Wilmot to Return to ABU
By Dr. Frank J. Collazo
Daily Trust (Abuja)
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
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
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