London — Nigeria would realize its potentials as giant of Africa, if its leaders "stop fighting each other for money and power and devote themselves to the welfare of their people and country," a former lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Dr Patrick Wilmot, has said.
Speaking at a centenary lecture at the Nigeria High Commission in London, Dr. Wilmot lamented that despite its huge material and human resources, Nigeria continues to be the butt of jokes on leadership, but believes that the country "will prosper when true leaders emerge".
Dr. Wilmot, who was deported from Nigeria in 1988 for allegedly "teaching what he was not paid to teach," said Nigeria "must look back at the beginning of its independent existence and recover its vision and direction which enabled it to reverse some of the retrogression imposed by colonial power".
Going down memory lane, the former lecturer accused the British colonial masters of glorifying themselves for their "civilizing mission" in Nigeria in view of the fact that they left not a single university in the country and all the infrastructure they left was for extracting raw materials for export to Britain.
He said if Nigeria had kept the pace of development and progress during its first few years of independence, the country would be at the same level with France, United Kingdom, Korea and Singapore.