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Puzzled, Perplexed: Stunned By Criticisms, Utomi Details Support For Yoruba Causes

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In a thought-provoking statement issued on Twitter, renowned Nigerian professor and political economist Pat Utomi voiced his concerns over the increasing ethnic hostility and hatred prevalent on social media.

“Nothing justifies the need for cleansed consciousness of the new tribe like some of the uncharitable ethnic baiting and hatred on this platform,” Utomi tweeted. He noted that these incidents often reveal “the low capacity of the attack dogs for learning and for truth.”

Utomi expressed his dismay at being targeted by members of the Yoruba ethnic group, despite his historical support for Yoruba causes driven by objective reasoning.

“That any Yoruba person would, with no practical point of logic, call me names tells a story of how the present order has damaged Nigeria,” he said. “I used to be accused of being too sympathetic to Yoruba causes, even though in my mind, pure objective reasons drove my choices.”

Reflecting on his past activism, Utomi recalled his role in leading street demonstrations against the annulment of the Abiola election.

“When I put my life on the line as a major executive in industry during the protests, I did not think ethnicity,” he emphasized.

He also recounted his efforts to mitigate backlash against the Oba of Lagos following controversial comments. “Even his daughter told him how much trouble he could have been in but for me,” Utomi shared.

Utomi challenged those who question his integrity to speak with Bola Tinubu, recalling their first meeting in 1998.

“These people should go and ask Tinubu what he said to me at our first meeting in 1998,” he stated.

He lamented the current state of affairs, saying, “What a shame we have sunk so low.” Nonetheless, he found solace in the recognition he received from the Lagos State Government, which honored him as an icon of Lagos during a time when civility still prevailed.

Addressing the need for a new national ethos, Utomi underscored the importance of guiding young Nigerians towards shared values that promote a progressive society.

“If we are to build a new tribe out of what we have now in Nigeria, it is important we orient young people on shared values that make for a progressive society,” he asserted.

He highlighted the critical role of personal example in establishing a culture of trust, which he believes is essential for growth.

Utomi proudly declared his adherence to principled leadership, challenging anyone to provide evidence of him ever seeking personal gain for doing his job.

“No human being can point to one example of my asking for personal benefit for doing my job,” he said.

“Let anybody who can show I have ever asked for a bribe in my entire life come forward. I have made this claim many times. You do not even have to have evidence. Just a plausible scenario is enough.”

“HO Davies and other great figures of our history must be turning in their graves. We have a duty to show how being principle-driven builds a culture of trust on which the foundation of transactions for growth can be layered.”

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