A POLITICAL movement that is to be unveiled in a few weeks time would present a draft new constitution for Nigeria.
The group that is spearheading the movement would insist that there will not be any elections in Nigeria if there is no provision for electronic transmission of election results.
A Professor of Political Economy Pat Utomi disclosed these when he appeared on Arise Television on September 22.
Utomi was part of the group, including a former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Attahiru Jega, that unveiled a political movement – Rescue Nigeria Project (RNP) – in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, on September 21.
The RNP is reportedly designed to provide an alternative political platform to the dominance of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Speaking on Arise Television, Utomi suggested that the RNP was linked to other groups which are springing up to address specific political and economic issues in the country.
“Expect three or four more of these groups that I know of to emerge in the next couple of weeks and I think many of them will focus on specific areas,” he said.
“Another group I am associated with has been focusing on constitutional reform, electoral process reform. There is going to be a major coming out for that group, offering Nigeria a draft new constitution. Free Nigeria. A movement that says unless electronic transmission of election results is going to define how we go forward, then let us not have elections,” Utomi added.
Noting that the new group would be likened to a movement, Utomi explained that the insistence on electronic transmission was informed by the realisation that there are no credible elections in Nigeria.
“We don’t have elections in Nigeria. There are people who are relying on state capture, abusing the electoral process and announcing they have won elections.
“That group will be so insistent with its work that people will say this is one more movement.”
Utomi further revealed that one of the groups that would be unveiled in the coming days would focus on “responsible economic management”.
The need to focus on responsible economic management was informed by the lack of a clear economic strategy in the country.
According to Utomi, the Nigerian government was borrowing from all kinds of places without any clear strategy on how the borrowings can lead to real growth in the economy by providing millions of desperately needed jobs.
“We need to invest in our young people and make it the basis for the renewed growth and expansion that the economy needs,” he said.
The political economist frowned on what he described as the emphasis on power rather than purpose in Nigerian politics.
“In Nigeria, there is too much focus on power rather than purpose. Building a strong nation with a viable economy is more important than power. Nigerians are fixated on power. Anytime there is any grouping that is more about purpose people ask how are they going to get power?
“Unless we see things in this context, focusing on purpose, the obsession with power – this party, that party – will make us poorer, more miserable, create more insecurity and all the kinds of problem we are dealing with today.”
Utomi further explained that the unveiling of the Rescue Nigeria Project (RNP) on September 21 was the culmination of discussions between people who are interested in solving problems.
The people involved in the RNP understand that Nigeria’s major problem was quality of leadership, Utomi observed, noting that purpose was the starting point in entrenching good leadership.
Apart from Utomi and Jega, others involved in the formation of the RNP include a former governor of Cross River state Donald Duke, a former governor of Kwara State Abdulfatah Ahmed, Tunde Adeniran, Lee Maeba, Usman Bugaje and Nkoyo Toyo.
“This particular group (RNP) is looking at the issue of quality of leadership, competence and courage. Not the usual issues of where you come from and that type of stuff,” Utomi said while shedding light on the objectives of the Rescue Nigeria Project.