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Corruption: Buhari must be ruthless, decisive, intelligent – Patrick Wilmot

*Why Senate would not have confirmed Magu

*He must transform obstacles into opportunities

Influential but controversial former sociology lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Dr Patrick Wilmot, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari must use “intelligence, decisiveness and ruthlessness” in the fight against corruption and to improve the welfare of Nigerians, stressing that in politics, honesty and integrity are not enough to fulfill the hopes and aspirations of the people.

In an article titled ‘The travails of Caesar’s Wife’, Dr Wilmot, who now lives in London, United Kingdom, said “President Buhari is an honest man”, but “in politics, however, honesty is not a sufficient condition for the fulfillment of the hopes and aspirations of the people”.

“Integrity is an admirable quality but cannot put food on the table or a roof over one’s head”, he said, pointing out that it was also “not logical to expect the Senate to confirm the President’s nominee as Chairman of the EFCC when its members would be among the first clients of the anti-corruption organisation”.

He, however, said the government’s inability to successfully bring corrupt men and women to book was not just due to structural impediments, but due to lack of imagination and intelligence”, emphasising that the President must “draw on a wide enough circle of creative people to evolve and implement policies”.

“Like many very honest men, the President finds it difficult to work with people he does not trust unconditionally. As a result he has always relied on a small circle of advisors he considers above reproach”, he noted, but stated that the president “needs to create political structures which reach out to the people in the farthest reaches of the social system of the country”.

“To run a complex country, reliance on a trusted coterie of advisors may be as harmful as some of his predecessors’ dependence on cabals of corrupt individuals”, he warned, and advised him to adopt the strategy of successful business people such as Aliko Dangote and Tony Elumelu “who succeeded by having clear goals and creating the necessary systems to realise them”.

“They relied on intelligence and imagination, and employed people based on their expertise and energy. They did not require unconditional trust but ability and created systems of control to make reliance on trust redundant. They employed people who transformed obstacles into opportunities”.

“If the President can emulate these men, he could rely on the love of citizens who respect him for providing them with the opportunity to obtain food, shelter, healthcare, transport, and stability, to provide an education for their children, and improved conditions for progress and development,” he said.

Wilmot was a very popular teacher alongside the like of Dr Bala Usman who led a large social influence on students. The military administration felt so threatened and had to force him out of Nigeria. He had lived a substantial part of his life in Zaria where they are known as the Socialist School of ideology.

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