“They want to see a change for the better,” he told ‘The Guardian’ newspaper in Nigerian in his recent interview.
That was when the issue of how to strengthen institutions came up for discussion.
For him, “a lot depends on the leader, his sensitivity, his will, his strength and determination because the vast majority of the people are suffering from the decay” considering the fact that people want to see change.
“I think that the number one should be bold enough and identify the right people to take over and move to those institutions in an effective and efficient way. Put your foot down, because those institutions are manned by human beings; and if those human beings lack the character, the strength and the spirit to be able to defy that which is wrong, then we cannot defend freedom and justice,” he emphasised.
That, he said was because “the leader has to give a clear signal, sense of direction and the passion to drive the change.”
Mr Rawlings, who is also the founder of the ruling party, recalled “when I was in office, I spent 30-40 percent of my time watching out for corrupt or corruptible indications or behaviour or lifestyles. I wouldn’t tolerate it. It is so easy. It brings the best out of your people. They would do 70 percent of the work for you.”
He indicated “my style was to provoke the needed consciousness and invite the involvement of our people so that you had moral outrage from the general populace. So, even in your villages and workplaces, you can’t misbehave and get away with it. I don’t have to have a policeman there. We don’t have enough policemen. But the moral outrage of the society is a dynamite. It is a weapon waiting to be used and utilised. The people were policing themselves for the just course.”
Whiles he admitted that “some may end up being intimidated by it, sadly”, he was confident that it would help, saying “after all, that is what you have in those countries, those developed countries. They have not destroyed their moral outreach.”
Source: Daily Guide