“I have been a member for more than a year,” former presidential candidate and prominent professor of political economy and management, Pat Utomi, has revealed.
Mr. Utomi, who contested the 2007 presidential election on the platform of the obscure African Democratic Party, announced his switch of party in a statement posted on his Facebook page on Sunday night.
“It has been pointed out to me that many Nigerians who have supported the work I have done in politics and community service are unaware of the fact that I’m now a member of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN),” the statement said. “I have been a member for more than a year.”
He said he decided to join the ACN, which is the dominant political platform in Nigeria’s South-West geopolitical zone and a part of the South-South, “because the progressive opposition in Nigeria has been unable to bring itself under one umbrella though many, myself included, have tried to bring this about by encouraging the subsuming of ego for the common progressive good.”
He continued, “This has proven very difficult and progressives cannot afford to dissipate their energies in various small armies while the enemies of the progressive struggle are disciplined enough to coalesce under the conservative/retrogressive Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“I would therefore encourage all opposition parties to join the ACN. As far as I’m concerned, Nigeria should run a PDP-ACN political party structure.”
Mr. Utomi, a successful businessman and former presidential adviser in the Second Republic’s government of Shehu Shagari, entered full-time politics in 2007 when he joined the African Democratic Congress and contested that year’s presidential election on that platform.
But after his unimpressive showing in that election, Mr. Utomi tried hard to galvanise the country’s opposition parties to form a single party that could effectively challenge the ruling Peoples Democratic Party in subsequent elections.
After he failed in that effort, Pat Utomi formed another party, the Social Democratic Mega Party, on which platform he tried to contest the 2011 presidential elections. He withdrew from the race in the last minutes.