The Deputy Governor of Delta State, south south Nigeria, Professor Amos Utuama, has reacted to a call for him to quit politics after 2015 as “ill conceived advice”.
Professor Utuama was reacting to a publication in the Daily Independent newspaper of Wednesday, January 1, 2014 published on Page 9, where a former Minister of State for Education, Kenneth Gbagi, reportedly stated that Delta Deputy Governor should quit politics after the 2015 general elections.
Reacting to the publication through a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Augustine Avwode, Professor Utuama stated that, “Ordinarily, one would not have dignified Gbagi with a reply. But because of the need to disabuse the minds of the unsuspecting teeming Deltans and the general public, it’s pertinent to state that Gbagi’s warped advice is borne out of a morbid fear of even the shadow of the Deputy Governor, whose political profile, in the last 14 years, has continued to soar like the eagle. Gbagi is the least qualified individual to advise Prof Utuama when to retire from politics. And, may we ask, how many people have retired from politics on account of age?
The statement stated further that, “It is instructive to note that this latest outburst by Gbagi would be the second time in less than 10 days that he would be attacking the person and office of the Deputy Governor in newspapers. Last week, he took a full page advertorial in Urhobo Voice, in which he said many things regarding the state of the Ughievwen nation, struggling, albeit in vain, to cast aspersions on the Deputy Governor, who, through a dint of hard-work has built for himself a solid personal reputation over the years.
“It has to be stated that Prof. Utuama is not in any contest whatsoever with Gbagi, who was his student back in the days at the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos. Gbagi, if he wants to contest for the Governorship of Delta State, is free to do so as it is his right to so aspire. But, we all know that Gbagi is notorious for always being the first to declare his ambition for governorship at every election year but has hardly gone beyond the primaries. He has thus earned the rather irritable and unenviable status of a perennial gubernatorial aspirant, who should do himself a world of good by quitting quietly.
“Certainly, Prof. Utuama does not belong to this class of community clowns, crass opportunists and political jesters. As a dedicated and loyal Deputy Governor, he has maintained, time and again, that his major interest for now, is to assist in the best way possible, His Excellency Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan to finish strong in the delivery of the Three Point Agenda of the administration that will take the state into the realm of Delta Beyond Oil.
“Besides, as a true party man, he has observed strictly, the instruction from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that nobody should be engaged in political campaign for any office for now. Prof Utuama has not declared or told anybody that he wants to run for governorship in 2015. Gbagi is free to pursue his ambition but he is advised to refrain from all attempts to run down an obviously innocent and harmless man”.