by Chi Ibe
Pat Utomi, former presidential candidate has joined the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria.
In 2007, Utomi, contested in presidential election on the platform of the African Democratic Party but recently announced his switch on his Facebook page on Sunday night December 23.
“It has been pointed out to me that many Nigerians who have supported the work I have done in politics and community service are unaware of the fact that I’m now a member of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN),” the statement said. “I have been a member for more than a year.”
He said he decided to join the ACN, which is the dominant political platform in Nigeria’s South-West geopolitical zone and a part of the South-South, “because the progressive opposition in Nigeria has been unable to bring itself under one umbrella though many, myself included, have tried to bring this about by encouraging the subsuming of ego for the common progressive good.”
“This has proven very difficult and progressives cannot afford to dissipate their energies in various small armies while the enemies of the progressive struggle are disciplined enough to coalesce under the conservative/retrogressive Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“I would therefore encourage all opposition parties to join the ACN. As far as I’m concerned, Nigeria should run a PDP-ACN political party structure.”
Utomi, a successful businessman and former presidential adviser in the Second Republic’s government of Shehu Shagari, entered full-time politics in 2007 when he joined the African Democratic Congress and contested that year’s presidential election on that platform.
But after he fell out in that election, he tried hard to galvanise the country’s opposition parties to form a single party that could effectively challenge the ruling Peoples Democratic Party in next elections.
That didn’t work out too, Utomi then formed another party, the Social Democratic Mega Party, on which platform he tried to contest the 2011 presidential elections but withdrew from the race towards the end.