Pat Utomi Denies Working For APC Against Peter Obi, Says Only Money Tinubu Gave Him Was $2,000 For MIT Event 25 Years Ago

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Political economist and a former presidential aspirant, Prof. Pat Utomi has admitted collecting a sum of $2,000 from Nigeria’s president-elect, Bola Tinubu for an MIT event over two decades ago.

Mr Utomi mentioned this in a Twitter post on Friday morning amid an allegation that Tinubu used him to sponsor Peter Obi’s presidential dream in order to split the possible votes of his closest rival, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Obi was the candidate of the Labour Party in the presidential election. Utomi was the frontrunner to contest for President as the Labour Party candidate but following Obi’s defection to the party from the PDP, the former stood down for the latter.

Tinubu was the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress. On March 1, 2023, he was declared the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, beating Atiku and Obi to second and third places respectively.

Newsmen on Wednesday reported that the candidate of the Labour Party in Oyo State in the 2023 election, Tawfiq Akinwale revealed in an interview that Tinubu asked Utomi to step down for Peter Obi in the buildup to the 2023 general elections.

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Appearing as a guest on a radio programme on 101.7 YES FM, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, Akinwale alleged that Obi received campaign funds from Utomi, whom he described as Tinubu’s “son”.

In a tweet on Friday, Utomi said, “Some fellow pulling up a 9 year old video from an Ileya visit claimed the know of conduit of money through me to PO (Peter Obi) to uend Atiku. 1st, have had no direct or indirect contact with BAT in 4 years. Only material transfer from BAT to me in 25yrs we have known is $2000 for MIT event,” he tweeted.

Reacting further to the allegation against him, Prof. Utomi described it as disinformation, adding that Obi’s campaign during the 2023 election was funded by support groups and Obi himself.

He continued: “In truth I have been much closer to Waziri Atiku who I first met in 1983 and wrote the feasibility for his farm a year later. I have served on the Board of his university, AUN. Only a warped or misinformed mind would invent such disinformation.

“As for funding PO I cannot but be amazed at this disinformation. The outpouring of resources of citizens in support groups and PO’s prudent draw on his own purse was so humbling I even turned to ODs to fund my own activities in support of the campaign for faith in saving Nigeria.

“Truly if any flow from BAT came to me II would quickly withdraw money I spent at his urging in 2007 paid to international PR agency for an Orange revolution type campaign to stop 3rd term but not refunded. Details are in book I wrote 4 years ago. It would have helped my cash flow.”

“I entered the 2023 campaigns to build a Third Force to break the race to the bottom and press a reset knob for Nigeria. Stayed elevated with issues and denounced calumnies. Yet some have waged disinformation and calumny campaigns aimed at me. I will continue to refuse to descend,” he added.

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