March 23, 2006

 

Wilmot to Return to ABU Report

By Dr. Frank J. Collazo



Daily Trust (Abuja)
NEWS
February 14, 2006
Posted to the web February 14, 2006
By Waziri Isa Gwantu

Eighteen years after the Ibrahim Babangida's administration bundled him out of the country back to Britain on allegations of being an agent of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Professor Patrick Wilmot has agreed to take up fresh appointment with the Ahmadu Bello Unversity (ABU), Zaria, as a visiting professor.

The controversial university don who first joined the services of the Ahmadu Bello University in 1971 until March 1988 when he was deported to London after unbroken service of seventeen years, obliged to the request extended to him by the Council of the university through the Vice Chancellor, Professor Shehu Usman Abdullahi, to come back to the institution as a lecturer.

Professor Wilmot who confirmed this to Daily Trust in an exclusive interview after his second lecture on "the role of the African intellect," in the university yesterday, regretted that the university, despite its past record of academic excellence and popularity, lacks equipments such as computers and vibrant intellectuals to face the challenges of the 21st century of Nigeria.

"With the appointment, the university is offering me as a visiting lecturer, I will be coming to the university from time to time to give lectures to both lecturers and students. I also intend to help the ABU acquire modern tools of academic development such as books and the rest," he stated.

Earlier in his lecture on "the role of the African intellectual," Professor Wilmot described the intellectual as a person who evolves to lead, to show the people the way, to guide them toward physical, psychological and moral objectives. The word intellectual is the one so advanced that his ideas have relevance across physical and spiritual borders."

He said Africa is so endowed with all manners of intellectuals who have excelled in different disciplines in the world and have contributed to the development of Europe and the Western world, but unfortunately, the continent is not respected and recognized and its contributions not appreciated by Western imperialists today.

"The imperialists," he said, "do not see anything good in Africa. To them, Africa is no historical part of the world it is a continent that is pathetically dependent on European guidance.

"Incredibly, some African intellectuals accept this European conceptions of their continent and its people and advice their leaders to become even more pathetically dependent on Europe and America," he lamented.

Professor Wilmot noted, "Through the betrayal of their continent and its people, these intellectuals justify their imperialist masters in a self-fulfilling prophecy. The continent which produced the first state system in Nubia and Egypt and revolutionary social theorists such as Ibn Khaldun and Amilcar Cabral, is reduced to a disaster area permanently in need of famine relief."

Professor Wilmot however pointed out that Africa is the richest continent, the one with least natural disasters, reduced to penury by men, who cause more havoc than hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes and monsoons. "That Africa is in constant need of aid therefore is an indictment of those who misrule it. And the hypocrisy of seeking foreign investment is belied by the stolen money invested in Europe and America," he noted.

He urged African intellectuals to develop social and political theories to recapture the leadership of the world once dominated by black people. They must devise measures to block, from leadership, the class of corrupt incompetence who has destroyed African peoples and institutions over the past half-century.

He charged African leaders to learn from the examples of China, India and other victims of imperialism on how to restore their country to a position where they control their social, political and economic destinies. "These leaders must think in terms of their nations and continents, not glorify regional, ethnic and religious warlords, thieves and degenerates," he added.

Wilmot lamented that although African leaders are the worst timekeepers in the world, they wear the most expensive watches, festooned with diamonds and other precious stones. "A governor of one of Nigeria's oil rich states, with probably the highest proportion of poor people in the country, boasted of possessing a three million dollar watch, of which only three exist in the world, one owned by the Sultan of Brunei," he lamented further.

He, however observed that the role of Africa in the past half-century resembles medieval Europe, with the absolute Monarch replaced by the president as Emperor. This modern African president lacks the constraining mechanism of the traditional rulers despised by his European masters and mentors.

The Jamaican born Professor of Sociology therefore warned that, "the future would have no pity for those men who, possessing the exceptional privilege of being able to speak words of truth to their oppressors, have taken refuge in an attitude of passivity, of mute indifference and sometimes of cold complicity. African intellectuals must take the initiative to remove those who have betrayed the continent and create a system where the people's future is guaranteed.

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