The Protem National Chairman of the Social Democratic Mega Party (SDMP), Pat Utomi, has announced his decision to join the 2011 presidential race on the platform of the party.
This would be the second time that Mr Utomi is taking a shot at the presidency. He was the presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress in the 2007 general election, during which he polled 50,849 votes (0.14% of the total).
Declaring his intent at a news conference in Lagos on Thursday, Mr Utomi said he will officially declare his ambition in three weeks.
I will be making a formal declaration in three weeks’ time. It will be in response to calls from various quarters for me to run. “It will be unwise to shy away from the challenge of continuing to seek for a change in Nigeria,” he said.
The presidential applicant promised to prioritise development of education and improve the nation’s healthcare delivery if elected, whilst he warned that the desired change in Nigeria would not be achieved if ‘Nigerians failed to elect credible leaders.’
“The SDMP considers the electoral process the key to legitimacy of regimes and such legitimacy is critical to policy implementation,” he said “We want to particularly focus on the youth who, for too long, have been made powerless as a few people made nonsense of our democracy. If those between the ages of 18 and 30 register and determine to vote to secure their future, the shame that has been our experience will be wiped out.”
He urged the youth to mobilise the populace toward the 2011 elections by enlightening the masses on the need to vote for candidates of their choices, as well as the need to defend their votes.