This is my own way of celebrating Prof. Pat Utomi who celebrated his birthday recently. I was physically on ground to rejoice with him – happily playing a small role in ensuring that the annual lecture/birthday celebration was a success and indeed it was 🙂
Not too often do I use this platform to pay tribute to people irrespective of their accomplishments not because I don’t recognize what they have done, it’s just me not finding the time to write…..
On a few occasion, I have found time to write about a couple of great Nigerians, sadly, I wrote about Late Gani Fawehinmi and Tayo Adenirokun after they had passed on. I wrote about Fola Adeola a number of times and I did while he is alive (I am trying to get him to accept an interview). Today, I am pleased to write about Prof. Pat Utomi, one Nigerian I truly admire and respect not because he super-human who has not made any mistakes but because constantly I see his genuine drive and quest for a better Nigeria.
As a young man, I can clearly recall staying up late at Night to watch Patito’s gang – a TV programme that positively influenced my thinking about Nigeria and life in general. I loved the constructive criticisms and positive arguments which endeared me to other members of the gang such as Chris Asoluka, Reuben Abati, Ije Jidenma etc.
This post is not influenced because I happen to know Prof. personally now (afterall I wrote a piece about Fola Adeola without knowing him personally), the truth is that Prof. Pat Utomi deserves to be respected by any well meaning Nigerian.
4 Reasons why Prof Pat Utomi Legacy will stand the test of time
1. His Love for God
Across board, I have heard mostly positive reports about Prof. Pat Utomi and the fact that he is working selflessly towards a greater Nigerian state can only be as a result of his love for God.
He has been a devout Christian and a long time member (and now National Director) of the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International. Whenever I get to interact with Prof. I see the peace and calmness all around him which can only but come from God.
Prof. has built goodwill far and wide both locally and internationally. A growing percentage of youths regard him as a true patriot of our generation. The just concluded event lays credence to this fact. Well over 500 people were present at the 10th CVL annual lecture to respect and honour this great man.
I observed two highly respected Nigerians – Elder Felix Ohiwerei and Dr. Muhammed Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto as they sat down patiently for over 4 hours in Prof’s honour. Not only them, Gov.’s My point is that “the goodwill he has is as a result of the selfless service and patriotism others see in him.
3. Enterprise Development
I know Prof. has been involved in a lot of ventures so I will just mention one that has stood the test of time and that is the “Pan-African University” – would Nigeria still have developed with PAU? The answer is yes, so has the institution played any role in Nigeria’s economic development? Absolutely, show me that one successful corporate titan that has not been to PAU/LBS for one course or the other.
Prof. Pat Utomi’s laudable contribution to this great institution will stand the test of time. An institution that has helped develop business managers and entrepreneurs in their thousands.
At this point, I would like to mention two great companies that Prof. has played a role one way or the other in helping them evolve into top notch organisations. They are:
a. Businessday Newspapers (Mr. Frank Aigbogun) – unarguably Nigeria’s foremost business newspaper since inception.
b. Swift Networks (Mr. Charles Anudu) – Who has changed the face of Internet service like swift? I have a customer of this company for 8 years now 🙂 and I know how much impact they have made.
Go find out how these 2 organisations alone have changed the fortunes of millions directly and indirectly, then you would respect our dear Prof. Pat Utomi more.
4. Youth Development
The Centre for Values in Leadership‘s Role Model Forum (RMF) has literally been a blessing to thousands including yours truly – I have been blessed both as an attendee and a speaker at the event. A monthly programme that brings together young professionals who listen to entrepreneurs who have made, tell them how it all happened.
Secondly, I have often asked myself, why would Prof. endorse Network marketing (a marketing system I believe in too IF done right)? The only answer that comes to my mind is that he has carefully looked at it as business model that can help reduce the rate of unemployment in our dear country.
I could go on and on mentioning all the good works of Prof. Pat Utomi but that would not be necessary at this point. I believe the 3 points above clearly proves that if Christ tarries and long after he has left this world; his legacy will speak for him come what may.
To a Patriot, Scholar, Father, Mentor, Father and Friend; I wish you many more years ahead and I pray that the good Lord will help you fulfil your destiny on Earth in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen!