Can Jega-Utomi new party make a difference?

Utomi and Jega

The formation of a new political party by some younger blood is sparking questions on their chances and the character of politics in Nigeria.

On Tuesday, two professors – Attahiry Jega and Pat Utomi – alongside other hopefully like minds, announced the formation of the Rescue Nigeria Project (RNP).

By its name, their mission seems clear: they want to rescue Nigeria from the jaws of the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party of Nigeria, which, many believe, are birds of a feather.

Apart from the fact that records of their performances have been very similar, the rate and ease at which members deflect from one to the other are so peculiarly fluid that, some think, they deserve the attention of the Guinness Book of Shame/lessness – sorry, Guinness World Records.

The name of the new experiment also suggests that the brain behind it want to rescue the country from its other classical problems: corruption, insecurity, poverty, ethnicity, stagnation, retrogressiveness, debts and more debts, brain and soul drain, grand pettiness and more and more.

How the RNP can achieve this is what many are waiting to see.

Based on their profiles, one ought to be able to trust a Jega and Utomi with power – some will say.

While Jega has administered the Independent Electoral Commission and the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Utomi has for long been in business teaching and practice.

Both have been sensibly vocal on how they believe the country can be saved, just as their academic backgrounds ought to be able to earn some trust.

Yet, many will remember that the Nigeria system has defied most of those values.

Put differently, such values have failed Nigeria on many vital occasions.

For one, corruption has not been the sole property of any group.

Besides, there are other complex issues in the country’s DNA, which keep most of the problems identified above intact rain or shine.

Other questions include whom Jega and Utomi will relate with within the party and whether or not their will and purses are strong enough to prosecute the rescue.

Of course, whether or not the typical Nigerian, who subsists on stomach infrastructure, poverty of the flesh and mind as well as justified scepticism, is ready for the Jegas is another story.

What the RNP is, however, also fundamentally offering is the third party – at least something in-between the devil and the deep green-and-white sea.

Also in the party are former Governor of Kwara State, Ahmed Abdulfatah; Education Minister Tunde Adeniran; Senator Lee Maeba, Dr. Usman Bugaje, Ambassador Nkoyo Toyo, former Deputy Governor of Kogi State Yomi Awoniyi, Dr. Rose Idi- Danladi, Dr. Sadiq Gombe, and others.

As ‘The Nation’ put it in a report, Bugaje, who is the National Coordinator of the RNP, explained that the group was founded on the premise that Nigeria’s problems emanated from poor leadership.

He said: ”When you reduce the problems of this country to what they are, ultimately, it all comes to leadership.

“We have been unable to exit the leadership conundrum.”

Utomi called on politicians to change their mindsets from being revenue-focused to production-focused.

He said it was unfortunate that Nigerians were too obsessed with revenue generation rather than being production-focused.