By Dapo Akinrefon

LAGOS—PROTEM chairman of the Social Democratic Mega Party, SDMP, Professor Pat Utomi, said, yesterday, that the return of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, will not hinder the progress of the proposed mega party in next year’s general election.

Utomi, who said this in Lagos while briefing the press on the forthcoming unveiling of the party to the public on April 19, explained that the party had foreseen a situation where some members would dump the movement.

He said: “It is important to always deal with principles. We’ve established certain principles, it’s left to the electorate to decide whether or not somebody’s presence or absence will have an impact. But what will determine how we can serve the Nigerian people are the principles we have laid down and our determination to live by those principles.”

Asked whether the return of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to the PDP will not affect the fortunes of the party in the 2011 elections, Utomi said: “Nobody pushed anybody out. Anybody can decide to be aligned or misaligned, that’s a personal choice. We were not specific about any particular person, but we were certain that down the line, there are people who cannot deal with the kind of discipline or cannot deal with the kind of integrity. But we didn’t have any particular person in mind.”

On the party’s focus when eventually registered as a new political party on April 19, the former presidential candidate said: “Ours will be an entrepreneurial, market economy focused on the greatest good of the broadest segment of the population, that is advancing the common good of all. We must

move away from elite self-love, which benefits are designed for the few. We believe that given a market economy, it’s better advanced when you have a huge new class, who have a stake.”

Efforts to frustrate progress
He argued that “Nigerian people must take back their country from those who continue to frustrate progress and this is one of the examples that we will want to show.

“For democracy to really come into place, the people must hold those that they want accountable and make government really for the people, by the people and
of the people.”

In addition, he said the party’s ambition was to ensure the people were properly represented at the centre, noting that it intended to work with pro-democracy groups to actualize its aims and objectives.

He said: “We have chosen to work with groups that deal with the people constantly. One of the groups is the Labour movement. We’ve had series of meetings with leaders of the NLC and the TUC and labour leaders across the board.”


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