He would have been the one voice both his admirers and those who did not admire him would have loved to hear today at a time of grave existential challenges to Nigerians and Nigeria. But he is no longer here with us. The great thing, however, is that Ibrahim Tahir, the Cambridge educated Sociologist ad traditional title holder of Bauchi emirate did speak at length in an interview that is now dated but, interesting more current than most recent interviews.
The beginning of the interview may be dull because the issue which was current when the interview was recorded in 2006 is no longer an issue. Deep inside, however, Tahir clearly saw today’s anarchy many years back. A sampler: The point is that in the light of the fortunes being stashed by individuals and which the government itself has affirmed and also the US Department of State, Transparency International and sundry foreign sources, how can we convince ourselves that transition is going to be anything but war? Think about the guy out there with $10 billion in his account. He wants to be President and he could not have his way. He would organize his way and that prospect means we are faced with a security issue, not just corruption issue. What is clear to me about the situation is that Nigerians, from 1979 to date have been driving themselves progressively to a cul de sac. There is tremendous pressure in the tunnel and there is no escape route. The ordinary person is getting angrier and angrier. So much so that the primary reaction to any disagreement is violence”
The interview has not been re-arranged because doing so would affect the flow but the average reader might guess why it is being republished at this point in time. It is essentially because Nigeria is badly in need of the dosages of realism that a Tahir could unleash. He was no doubt of a conservative bent but a very independent minded scholar nearly exactly as Cambridge imagined him when he was leaving the university. He was told Africa expected to hear him. But the book through which Africa would have heard him has fallen to charges of blasphemy and might never be read by all! That’s what he told his interviewer as reported towards the end of this interview. It is probably how the world actually works.
How do we understand where we are today as a country?
That’s a very difficult question to respond to because it is not specific and the environment of Nigerian politics is riddled with wide tendencies and influences that a simple statement of where we are cannot easily be made.
Of course, the political is very primary.
The most significant event in that case has been the failure of the protagonists of third term to carry through their intentions and to win the argument. That failure rested on a number of things which people need to appreciate fully before we can ask where we are and where do we politically go from here.
The concept of third term or elongation of tenure and the amendment of the constitution to that effect was somewhat mishandled. And this happened because there is, in the system today, shortage of knowledge of political survey and shortage of knowledge of fundamentals regarding nationhood, regarding the state itself and what it is and what should be its status in the minds of the citizens and in many respects regarding the constitution and what it means. There was a background of seeming incompetence and seeming disingenuousness on the part of so many people.
I am serious about this business of lack of political survey and poor knowledge of fundamentals because if you do have a proper respect for these fundamentals, about the status of the nation-state, you would have been a bit more careful about method. But third term was approached as though a contract job or an election. It was not done with proper finesse and self respect. Both sides suffered from shallowness in their approach to the issue.
It also failed because the language of promoting it heavily emphasized the word new and gave the impression that what would emerge was going to be something beyond the 1999 Constitution but a new Mantu or Obasanjo or Nnamani Constitution or whatever. By implication, the intent was seen to be an indefinite tenure for the incumbents in office.
Novelty also worked against third term in the sense that the Nigerian political terrain knows of, approves of and generally hangs upon certain hallowed conventions like fixed tenure as a cure for dictatorship, domination, in every sense of the word, abuse of office, corruption and mobility. That is ethnic and individual mobility. As soon as the spectre of people staying in office permanently, notwithstanding the climate of inter-senatorial, inter-community, inter-state and inter-ethnic competition or participation through power shift and the like manifest itself, people started to ask, aahaa, when will we move?, when will our chance come again?
I also think that there were two incidentals but very powerful, negative influences which affected third term. First is that, for the first time, Nigerians began to realize that almost everything happening to them was not so much the doing of broad based and therefore representative groups of either the party or Service or bureaucratic elements but of a handpicked, selected, narrow circle of a so-called Kitchen Cabinet and Nigerians did not appreciate the idea. They did not because they knew whom they voted for and who were their trusted people. And in politics, when somebody captures your imagination, a lot is forgiven. But here were people who had not captured anybody’s imagination anywhere before nor were they voted for. So, everybody started saying, so, what is happening to us is the work of some people who just appeared on the scene all of a sudden?
The second other tangential matter was something I personally warned President Obasanjo and the party four or five years ago when I spoke at the second seminar of the PDP organized by the National Democratic Institute here in Abuja. I talked then of bilateralism by which I meant the tendency of the President to run federal affairs through state governors and also to take the personality, status and role of each state governor as embodying the whole state and wishes and aspirations of the people at any given time. He had bowed to pressure, not being the proverbial scurvy politician but the honest gentleman soldier and accepted the recommendation to have no federal agents in the states doing federal matters and representing the federal face. By that, he had simply shot his administration in the foot from the very beginning of the journey. He shot his administration because he denied Obasanjo, the President and the Villa and the Presidency as an institution any opportunity to build a constituency in the nation outside of governors.
But he might have thought he was some institution already, even as a person and no governor could overshadow him.
No, No. If the meanest benefit going to any state must go through the governor, then it means there were 37 Presidents in Nigeria, one mega President and 36 mini ones and the federal government then has no relationship with the people. Then he as a person and as President virtually does not govern but only the governors. And you can see that when those who wanted him to continue began the campaign, there were no instruments to use outside of the personal followings of the governors and what remained of the party.
Look, Onoja, all heads of state in Nigeria who have used the governors’ ticket came to grief. Because each and every public office holder has problem in his own locality which IBB, for example, did not realize and, therefore, found himself out of office before he was ready to go.
Babangida or Obasanjo?
Babangida, in his own time. So, he left office before he was ready. The same thing for Gowon before him who also relied on his governors. Remember (Abba) Kyari saying “governors aren’t moving”. And within months, the governors were out of office with Gowon himself. What I am trying to say is that a federation must allow the national embodiment or the President to have direct relationship with the people of Nigeria, not the unconstitutionality of allowing the state apparatchik to be implementing federal projects including even appointment of Judges and removal of career civil servants not in agreement with governors. So, I said at the seminar that a pressure cooker was building up as everybody is feeling oppressed. And that this was so because contrary to a three-tier federation being so flexible as for people to participate at the state level if they could not at the local government level at the federal level if they failed at the state level, you now have Obasanjo hermeneutically sealing off the system. So, you had undemocracy and political suffocation. So, when third term emerged, there was complete reliance on the governors and because they too had their own problems, the thing could not go far.
There were other matters which were not tangential but serious. The publicity about corruption had reached a level at home and abroad that did not give a lot of people confidence to push the third term option or the large-scale constitutional tampering.
That is corruption on a national scale?
Yes, national corruption because there were stories of Nigeria being third most corrupt nation in the world. This did not go down well with people because those stories and the idea of people saying the man is doing well are contradictory to reasoning.
The very big matter is that Obasanjo is a reforming Presidency, some would say a crusading President. And the consequence of the reformism created the situation whereby rain water was everywhere but everybody was dry and dying of thirst. Probably Mister President did not know and perhaps still does not know but the truth is that the ordinary Nigerian is a ghost of his old self because of penury. This is the truth. Find out. Even the governors found it difficult to control people’s emotion. In which state did the governor say yes and the people agreed with him? Not one. So, it suffered from the degradation of the economic environment.
Why was he comfortable degrading the economic environment?
I didn’t say he was comfortable degrading the economic environment. I said he was a crusading President. So, don’t misquote me. But the consequence of his crusade is the devastation, a very contradictory reality. He got more money than any other President in the history of Nigeria and he gave state government far greater money than any other time. And yet we have a devastation of the lives of citizens to the point that many people are prepared to market their virtues for anything now, more than ever. And this is at the same time that lurid stories of billions being stolen left, right and center by both low and high level officers. And in some cases, the plutocratic behaviours of high state officials, all these have created bad blood and bad emotions that produced the decline of his government. I must confess to you that I have warned him before and I warned in the public that this man’s programme has no advocacy. It is not being explained and he is also not explaining himself.
I have also said during his first term that, looking at him, it is either he planned to run a third after the second term or somehow, something was going wrong. This was because the things that should happen were not happening. He is there isolated in the Villa. And the number of serious people who should see the President was getting fewer and fewer everyday, leaving the scene to fixers and flight by night people, if you don’t mind me saying so although it is too late in the day for a 67 year old man to worry about that. I said he has been the luckiest President but I could also have said he has been the most 419ned President ever.
Was he 419ned or he 419ned himself?
Yes, he was 419ned. I don’t want to say some of the ones I know because that would cause a whole lot of commotion but if you are invited to commission a project, something you have been told billions have been spent to build, you commission it and leave. Then less than 48 hours, the whole thing is dead because you never commissioned anything at all in the first place. It was a contraption, a make-shift, something that did not exist.
But after the first three years, that should not have been a problem for him anymore. But people were shocked when he went to one of the states in the North and lavished praises on a governor everyone knew to be adept in the game of contraptions. So, people concluded that the President was not an innocent operator but someone who was carefully choosing his friends.
That is what I am telling you. He shut himself out of the states. As President, he is the one to administer federal projects but he said no, unless through the governors, you cannot do anything. Yes, you may be right that people thought he was not innocent. The whole thing was probably an attempt to force a one party state on Nigeria. I suspect , I don’t know but it could be seen as a striving for maximum power for the PDP and some engineering for a one-party state which has ended in a fiasco.
Therefore, if I have anything to do with the next President, I would insist on telling him that federal agent or Presidential Liason Officer or whatever you call him is an un unavoidable feature and a fixed element of a federation.
Was that why the NPN insisted on Presidential Liason Officers in the Second Republic?
No, but that is fixed. Go to America and you will see federal agents in every state. Or Canada. Everywhere. Why are you saying NPN? Every federation is like that. But somehow, they convinced Obasanjo to have no PLO. I could not understand it. On the one hand, it denied the federal government any constituency of its own and on the other, created the chances for governors to become despots.
What, in your analysis, is the real problem with OBJ, outside of the system of governors, politicians and federalism, etc?
My honest and friendly person appreciation of the problem of Obasanjo is, here is a man, a gentleman soldier who held very high ideals, who thought of trying to present a very high concept of public office and to push a very high purpose among those he is working with and was very much concerned. He was not the slimy, greasy politician or political operator but a real, noble, high minded, serious conception of his position and role and, therefore, held the mistaken view that everybody he dealt with was like minded. The fact is that Nigerian politics and politicians is a typology of the pole climbers and game playing. People never tended to be honourable. Nigerians have established a tradition that public office is about making money. I must confess there is that reality of maximum, feasible deception. So, they politicianed him, they did him political 419.
Is that why he is said to want to strip them of immunity and make example of them?
Probably something like that, I don’t know.
How did it happen that leadership in a collective sense is such a unique problem in this country?
The whole problem started with the transition in 1999 when the pervasive desire was to rid the polity of the military. Everyone was saying let the soldiers go. We that talked of two more years for Abdulsalami so that some system could be put in place in view of all that had happened, we were in the minority and so, many creatures found their way back or consolidated their positions and our politics and governance remained a mixture of public and private interest and the private interest is more rigorously pursued.
The argument is that a qualitative President will help the situation. Someone whose personal experience predisposes him or her to operate above the standards of the crowd. It seems that has obviously not worked. Can we still make it that way? Do we still have any chance?
You are putting your finger precisely on the matter with the Obasanjo dispensation. We have a situation where the PDP itself is threatened with collapse. The ANPP is also falling asunder and new parties are emerging and new aspirants are limbering up, getting their sachets and satchels together and come out on the national scene. My perception is that there may be so much to pay before we finally reach some sort of plateau. The basic, fundamental truth which nobody, with the possible exception of IBB, has secretly, indirectly or openly shown an inclination to face squarely, is the fact that this country is not a presidential country as presently put together.
Nigerians are an aggressive lot. Nigerians are very individualistic; they are pushful and they are participation obsessed. Their best mode of decision making is dialogue, negotiation, constant talking, talking and talking. But the country believed a lot of fairy tales between 1976 and 1979 claiming there would be no dispute if there is executive president between the two people at the top. Today, there is a dog fight between Obasanjo and Atiku. And you have Jackal fight, crocodile, alligator and snake fights in the states between governors and their deputies. So, what is everybody saying about that? Was it Wole Soyinka or Olanipekun who said the Presidential system is going to consume the resources of the country and in the end consume the country. This is the moment of truth; this Obasanjo transition is the moment of the truth of that statement. I am talking in very, very serious respect. Let me begin by asking you the question: who will convince me or you or President Obasanjo himself for that matter that the next President of Nigeria and his security managers and Defence operators will have comfortable sleep with untold number of young people with hundreds of millions of naira stashed away. How much dollars do you need to organize the assassination of the President? So, transition to the next President with so much money stolen into private hands means that you have to ask again if the Nigerian state has a chance of survival.
The joke is that the Nigerian security can pick the drop of a pin
It is not about whether they are efficient or not. It is about the total psychology at a particular time. Crimes are not committed because criminals are ignorant of the police. The point is that in the light of the fortunes being stashed by individuals and which the government itself has affirmed and also the US Department of State, Transparency International and sundry foreign sources, how can we convince ourselves that transition is going to be anything but war? Think about the guy out there with $10 billion in his account. He wants to be President and he could not have his way. He would organize his way and that prospect means we are faced with a security issue, not just corruption issue.
What is clear to me about the situation is that Nigerians, from 1979 to date have been driving themselves progressively to a cul de sac. There is tremendous pressure in the tunnel and there is no escape route. The ordinary person is getting angrier and angrier. So much so that the primary reaction to any disagreement is violence.
My solution would have been that we have some kind of decided action in 2007. That is that a resolution of the National Assembly would absolve everyone of guilt in all events in our history since January 15, 1966. But this must be conditional on the implementation of a parallel but integral national restitution action. That would require replacement of something like the EFCC with a National Restitution Council with power to work with EFCC as its Secretariat and investigation agency to lay all materials with respect to allegedly hidden or stolen funds and somehow negotiate with those allegedly holding them and agree on a move of returning them, allowing a certain percentage to be retained by the accounts holder, whether foreign or local. The point would be to initiate various legal measures and all kinds of indemnity in association with all actors-from foreign governments, Banks and business houses.
After this exercise, then an Act of absolution in the National Assembly which would mean closing all files including of coup makers but excepting that of rapists, murderers, arsonists.
Is this a critique of EFCC?
EFCC has the problems associated with use of terror as an instrument of control. Every concept that comes to Nigeria develops problem. EFCC is being reduced to Policing. Ribadu is doing his best but we need a broader view of the issue. When you do national restitution, then you can follow with the full force of law.
Who has the moral and political authority to do what you are saying now?
The President of course. It does not take long. He still has almost a year. They have the list already. What follows, if they want to do it, is the negotiation. If a man says this money is not mine and he is prepared to swear to an affidavit that he has nothing to do with anyone doing anything to the money, then an agreement has been reached. The rest would be a matter of details. It may be difficult if foreign actors like businesses or banks are involved but it is not insurmountable. Actually, I am writing a paper on it, trying to develop it.
Do you see Obasanjo going along this line?
I don’t know. I haven’t seen him for a long time to know his position on some of these things. But this is the position I have canvassed since the Civil War. A nation needs it at certain point because you cannot rely on punishment all the time. Even at the National Political Reform Conference, I canvassed it and quite a lot of other people accepted to work on it but for the way the Conference ended.
So, from where did the nation carry this baggage of impossibility?
It is a culture issue. It is a national psychology issue and also a historical issue
In what way is IBB about the only one who has come closest to addressing the issue of power?
I believe that those who know would confirm that had his experiment with Tofa, Kingibe and Abiola yielded fruit, the outcome would have been what is wrongly called the French system. I call it Afro-French system because De Gaulle told the whole world that he borrowed it from the constitution of African chiefs. Basically, it is simply that every traditional ruler’s Court functions in a way that proclaims: I am here, I am the great I am but the great shooter is somewhere else and he does not take my command. All that such a system would do is to restore to the Nigerian people control over those who act for them. At the moment, they do not have it. They cannot even see the Minister except you are privileged. You don’t see anybody unless you are privileged. But if you have a Prime Minister or people who owe their position to being elected, then it means anybody who exercises power must be elected and, therefore, has political legitimacy to do so. Not an El-Rufai or Iweala or just anybody who comes and pops any stuff or demolishes people’s property in the name of some undefined categories or arrest and incarcerate people just like that.
What you are saying is that legitimacy, not quality of leaders, is more important, even though we are dealing with an agrarian country.
It is not enough to have a quality president. The system must change. If you do not change the system, the system will be too militant. It is militant in terms of exercise of power, so militant it does not even tolerate anybody coming to talk about it at all. It is so militant it promotes a sense of absolutism in the minds of office holders. It is militant in the sense that it does not put decision in anybody’s hands apart from the one person of the President or governor. And it is militant in the sense that it encourages in the person who holds office a tendency to interfere in everything against all rules.
So, the answer is not in a developmental state run by organic, developmental elite?
That is Platonic rubbish. This is rubbish from Plato and Aristotle. It is unrealistic here in Africa because Plato and Aristotle never came to Africa, (laughs.). In any case, this is the 21st century
But that is closer to what happened in parts of East Asia
Who told you that?
Places like Singapore, Malaysia,
Who told you that?
The exceptional triumph of dedicated nationalist elite in power
Do you know what Singapore is? It is a ward in Kano state, my friend. All these talk that people do. They take IMF/World Bank and say it worked in Ghana. The same prescriptions are being applied in Nigeria. What is the result? Rubbish. Do you think this is a success story? Have they worked? Do you think they have worked?
They have not worked
It can not. It has never succeeded. All it would do is kill half the Nigerian population in the next ten years, give them Kwashiorkor or other diseases which increase the rate of HIV infection.
But IMF/World Bank are the developmental ideologues of Mister President and his government.
That is what I am saying. The IMF and the World Bank did not come here. They only came here as invitees. They did not bring themselves. It is still the Nigerians who made them come on the basis that there are models out there without considering the environment. Because, you see, Singapore is like a ward in Kano. Singapore is not bigger than Tafawa Balewa LGA (in Bauchi state or Victoria Island.
It is a city state but their transformation has more to do with conscious work of conscious elements
Was it with Singapore money?
It was with American money eventually but they had a model of how to understand the flow of American money
What is Singapore? You better be careful, my friend. You think you can inject an elephant with the same injection you gave the rat and it will heal. These models must be attuned to the national environment, not the other way round.
But Obasanjo has accepted IMF/World Bank framework or are you going to say he was also 419ned?
I have told you that this man has been 419ned
In that case, it was not politicians that 419ned him
Ah, who brought him? It is the Nigerian politicians who cook all these things.
Can we relapse into war and, thereby make Obasanjo the last President, both by design and by default?
Yes, we have been pushing, pushing and we have come to the moment of truth. We are in serious crisis but I don’t know if war is coming. Nobody doubts that we are in crisis of statehood. Money has come plentifully and it is still gushing in. And yet, NEPA does not work. But the people we give electricity, our neighbors have no power failure. But we may not relapse into war if we think a bit.
Now, if people are sensible, if they don’t think that the world must collapse when they fail to get their way, if people do not think democracy is an indirect way of appointing kings and royal supremos, if they recognize that the lowest person has rights and if people holding office retreat from molesting such people, and if no one makes effort to impose leadership on any community, we may have successful transfer of power. But after that transfer of power, hell could let loose I would have wanted to know the balance of account as it stands in many states today; how many billions of naira contracts remain unserviced, how much of cash debts and cash loans were taken. Whatever Obasanjo may harp on, it remains to see how some next state chief executives survive their 4 years with the debt burden they may come by.
When I gave you the analysis of failure of over relying on governors, it is simply that here is a system that should work in a certain way and you simply decided to make it work the other way. And, therefore, it failed. It is not that any governor went out of his way to stop Obasanjo.
Do you accept that there is a remarkable difference between the 1979 and the 1999 set of governors in favour of the former?
From 1999 to 2003, there was a strong Defence of the present governors because it was said we should not condemn the younger generation since many of them were young. But now, people are saying different and bitter things against them. And I do not expect the incoming governors to behave exactly like this set.
Why are you sure?
You can see that people are bolder now, they are putting issues on the table and look at how the media has become more organized. The media virtually killed third term. The media did not give third term any chance to survive.
So, there are some guarantees against national breakdown, anarchy.
Whether we can relapse into war or not is a matter of history. But there are two ways of looking at Nigerian history. If you take the long view of history, you will parallel them with episodes in the history of other nations which passed through this process before us. My favourite work here is Karl Mayhew’s London- a study of London’s life and London Poor in the 19th century and I try to see the parallel to that in our own comparable situation. And so, in that sense, we make more trouble for ourselves by bellyaching than is actually the case. Although when the President releases his statistics to say that so, so state has collected so much of its allocation, then you begin to wonder. But I do not expect the next set of governors to have it as this set had.
The short view of history is that which insists everything must happen here and now. Everything must be perfect here and now and if otherwise, then everyone is a failure. That is the sin of Nigeria, the sin of the short view of history. Today, today, you want to be like America, today, today, you want the same standards of Singapore. How long did it take Singapore? How long, how many years?
We started this journey before them. They started 1965 and, by the eighties, they had attained it basically.
So, how many years?
Twenty or so years
Which twenty or so years?
In fact, less because by the early eighties, they had become something.
It was not in the same position as we were. And do you know everybody brings money to Singapore and it passes on. I think there is something to be said for our state and to be said against. We have so many people chasing the wrong thing and then a state receives 146 billion and there is nothing to show for it.
What were you saying in your book, The Last Imam in relation to Nigeria of today?
You are a wicked fellow, very wicked. The Last Imam? The issue in The Last Imam relates in one sense to the problem of genius and the common folks-ordinary people, average people dealing with the one with extra-ordinary intelligence and passion and commitment. If you have a man of prodigious intellect and commitment to ideals, two things may happen. If he is working on a continuous basis with ordinary folks, he will be impossible person arising from the clash between his own moral or ethical benchmarks and the people’s. Ultimately, the most creative people in life never win. They do not make it but that is at the lowest, common level of understanding it. Beyond that, there is the question of whether ordinary men can live up to the standards established by God. Whether, in the context of the emergence of universal religious ideas in societies that were nativistic, you could ever successfully install in place pure form of the religious way. Other parts of the same question is whether Islam, in its tendency to accommodate and sanctify or purify hallowed customs, will not prove indestructible. The blasphemy in the Last Imam is man’s attempt to have a one-one direct communication or discourse with the Almighty.
If you insist on relating it to Nigeria, then it is simply the lesson that the pragmatic ruler deposed the high minded and pious Imam and that is to show that the bad guys always win.
Is that where the controversy in the book resides?
The book is causing me problems.
Yes, some people are saying some parts of it are sacrilegious. It cannot be published now without some editing, about two or three passages. The book was written when I was 19. At that time, I was something else. I was brilliant, always in trouble with people, at home, at school, all because of the way I looked at things.
What of now?
Now, I am much, more tolerant, more concerned with what is acceptable, doable and commonsensical. I am a bit more indifferent to what is ideal, the pursuit of which makes you unhappy. This is the Obasanjo problem because when you are high minded, you end up being misused by low minded people, cunny people, smart people.
It was said you were a potential additional continental voice in the arts but it did not turn out so beyond The Last Imam.
If I have the chance, I would like to write. Perhaps, I would write about Obasanjo. I have an ambition to write about him, I would like to have a crack about his tenure. They misused that guy.
Do you see him deciding his successor?
It is a bit curious that a champion of democracy will get some governors together and ask them to produce his successor. Even if incumbents have their way, they get illegal when openly pre-empting what should be a process. Common sense predicts that this could happen but the implication is that he has dismissed anybody else from the presidential arena unless you are state governor in the PDP. And this comes after all sorts of statements and claims about these same governors. My advice would be: why not let the democratic process produce for you a political successor or a number of political successors and maintain a level play ground until one is elected and you make your peace with him. At worst, you allow democratic process at PDP level. Even so, if the system is working well, he should not be seen to be gerrymandering, trying to impose anybody because he would not be around to sustain him.
What exactly is the problem between you and Dr. Patrick Wilmot? He was furious about you in the interview in the Weekly Trust recently. Is it this old ABU, Zaria quarrels?
I am not sure if you are being fair to me, asking me such question in a serious interview on the affairs of the nation about a moment like this in Nigerian history. When you ask me about a person like Patrick Wilmot and knowing as I do that you were among the journalists who interviewed him, I would say you are being mischievous. I ignored what he said about me because it is sufficient to dismiss him.
I can’t ask you about your relationship with Bala Usman because he is no longer alive but Wilmot is alive and kicking. Wilmot was very forthcoming on you. I thought you would also be that forthcoming and the Nigerian public will be the richer for it.
No, I will continue to dismiss him because the statement he made about me dismissed him as a person. He said I stand to the right of Hitler. There is no place to the right of Hitler. If there were, mankind has no vocabulary for it. So, I said to my self that if there is someone who is used to employing non-sequittals in a serious discussion, then people should leave him alone because he would most likely be in a high dudgeon for things you cannot accommodate emotionally. I prefer to leave Wilmot where he is.