Prof. Pat Utomi, the Protem National Chairman of the Social Democratic Mega Party (SDMP), has declared his ambition to contest the 2011 presidential election.
Utomi, who was the presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress in 2007, made his intention known at a news conference in Lagos. “I will be making a formal declaration in three weeks’ time. It will be in response to calls from various quarters for me to run”.
“It will be unwise to shy away from the challenge of continuing to seek for a change in Nigeria,’’ Utomi said. The presidential aspirant promised to prioritise education development and improved healthcare delivery, if elected.
Utomi, however, remarked that the desired change in Nigeria would not be achieved if the citizens failed to elect credible leaders. “The SDMP considers the electoral process the key to legitimacy of regimes and such legitimacy is critical to policy implementation.
“We want to particularly focus on the youth who, for too long, have been made powerless as a few people made nonsense of our democracy.
“If those between the ages of 18 and 30 register and determine to vote to secure their future, the shame that has been our experience will be wiped out,’’ he said.
He urged the youth to mobilise the populace toward the 2011 elections by enlightening the masses on the need to vote for candidates of their choices, as well as the need to defend their votes.
Utomi also called on the youth to organise public debates and invite political aspirants to tell the masses their plans in order to hold such aspirants accountable.