
It will be recalled that recently the Benin monarch placed a curse on human traffickers and other crminal elements which has since being observed to be efficacious.