“A Man Who Once Duped Me Is Now A Senator” – Pat Utomi

Pat Utomi, one of Nigeria’s prominent political economists and a former presidential aspirant, offered an anecdote that unwittingly supported a widely reported statement by erstwhile President Olusegun Obasanjo that Nigeria’s National Assembly is filled with rogues.

Addressing a group of Christian youths in Lagos at an event themed “The Building Blocks of Effective Leadership,” yesterday, Mr. Utomi touched on dysfunctions he had witnessed in the Nigerian system and x-rayed the difficulties of changing the system. His topic, “Towards Creating a Network of Corruption-Intolerant Youth Leaders,” presented a comparative analyses of Nigeria, once regarded as a powerful and emerging nation, and Indonesia, a nation that was once written off in the past

Mr. Utomi, who holds a PhD, spoke about the shocking twist of fate in which Nigeria became a strategic failure whilst Indonesia became a model of success. He identified corruption as a critical factor in the fortunes of the two countries.

Speaking through anecdotes, he related several instances of corruption involving Nigerian government officials and the aftermath of underdevelopment. Mr. Utomi disclosed that he had spoken out several times about the phenomenon of “intrinsic corruption” to the faces of public officials guilty of the crime.

He said: “I told Barth Nnaji and a host of governors, in a recent Town Hall meeting, that the problem they have currently is that Nigerians do not trust them,” said Mr. Utomi. He added, “I said, you, Yuguda, I have told journalists to publish your boutique, in terms of how many women are dying in child delivery because you spend that kind of money on your boutique rather than spend it to work for the people.”

But the most startling statement by Mr. Utomi came when he disclosed that a man who once duped him was now a senator. “A man who had 419’ed [duped] me in the past is now in the Senate. And I called the attention of a senior senator who is from the same state with the dupe, and who also knew about my dupe story with the man before, that this man is a thief and he was aware. The senior senator wanted me to keep quiet, and he said that is the problem with me, and that after all, seventy percent of government people are 419’s.”

Utomi, who quit the presidential race during last year’s election cycle, expressed the extreme difficulty of establishing a new order in Nigeria. He emphasized that those benefitting from the old system would do everything to resist any change. Even so, he stated that the youths were the only ones who have the ability to make the change.

“Youths can make these desired changes because you are not hostages of the errors of yesterday,” he said, adding that the challenge would be daunting because those benefiting from the current system “will do everything to resist the change.” He reminded the youths, “These old people are powerful and have the resources to influence anything.”

Mr. Utomi related the anecdote of a non-governmental organization located on Victoria Island in Lagos. Faced with absence of electric power to do their work, the NGO complained, said Mr. Utomi. “One of the bankers around then revealed to them that the banks are responsible for the outright lack of power supply because they are buying diesels for some companies and so they bribe the electricity workers not to provide power in order to continue to maintain their arrangement of buying more tons of diesels for their business to continue.”

Source: Sahara Reporters


  1. If the sickness of Nigeria demands comments from every Nigerian, including outsiders, who would not talk ? Will the unceasing compilation of comments offer automatic, practical and resolved situation in the country ? Pls add your comment if it is the same with the practical demonstration of solution which the situation in the country demands.

  2. Now we can see that what Buhari is saying is same with Pat Utomi. Nigeria needs revolution to get reed of this criminals. And the are usng religion and ethnicity to achieve their aims, so nigerian youth shld be alert and avoid ethnicity.

  3. All we need is revolution in dis country.we pretend so much as if things are alright.only d money bags can get things done as far as dis country is concern.its just a mata of time things wil definately change.

  4. I m frm d s/east nigeria I m strongly convince that dis present goverment is a criminal enterprise ,like uncle pat said,we re waitn 4 who will start d revolution we d nigerian youth will kick corruption out just but one day we will rise n no gun or army will stop us we re waitn

  5. Thank God every Nigerian is gradually and comprehensively reading meaningful content to general Buhari’s comment. Jonathan should have audacity to tell Nigerians the true position of our economic. I perceive naivity and lack of political wittism in this administration. May Almighty Allah come to our aid.

  6. Mr. Pat is right, only d youth can save dis country, and we can do dat through REVOLUTION. If d formal president of Libya can exit to hell we can in dis govt exit d corrupt nd wicked through revolution. Pls, d Nigeria Journalist & activist/Change men in this country shld hlp us wit internet connect, Carmeras, little generators, cars like truck for mobility reason, & food. With this for now we will start d revolution. Pls, pls, let start d ‘REVOLUTION NOW WITH NON-VIOLENCE’ we need to create an awarness on Facebook, 2go, twitter & other social network to call for peace demostration frm all major Universities, colleges of educatn & Poly. Even if we wil lost life let remember our generation yet unborn. Pls, interest people shld canvass or join d “ACTIVISM GROUP” in Facebook. We can start frm d South-west or any part. Am tired of been a graduate wit no job frm d govt for 16yrs. LETS DO IT WE CAN!!!

  7. Prof pat,u such a special economist to recone with in ths nation.we all respect ur consign with our present state of the nation.i will keep saying,u are nigeria best president we didnt had.my prayer his u should keep up with d never say die spirit,cause we the youth believe in ur leadership.keep it hot (PAT UTOMI)


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