PROPHET JONES ODE ERUE PAYS AN EARLY MORNING COURTESY CALL ON PROF. PAT UTOMI

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“We must employ every weapon at our disposal to remove the PDP”

  • Prophet Jones Ode-Er

When all own an exco, then it belongs to all. No one can pocket this exco as it does not belong to any one. This party does not belong to the Otegas, the Utomis, the Ogborus or anybody else for that matter.

I am avowed to providing a level playing ground for all contestants. I want to see a consensus reached between the candidates on who should get the ticket but if they fail to reach a consensus, then we will have a direct primary and all the party members will vote for the candidate of their choice.”

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Prophet Erue said Prof. is one of the oldest hands in the party as he was a foundation member and was here when the hordes came calling from PDP and other parties; and for this, he believes we can count on his support to enable us find a lasting solution to the lingering dissentions in the party. And for him to step out and say he wants to run is a great thing. “I sincerely hope the electorate will chose him because I know that he is chiefly qualified but qualifications do not win elections in our clime.

This is why I am moved by my personal convictions in decision-making and when I am moved by my convictions, nobody can sway me any other way. The way I addressed Ogboru is the way I am addressing you (Prof. Utomi) now and Ogboru told me that what he wants is simply a level playing ground and I will do nothing less than to work towards giving everyone an equal opportunity”.

Erue told his audience that, “Our enemy is the PDP. Travelling down here was an uphill task due to bad roads. You can’t get here in anything less than two hours; a journey that should take an average of 45 minutes. When you leave Delta State and enter Onitsha, as you cross (the Niger Bridge), everything changes. On the opposite side, where you have Edo State, it is the same story and you ask yourself, ‘Are we cursed (to have such bad leadership)?’ This situation must change and we must employ every weapon at our disposal to remove the PDP”.

What is now important, according to the Chairman, is the unity of APC. “Each person must learn to be a team player; it doesn’t matter by whose help we get to our destination, the important thing is that we all get to the place together. It is not who made us to get to the place that matters but the method. We must therefore unite as a family to get to the place we want to go.  So, this visit is to make sure that everyone is on the same page on the fact that peace has returned to APC and will remain there long after the election, when we have taken the House in Asaba”.

The Chairman ended his speech with the Christian hymn, ‘Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus’, of which everyone in the house joined in singing the first stanza with gusto.

On hand with Prof. to receive the powerful state executive delegation at his house, were some Oshimili North leaders including, Mr. Emmanuel Obanya, Emmanuel Ogwuda, Barr Fidel Okeze, and Mr. Anthony Nwaobi. Also present were Mr. Emmanuel Oki, the Director of Admin, Support Hub (PUSH) and this writer, Chuks Esogbue, a topflight HR practitioner, journalist and writer, working on Mass Mobilization for the gubernatorial hopeful.

“It is time to rescue Delta” – Prof. Utomi

Responding to the Chairman’s speech, the apostle of entrepreneurship and widely respected empowerment guru, Prof Pat Utomi, began by saying that, “It is time to rescue Delta”. He then went on to say that he is “most grateful for the privilege of this early morning visit, which he described it as “the early morning dew that waters the earth”. He said that the race is a long distance one, which is not just starting. He revealed that he instituted a series of meetings all over the state, in Lagos, Ibusa, Abuja, etc, with top party men and key candidates in the forth-coming elections in the state to find a middle ground where everybody’s interest can be taken care of. It was a struggle to douse the entire crises and build a bridge for the good of all. When the challenges built up towards the last congresses, I felt a sense of despair that all these efforts seemed to be coming to naught. He revealed that he was out of the country for a meeting in South Africa when his phone rang and one of the stalwarts in this party in the Presidency, said to him, “Everything is about to collapse on our heads”. I asked what the problem was and he recounted what was going on. I started making calls and something happened”. Today, there is peace in APC because of that.

The point I am making is that God gives His gifts for a purpose and that purpose we must use to make our children proud. If things continue the way that they are going, I believe our children will curse us. What kind of a life will it be for a man that his children pronounce curses on their forebears? The problem, he said, is that “there is a tendency for us to go for power rather than purpose; we must focus on purpose. What is our purpose? Why are we gathering together? People are taken up by crumbs of the moment but there is something much bigger and they fail to see that bigger picture”.

He said that he is happy that everything is working out perfectly well now and therefore is sure that APC will take Delta State come next election. Using the word ubuntu, a Swahili expression of the African philosophy of collectivity, which he explained as “I am because we are”; he said that “when you forget the collective good of all, you will never truly achieve that which you seek. It is the advance of the common good of all that brings the opportunity to advance to the outer limits of the individual. That is what our effort must be about.

Continuing his exposition on our collective weaknesses, he said that people are addicted to, ‘I want, I want, I want’; yet, many people don’t even know why they want what they want, except that they are running for ego trips and all of that. I want to assure you people that the fundamental (principle) of my being is justice and fairness to all. In all the things I have pursued in life, the first question always is, “Is it just?” If it is not just, I walk away from it and I can walk away from anything. I have walked away from billions, I didn’t feel anything and I have never lost anything, I still live a decent life. If your problem is the biggest house in your community, that is your problem, not mine because I know that I can sleep only on one bed in one room. I live in this small house but I can build mansions all over the town if I want to but how many hours do I spend here? It is all a matter of purpose. Now that I am getting to move back permanently here, I will build the kind of place that will serve that purpose. It is all about purpose, not about show! Now that the purpose has arrived, I will build what is necessary for my purposes. You’ve been in my house in Lagos. My house is one of the finest houses in Ikoyi in Lagos and it was not built with money but with intelligence. People always look at money but it is your imagination that can get you far, not how much money you have in your pocket. My plea with everybody is for us to focus on justice and purpose.

Pointing at the Chairman and beaming with an infectious smile, the erudite mass communicator and political economist roared, “You are a prophet! But do you know my name? I am Amos, the Prophet of Social Justice! (The audience laughed loud and long). That’s what I call myself, Amos. I wrote something a few weeks ago in the papers on the situation of things in our country and every paragraph I ended with, “I am Amos”. Unless we do justice for all, we are in trouble because I have never, never been in doubt of one thing, which is accountability. God is going to ask all of us to give account of our stewardship. That is the most important thing for me, “How do I account when that day comes?”

Prof Utomi said he believes that we can collectively work together to rebuild our party; show justice in being inclusive and ultimately achieve the real purpose, which is that our children will enjoy the promise of the founding fathers of this country; the promise of prosperity and the promise of dignity. He said that most of our people have lost dignity; that is why we say that Delta has always had too many agendas. People have all kinds of agenda – seven-, eight-, ten-, seventeen-point agenda, etc. I have only a three-point agenda: 1. End poverty; 2. Create a special infrastructure, (the kind) that if you enter Delta, (will make) you wonder where you (have) entered. Anambra and Edo will have to be apologizing for being poor neighbours (the audience roared); and, 3. Empower the communities: The communities down there will determine what their future is; what is best for them. The resources are there; let the communities move and let’s create a new state.

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The eloquent governorship hopeful ended his speech to the accompaniment of a loud ovation from his hearers. After this, there were handshakes and bye byes as the Chairman and his entourage departed.

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