UTOMI, OTHERS EXTOL AZIKIWE'S VIRTUES
By Emmanuel Elebeke & Bartholomew Madukwe
LAGOS - African Democratic Congress, ADC, Presidential candidate in the April 2011 election, Prof. Pat Utomi, yesterday, said the days of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and his contemporaries, such as Chief Obafemi Amolowo, the Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello and others were an eye opener to today's leadership failure.
Speaking at the 15th Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe Day and town hall meeting, in Lagos organised by Centre for Nationalism and Good Governance, Utomi said: 'In Zik's time, when the flow of leadership was from the sub national government to the centre, as leaders engaged in competition on who would outwit the other in bringing good governance, it would not be about Federal Government's money to spend.'
The gathering provided a platform for Igbo resident in Lagos State to fraternise, as they reiterated the need for entrenchment of true federalism in Nigeria.
They said the system, when put into practice, would address the lingering challenges facing Nigeria as a developing nation.
Utomi condemned the culture of waiting on Abuja for decision making, saying: 'To be fair, the politicians of Zik's time sometimes paid more attention to where they lived than where the wealth was coming from. This was why Cocoa House rose in Ibadan and Western House in Lagos.
'In continuing to spend nearly 40 per cent of allocation for infrastructure on Abuja, we cause people to question if our democracy is government of the politicians, by the politicians and for the politicians.'
Chairman of the occasion, Engr. Dominic Ekesi, extolled the virtures of Zik, saying that true federalism was needed to actualise the dream of the founding fathers of Nigeria.
'Let all the zones in the country pursue self governance to realise their collective goals,' he said, stressing that the problem with Nigeria was systematic, which the presidential system of government had failed to address.