May 15, 2022

Nigerians prefer referendum to election — Utomi 

Nigerians prefer referendum to election — Utomi 

Prof Pat Utomi

Political economist, management expert, politician and activist, Professor Pat Utomi, has said that Nigerians would rather have a referendum than an election.

The technocrat, who was a presidential aspirant in 2011, said if those that want power lead, “we would not be in this recursive mode of one step forward, three steps backward.”

He challenged all to “speak up on future of how we live together” as “We cannot continue to play the Ostrich.”

Meanwhile, Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines a referendum as “an occasion when all the people of a country can vote on an important issue.”

Professor Utomi expressed these sentiments in a statement on Saturday, reacting to the lynching of Deborah Samuel, a student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, on Thursday, by her Muslim colleagues over alleged blasphemy.

The authorities detained some suspects, leading to protests, following which the state declared a 24-hour curfew yesterday.

Read Also: Tears flow freely as Deborah Samuel is buried in Niger

For Utomi, “The incidents in Sokoto  in the last two days have opened  a deep wound into the Soul of our country.

“The only thing that can heal this deep gash now is leadership and truth, like the sore in the saying by the founder of the caliphate Uthman Dan Fodio.

“Only truth can heal this one.

“Our country is truly at a crossroads and no one who fails to take a stand can be considered worthy of the trust of the people.

“As a Nigerian who has grown up Pan-Nigerian in the Northwest, North Central, North-East, South-West and  South-South, and for decades pursued a career in crafting accommodation of one another, I recognize clearly that if those who seek power, truly lead, we would not be in this recursive mode of one step forward, three steps backward.

“All must now speak up on future of how we live together. We cannot continue to play the Ostrich. 

“I fully understand the widespread sentiment of many I run into that crunch time in the question of whether to break up or live together in dignity has arrived and that a referendum is more important now than election.

“I am pained by our arriving at this point but cannot ignore the passionate sentiment.”

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