January 14, 2011

SDMP picks Utomi as presidential candidate

ABUJA—THE Social Democratic Mega Party, SDMP, yesterday adopted Prof Pat Utomi as its presidential candidate for the 2011 general election.

The party in its national convention held in Abuja, yesterday, also adopted former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and a former presidential candidate on the platform of the All Peoples Party, APP, Chief Olu Falae, as it national chairman.

Prof Utomi, who also contested for the Presidency in 2007 under the African Democratic Congress, ADC, was unanimously adopted without any contest by the delegates to the convention, following a motion for his adoption.

In his acceptance speech, Professor Utomi, while lauding the members of SDMP and one of its founding fathers, late Pa Anthony Enahoro, said his nomination mirrored total humility which was currently lacking in the Nigerian political system.

He said:   “I stand before you, a simple and unworthy beneficiary of God’s Grace. If there was a man unlikely to stand before you in the climate of times and the politics of big men and resentment of ideas, that man is me.”

Professor Utomi in a statement, entitled “I dare to dream”, said he would tackle the problems of power, health, education, unemployment, bad economy, security and agriculture if elected as president of Nigeria in 2011.

He said:  “Not to dream will be a curse. Sure it has to be the imperative of being to dream of new beginnings if 80 percent of teachers fail the exams set for their pupils who only manage 2 to 20 percent pass in NECO and WEAC examination.

“It is a statistic of anguish that has led me to dream to dare to dream of new ways of accelerated teacher education and retraining of quality teachers and incentive schemes that will invest high bonuses in teachers whose pupils score certain grades in cheating free external examinations.

“Provide extraordinary grants for tertiary institutions that develop applied technology courses that makes graduate hotly employable or ready to create ventures as entrepreneurs.

“Banishing today’s blackouts not just that the quality of life rise because we can watch television in comfort but so that the vulcanizer and battery charger do not have to invest 60 percent of their start up capital in ‘I better pass my neighbour generator.”

Chief Falae in his acceptance speech also thanked the delegates for choosing him as the national chairman stressing that the SDMP is the party for all progressives with the focus to wrestle Nigeria from bad governance and corruption.

“The SDMP has enshrined in its manifesto, a declaration of war on public graft and corruption. Very few parties can afford to do this because of rampant corruption which has engulfed the polity.”