The leadership of One Love Foundation(OLF) recently set up a legal Policy Think Tank to fight for the Independence of the Judiciary, Legislature and Local Government Autonomy.
The Think Tank consists of lawyers, humans rights activists and journalists, and in this interview, OLF president, Chief Patrick Eholor throws more light on the reasons why the legal /human rights team was set up.
He also speaks out against the recent attacks against security agencies and agents in the South East and South South, especially the burning of Police stations, killing of officers and stealing of their guns and ammunition. He also reveals how his organization, OLF can help the IPOB in its fight against Federal Government, especially with regards to extra judicial killings.
Why we set up a think thank to sue the Governments to mandate them to give full autonomy to the judiciary,the legislature and the local governments
It is clearly defined in the separation of powers that they are independent. If the judiciary is not independent, that means that the government will keep dictating and usurping more powers to itself. There is a very funny law that says that anything more than a million naira coming into the coffers of the judiciary must be paid into the state government purse. And the state government will now redirect it to them, but that’s basically fraud. It means that the state governors put the judiciary on its knees for them to get the money.
So whatever the governors want them to do is what they will do, because he who pays the piper dictates the tune. When I see these things, I don’t like it, that’s why I have organized lawyers of repute, with Barrister Akahome as chairman, and Barrister Ugbonkwa is going to be the secretary. Forgive me if I don’t mention the other lawyers because they are coming out as a surprise.
So you see local governments and you don’t see them function because they are solely dependent on the state governors. We also want to discuss that. We also want to discuss the idea of the police in future. We want to know those who police us, because you cannot continue to have a police officer from the north be a Commissioner in Edo State. This is because they don’t come from here, don’t know the terrain, and so cannot fight crime effectively.
So we want to make sure that when you post a Commissioner to the north, he should be one who understand the north, and this will reduce the criminality.
We also want to take the Federal Government to court about policing. The police are underpaid, they are not trained, and so we want to make sure they are well trained, and well paid. We want to make sure there are forensic laboratories in every divisional police station, there are cameras for mugshots, there are recorders to take notations and have records. They should have archives in the computer. We are living in the 21st century, we must make sure these things are organized. The same thing is applicable to the Ministries. There is no country today where the security doesn’t use computers, or who are not computer dependent.
So there’s a lot of issues we want to bring into spotlight.
The Eastern Security Network, IPOB and the attacks on policemen, killings, etc
My fear is that I hope this doesn’t lead to a civil war. I condemn with every effort in me, anyone that kills the police, because police are out there to protect lives and property, to ensure that we sleep very peacefully. So anyone who goes after police is going against humanity.
But I also condemn extrajudicial killings, and that’s why I said there are good cops and there are bad cops, all over the world. And again, that’s why we must leave this on the board- the IPOB should come out and complain if there has been any extrajudicial killing, and we will take the police to court.
They should cry out and the likes of us will amplify their cries, go to court and make sure that whoever is responsible is brought to book and pay the price for killing any IPOB member. But if the federal government is playing a blind eye to it, that could also provoke the IPOB to start taking retaliatory measures, which I do not prescribe to, because that can lead to a state of anarchy.
So, before it escalates, before it leads to what happened to Boko Haram, we should nip it in the bud, to avoid another crises.
Proliferation of arms among civilians and breakdown of law and order
That tells you the failure of Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. Whether the police are dying, whether IPOB members are dying, Buhari is fully responsible for the failure of the security in the state, as well the failure of the state governors. It’s enshrined in our constitution that the government is going to protect lives and property, and they are not doing that. So, we the citizens also have the right to take them to court, because they have failed to carry out what is enshrined in our constitution.
You will agree with me that the members of the House of Reps and Senate have failed abysmally. We have never had it so bad like this. I honestly think that’s by now, what has happened in the east, north, south and west, is enough for them to wake up and rise up, to impeach President Muhammadu Buhari. Whatever is happening now is an impeachable offense.
Chief Patrick Eholor is always in the news, speaking about the welfare of the Nigerian citizen, irrespective of profession or background.
Eholor who is the President of One Love Foundation, spoke with our correspondent in this interview, raising alarm at the growing number of mentally deranged people on the streets.
In this interview, he advises the Muhammadu Buhari led federal government, as well as Edo State Government to look into the matter and ensure that these men and women are rehabilitated and given proper care.
He also advises them, regarding the physically challenged, as well as the aged.
What do you think about the alarming, growing number of mentally ill people on the streets of Edo State, especially in Benin City?
The problem is peculiar, and this is why you notice that this government, and even before the current government, we have been experiencing this rise.
However, no matter how you look at it, they are citizens. Some of them used to have electoral value. Some of them voted before. Whatever they seem to be going through before they lost it, government also is part of the problem. Some of them lost their jobs and are unemployed, some of them were sick and had no help from anyone, including the government. Some were suffering from depression, some were having family issues- a lot of thing can cause mental illness.
I am not a doctor, but I do know that a lot of factors can cause mental illness. The question you should ask is, what is the Federal Government doing about it? What is the Godwin Obaseki administration back home doing about it?
We have a place, a psychiatrist hospital at Uselu in Edo State, which is being managed by government. I would suggest that they should constitute a committee- just as they have committees to do contracts, to steal money, to do all sorts of things that are anti people, they can also have a committee whose work will be to mop up these people from the streets and take them to the psychiatric hospital for treatments. They can get buses and use the buses for this purpose.
They will then try and rehabilitate them back to the society if they can, but if they cannot, they should at least have some decency before they go to the great beyond.
I am very worried about it. Every street you go to now in Benin, you see lunatics. If Godwin Obaseki is not helping the normal people, at least let him help the abnormal people in our society. Besides that, one will wonder the kind of plan this administration or even the Federal Government have for people who have disability. People with disabilities are supposed to be given preferential treatment anywhere, whether they are in the bus, hospital, market place, in aeroplanes, preference should be given to them.
Disability can come in any form. Then there is the issue of the aged and the elderly. These are people who have worked and retired.
Yes, in other climes when somebody gets to a certain age, the person begins to get special care from the sate, local or federal governments. But here, it seems to be taken for granted that when one begins to get old, the family should take care of him or her. So, a lot of them end up never getting the kind of care he or she deserves. So you see and old man or woman working on the streets selling pure water, hand gloves,and trying to make ends meet. Don’t you think our government should emulate other governments outside Nigeria where our leaders usually travel to?
Our governments unfortunately don’t copy what’s good. They manufacture what is bad. Our federal and state governments are all merchants of misery. Ordinarily when you cross the 60 year threshold, you become someone within the retirement age. You become a first class citizen, government takes care of you. Whether you are poor, whether you are rich, whether you have worked before, they have plans for you.
But the reason why it’s impossible for government here to do something about them is due to their taxation system. Abroad, when you start working from the age of 18, you start paying into pensions plan. It is what you saw that you are going to go into retirement with. For example if I was earning N100,000 every month and is now contributing ten thousand from it every month, I would have saved for 42years. At 60, they will see what I have saved, and they will add to it and use it to take care of me, because I have contributed to the economy. They also have for the unemployed, the unemployment benefits where the government also takes care of those who are unemployed.
That’s why it baffles me when people say that Godwin Obaseki is a technocrat. I have not seen anything of a technocrat in him. One would have assumed that because he has been able to manage some people’s funds, some of them he lost, some he may have succeeded, in some the market bled, one would have thought that with his exposure, the things I am mentioning to you now, he would have been able to do it, so that when people are earning their salaries, they start contributing to the pensions scheme. When people are also not working, they should also have what gets to the unemployed, in case you lost your job, whether in the private or the public sector. You would have contributed money to that scheme, and so, should be getting money from them before you get another job.
Even if you are going to school, you will also be getting something. But unfortunately, those who are charge in this country are merchants of misery. They don’t care about their citizens. They think that citizens don’t have rights. They think that citizens don’t deserve anything good. Look at recently, when a guy who claimed he was a deputy speaker of the house, someone raised a point about those who are in the diaspora.
This man, ignorant as he is said that the people are not in Nigeria, so their votes don’t count. He is not aware that these same people bring in 20 to 25 billion to this country every year. It is the second largest source of fund after the oil that is there.
It is the quality of leaders that we have that’s the problem. The other decent ones say politics is dirty and don’t want to play it. But if you don’t play politics, what you do is that you allow thugs to rule over you, and that’s why we suffer. The ones that are handpicked want a continuation of what they are doing because they have no idea and are completely without clue what it means to contribute to leadership. This is country where 95 percent of the senators condemned the Service chiefs for terrible service, but also went ahead to vote for them to be ambassadors. Is that not preposterous?
So people deserve the government they get, whether they are rigging, or stealing, we deserve it. Because if they had rigged and we fought them, or if they had stolen as we fought, if they have bloated salaries as it is now and we condemn it, then it would have been different.
There is a massive army of youths that will rise up again, same thing that happened when end SARS happened. I foresee it happening again. This is a country with a president that never addresses its citizens. This is a country where we have speculations that we might have one Jibrin, we don’t know. In the last two years,how many people have seen our president in a podium, talking to Nigerians?
In the last few years, how many people have seen Gov Obaseki call the press in Edo State, so that there will be an interactive session? How many times has the president of this country called for a town hall meeting? How many times have any of the governors in this country called for a town hall meeting? Or the senators or the House of Reps members?
How many times have the commissioners or House of Assembly members gone to ask what does my people need? How many times have local government chairmen called for a town hall meeting? All of them have failed abysmally, and no apology.
In this issue of rehabilitating the mentally deranged, don’t you think it is necessary for people like you to take up the task?
It’s difficult because mental patients cannot be predicted. That’s why they have a special people who have been trained to look after them, and to know how to care for the, without chaining them or beating them like animals. There are also mentally deranged people in the western world, but they are approached cautiously. They are given medications to reduce that tension on them that makes them abnormal. So I do not recommend anyone who is doing what I am doing or any human rights activist to make it a role to rescue lunatics because they will be putting their lives at risk.
But if you train someone to do it, like you train a soldier, or police officer, as a professional, they should be professional enough to do it. Government should invest money on it so that they can take it very seriously.
Because some of these people can get well again and contribute meaningfully to the development of our country.
Sagging breast is one of the major concerns of the average girl. From adolescence to adulthood; no lady wants to lose her sense of youth. In an interview with Vanguard, Doctor Peter Atangwho (@firstdoctorr) gives expert opinion on why young girls have saggy breasts.
Why do young girls have saggy breasts?
The fact remains that falling or sagging breasts is due to a combination of factors that tend to increase as the woman ages.
Some ligaments in the breast called Cooper’s ligaments hold the breast tissue together. With time, they can get stretched out, causing the breast to sag.
Another contributing factor is the loss of skin elasticity which makes a young woman’s boobs appear deflated.
For example, people that are bursty tend to experience sagging faster due to the dragging effect of their huge breast mass on the Cooper’s ligament as a result of gravity
Speaking of ‘number of pregnancies’, can abortion be a causative factor?
During pregnancy, there’s interplay of hormones like estrogen and progesterone which have massive effects on breast size in preparation for breastfeeding.
If an abortion occurs, however, those effects could still be seen on the breast tissue. So strictly speaking, abortion can contribute.
So, having numerous abortions or miscarriages is a contributing factor?
The number of pregnancies is what matters most. In other words, the more children you have, the more stretched out your breasts could become.
Can sucking of the breast by sexual partner during foreplay contribute to the sagging of the breast?
I am not aware of any research that supports the popular belief that sucking of the breasts by a woman’s sexual partner makes them sag.
Like I said, the main cause is loss of skin elasticity and overstretching of the Cooper’s ligaments.
Is there any expert opinion on how to prevent the breast from sagging?
Yes, sure. Maybe the right word is “delay” breast sagging because as the woman continues to age and approach menopause, sagging becomes almost inevitable.
Back to the question, one can delay sagging by using their appropriate bra size, drinking lots of water to keep the skin hydrated, avoid smoking, maintain a healthy weight, and always sit straight up to support their breasts and avoid them hanging downwards or dangling.
By Castor Bamidele, Hauwa Hassan, Kalu Amadi, Vera Idowu, March 15, 2021
▪️60% Slash in Salaries & Allowances of all Political Office Holders from President to Councilors from Day One in office.
▪️#EndSARS transformed from social protest to political party youths arm, No cash donations, only campaign materials!
▪️Party Candidates to be directly chosen by Electorates of Wards, House of Assembly/NASS Constituencies & handed to party.
A global, pan-Nigerian political movement, Nigeria Cannot Continue Like This (NCC-LIT), which pledges to take Nigeria from her present multi-dimensional challenges to her finest hour in nation building, is set to roll out its agenda for taking over power through the ballot from the ruling APC and PDP come 2023.
NCC-LIT (pronounced NCC-LIGHT) is said to be formed by concerned and determined progressives from all political parties, eminent social-political right campaigners in Nigeria and Diaspora, civil society organizations, professional bodies and critical intelligentsia from the six geopolitical zones.
The group anchors its confidence for victory of its future political party on a new political ideology called “Resident Democracy,” a unique doctrine of democracy never before seen or heard of in Nigeria or the African continent.
During a pre-press chat in Abuja with the movement’s Global Coordinator, Evang. Comrade Tony Akeni, a social rights crusader and veteran journalist of more than 35 years standing, the coordinator told fellow journalists that the open governance blueprint of NCC-LIT’s Resident Democracy is the most humble service compact, sacrificial and practical political ideology ever presented to Nigerians of any generation or since recorded history of the African continent began.
According to Comrade Tony, “NCC-LIT’s Resident Democracy manifesto is consciously designed to ransform politics in Nigeria from a nation draining enterprise by a privileged few to a low paying, nation building sacrificial service to the people for the supreme benefits of the citizens.
He explained, “With the support of Nigerians, soon after our expected comprehensive victory at the 2023 polls, our political party shall expeditiously proceed to cut down the total salaries and allowances of political office holders, from the President to councillors, down to only 40% of what elected and appointed political office holders currently receive throughout the federation, leaving enormous whales of funds for infrastructure, education and other service developments. And this shall be from day one in office without any of the usual fanciful excuses of insincere political leaders!” the evangelist-politician asserted.
If actualized, the new way of thinking by NCC-LIT would actually be capturing one of the cardinal reform demands of the #EndSARS campaign of October last year, which was for government to cut down on cost of governance in the country.
Expatiating on this, the movement’s coordinator explained: “We shall leave no-one in doubt as to our earnestness, moral will and political punctuality in implementing this component of the Resident Democracy manifesto of our party. We shall begin the policy which we call the Great Gash from day one in office.
We asked how his party would go about it.
“This is how,” he answered. “While campaigning to the electorates of Nigeria from state to state, all the emolument data, statistics and logistics for implementing to the letter the 60% slash of politicians’ remunerations shall be consolidated in justiceable affidavits sworn to by our political party candidates in the highest courts of Nigeria in every state and the magistrate courts of the local government areas where we campaign.
“This is so that from day one in office as Nigeria’s ruling political party from May 29 or June 12, 2023, the Great Gash goes into immediate effect without let or hindrance, without excuse or deferment and so that the compact with the electorates can be justiceable; so that the electorate can sue or do even worse than that knowing the law is completely on their side. That is how honest, earnest and thoroughly transparent we intend to be and will be.”
Another interesting feature of NCC-LIT’s espoused Resident Democracy ideology is its avowed ethical mode and compact of picking its party aspirants and candidates for elections through the people themselves instead of the party.
How Resident Democracy works
The evangelist-politician explained: “Throughout the country it shall be the electorates or constituents of each council ward, state constituency, federal constituency and senatorial district who shall themselves choose in open town hall elections or village square their best character and values determined candidates for council, House of Assembly, House of Reps and Senate. Once transparently chosen, the ward or constituency hands over such candidates to the future political party of NCC-LIT and such candidates, backed by court-sworn affidavit of the people’s consensus, automatically become the candidates of our party.
He went on, “All such candidates shall obtain party candidate forms at zero fee. Of course, on election day, the electorates would naturally rise to resolutely defend their votes, candidates and mandates, with matching support from our party’s national structure.”
The movement’s coordinator revealed that another outstanding achievement of the group towards mobilizing Nigerians for the 2023 elections is its successful amalgamation and consolidation of the peaceful #EndSARS campaign fronts of many states of the federation to form the Age 18 to 45 special youths arm of NCC-LIT. This arm of NCC-LIT, according to him, is named #ENDSARS METAMORPHOSIS (ESM), describing the transforming of the social protest movement into a political organ of NCC-LIT which, according to the coordinator, now goes by the departmental slogan “One Nation, One Mission for Leadership Change 2023.
The NCC-LIT official says it has mobilized and enrolled the #EndSARS youths of 22 states to date as partners of the NCC-LIT political mission by convincing them to eschew all forms of peace disrupting activity to metamorphose instead to political party activism.
“This is one of NCC-LIT’s landmark achievements since January this year,” Comrade Tony explained. “More states of the previously anomalous #EndSARS campaign are queueing now to join the structured, strategically organized youth wing of NCC-LIT.”
He continues, “#EndSARS’ fusion into NCC-LIT has since quickly proved to be an added turbo for the promising victory of the Nigeria people at last come 2023.
We asked, “What is the energy level and sense of being at home integration and harmony from the #EndSARS fronts since they became one with NCC-LIT?”
“Perfect! They appreciate that their amalgamation with NCC-LIT at this material hour of Nigeria’s history is a poetic turning-point. It promises attainment of their lawful, patriotic and constitutionally supported demands for a better Nigeria. Every unlazy youth coming on board is excited by the knowledge that the salient ideals of Nigeria’s amazing youth population of the #EndSARS epoch are now acutely within reach through the NCC-LIT vision and the collective victory of our collectively owned future political party in the 2023 polls.
“From us here at the NCC-LIT portals, let me use this opportunity to on behalf of the Wake Up Nigeria March to 2023 invite all law abiding, justice and freedom loving protesters of the #EndSARS epoch to our door. NCC-LIT’s door is wide open for all development loving #EndSARS protesters in Nigeria, Africa and every continent of the world wherever Nigerians live to become part and parcel of NCC-LIT’s #EndSARS Metamorphosis.”
The coordinator of the group was down to earth. “It is thin and patchy for now but it will get better. Big things always start small.” Then he revealed something stunning and rare in politics. He said that to demonstrate the integrity of NCC-LIT to the world, the #EndSARS activists and supporters desiring to join the movement, NCC-LIT has a strict policy in place that supporters of the movement and #EndSARS Metamorphosis shall not donate cash to the movement but only finished campaign materials produced by the donors themselves or graphic experts of the secretariat!
Comrade Tony Akeni gave this explanation: “We want donors of the NCC-LIT liberation struggle to be rest assured that no-one is going away to enrich himself with their hard-earned money. So, they either pay by themselves and send finished specified campaign materials to our secretariat or get their proxies to print, produce and supply to our offices nearest to them, or pay directly for billboards, radio and TV space for the freedom movement. The policy will also help to shut the gate to scams by potential impersonators.”
Threats of Security Agencies
The comrade-evangelist did not mince words when we asked if the country’s security agencies might not misunderstand the motives behind unification of the #EndSARS campaign with NCC-LIT, stating: “For identifying with Nigeria’s long suffering youths which governments of the two ruling political parties at various levels have refused to do for decades, I’m available for arrest, questioning, torture and torment of their worst operatives. This is because the integrity, purity and divinity of our motives in identifying with the lawful and righteous yearnings of Nigeria’s politically and social-economically violated youths is firm, unnegotiable and irreversible. History will vindicate me and members of NCC-LIT in the end. So from me, it’s bring it on. You can take my message to the unconscionable elements of Nigeria’s miseducated security agencies who allow themselves to be misapplied by the reactionary government in Abuja. Also convey my word to both of them, masters and agents, that like all their predecessors, they have expiring dates in the offices they presently occupy, as well as their tenancy here on God’s earth.”
The activist asked rhetorically, “Where is Babangida today? Where are Abacha and the killer squads who once lapped murderous and godless orders from their desks in years gone by, all for a mess of Satan’s porridge and five minutes’ fame with black goggles as national security Amicha Bachan?”
We reminded the evangelist-activist that several seemingly potent presidential aspirants, political movements and party mergers have began to spring up in various parts of the country, each with their eyes fixed on 2023. How did NCC-LIT compare its chances and relate with them, especially the moneybags among them who pilot trailer sacks of gold for compromising the perenianially available and commercialized majority of Nigeria’s voting masses and small political parties who are easily bought over in the horse-trading season?
Again he replied without hesitation: “Those political parties and movements who are ready to make genuine sacrifices to save Nigeria, to enthrone good governance instead of another set of vampire successors to the present occupants of Aso Villa and state houses of the federation, those who are committed to doing things differently for epic results for our country to get out of the gulf of calamities we are in are the ones we care about. We have no remedy for those hankering after and positioning themselves for negotiation, seasonal bribes, buy-over and temporary anaesthesia of the their sorrows by forces of treasury pillage and ruin.
“From our name Nigeria Can’t Continue Like This (NCC-LIT), it must be obvious to you that our movement has no place for drivers of merger bandwagons waiting to be settled from trailer sacks of gold, to use your words. Those running after rogues and robbers of the Nigerian nation to come and bribe them into oblivion have no place in our table. In any case, to becalm your temperature, I assure you that NCC-LIT is seeing and keenly watching them.”
We enquired, “How will you differentiate the genuine merger patriots from those who are matching to trade out their followers and the country as their endgame?
“It is easy using a simple NCC-LIT parameter. Throughout the world today, the salient ideals of Resident Democracy is the No. 1 governance transparency model, a zenith brand of democracy which was invented right here in Nigeria. Resident Democracy is NCC-LIT’S political DNA test kit. Those political parties whose leadership are committed to sterling sacrifices towards building a brand new Nigeria of amazing prosperity and First World potentials for peace, security and happiness for it’s citizens will come rejoicing to join the NCC-LIT political canopy when we get to the crossroads of 2023. Those out to trade their followers with status quo overlords of the present system for a moment of bliss in the Fools Paradise of the Corruption Empire of Nigeria will go to other canopies. For us as thoroughbred patriots, we can’t wait to see the backs of such political party wolves and movements. They are free to go and roam between the camps of Sodom and Gomorrah as they are used to doing since 1999. Roaming back and forth between the kitchens of APC and PDP hoping to take over some day for their turns to ‘chop.’
“We also know that there are movements of similar doctrines besides APC and PDP. They are all out there as well as surrogate mergers of the APC and PDP at both the national level and in the states. Sooner or later they will begin setting up canopies all over the place for their own mergers of vultures as we inch towards 2023. It is their choice.”
NCC-LIT’s Action Agenda forward
On the agenda of the movement’s political activities, the social crusader and political reformer stated that this media chat was a precursor to a major world press conference among many others, the first of which would unveil an exciting list of the group’s activities between 2021 and 2022. He gave us a glimpse of these to include the merger of like-minded political parties and movements across Nigeria and the Diaspora, advocacy agenda for credible Diaspora voting backed by verifiable cutting-edge electronic voting technology and a civil society driven musterpoint for constitutional and Electoral Act amendments towards truly free, fair and credible elections in 2023.
774 Days to Nigeria’s Freedom
In conclusion Comrade Tony Akeni called on Nigerians to join Nigeria Cannot Continue Like This movement to lift the unique ideals of its Resident Democracy manifesto to liberate Nigeria from her myriad social-economic hardship from what he described as “grim and gruesome leadership failure.”
He appealed that in doing so, Nigerians must maintain a high sense of patriotism and forbearance, avoid acts of inter-ethnic hate, prejudice and conflagrations. He called for citizens to maintain law and order in spite of the many daily provocations of economic hardship in all parts of the country.
“The days of Nigerians’ agonies from misrule and leadership disaster are known and numbered,” he enthused. “From today the Ides of March, March 15, 2021, it is only 774 days to freedom at last, one day representing each council area of our Republic. If all or the critical majority of Nigerians vote into leadership the future political party of NCC-LIT, our hell and nightmares are as good as over.
“Together, as we approach 2022 and well before 2023, let all #EndSARS protesters and bad governance detesters of our great country bond and bind together to put behind us at last the horrific misrule and numberless calamities of APC and PDP for good.
“It is perfectly possible. And it is actually only 774 days from today. Join the soon to emerge political party of Nigeria Cannot Continue Like This (NCC-LIT) to accomplish this task.”
“Till then,” the crusader concluded, “let every Nigerian under the sun, at home and abroad, hold up his and her end of the sky. Tough and tormenting as the economic hardship and scorge of misrule may be, everyone must keep the peace, keep the law, violate no government, public or private structure but preserve all public infrastructure. Together they are part of the commonwealth of our country.
“Be one another’s keeper, irrespective of tribe, religion, gender and place of abode, within and outside Nigeria. Through the vehicle of NCC-LIT, freedom is coming through.
President of One Love Foundation, and Democracy Observer-General, Patriot Patrick Eholor has condemned in very strong terms the recent appointment of Abdulrasheed Bawa, who is a northerner and a Muslim.
Eholor who spoke to Jungle Journalist Media Ltd correspondent today in an interview in Benin City, said that it is shocking that despite having over 90 percent of northern Muslims in federal appointments, President Buhari still went ahead to appoint another northern Muslim who was being investigated for massive corruption a short while ago.
Eholor stated that the sad development has led to massive brain drain of Southern intellectuals who have continually being hired in Western nations, a development that has led to the stifling of growth of the Nigerian state in virtually all sectors.
The activist also called on well meaning Nigerians to call for an end to this, to prevent further harm to Nigeriags ailing democracy.
His words: “The nation have watched with high disillusion the pattern of appointments to sensitive offices as dispensed by the present leadership. The lopsided and sectarian trend is very worrisome.
“Competence, merit and reflection of federal character have been gagged and what reflects is a systemic and deliberate shift from the principles of true federalism.
“Nepotism is a product of bias, insensitivity and pathetic ignorance. When such prevails, mediocrity and unproductivity clouds the entire system. There is no end to this trend without a mental shift. The gambling trend to the future and progress of our existence as a nation is worrisome. The brain drain of professionals of high intellect of southern descent will continue if they are not appreciated and contained here in Nigeria.
“This massive exodus has helped develop other economies while our economy suffers. Progressive western nations appreciate productivity and they go to any length to get highly skilled professionals to enable them achieve that.
“Nigeria happens to be a breeding ground. No nation thrives with nepotic tendencies. The recent appointment of EFCC chief is a typical reflection of our sorry state.
“How do we justify the appointment of someone whose integrity and reputation are questionable? Recently his activities was investigated by the former EFCC chief and Nigerian leadership did not consider it a blemish for him to hold such a position.
“Such scenarios are endless. The legislative arm as a watchdog should checkmate these excesses for the good of our fragile democracy. If the beat goes on, the mad dance will be highly destructive and colossal. Let all like minded progressives stand against this trending development”, Eholor argued in the interview.
Daniel Alabrah, a seasoned journalist, is the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri. Between June 2017 and February 13, 2020, he was Special Adviser on Public Affairs to the immediate past governor of the state, Seriake Dickson, now Senator representing Bayelsa West in the Senate.
Alabrah was a Deputy Editor at The Sun newspapers when he was appointed to head the Media and Communication Unit at the Presidential Amnesty Office in Abuja in June 2012, a position he held till September 8, 2015 when he resigned.
In this interview with MICHAEL JEGEDE, the former professional footballer and current chairman of the Bayelsa State Scrabble Association, speaks extensively on the various efforts and exploits of Governor Diri as he marks one year in office on February 14, 2021 (today).
As spokesman of Governor Douye Diri, how would you describe the journey so far for the man now widely known as the ‘Miracle Governor’ due to the way he miraculously emerged?
Quite frankly, it has been a challenging experience. It has not been a very easy ride. And there are reasons I say so, some of which are obvious. For instance, Senator Douye Diri came at a time the whole world was gripped by a pandemic that actually distorted plans of national and sub-national governments. COVID-19 was not expected and it spread in such a way that virtually no one was spared its anger and fury.
So, for a man that just came into office on February 14, 2020 at a time this pandemic was sweeping across the world, there was bound to be some challenges to contend with. With the coming of COVID-19, the world got used to a new normal, which we all had to adjust to. The new words became lockdown, palliatives, COVID-19 protocols. States and countries were locked down and Nigeria was not spared. The new government had to start thinking and planning how it was going to survive the effects of the pandemic. That was a challenge. Be that as it may, as a man with good knowledge of what governance is all about, he was able to manage the situation very well that till date Bayelsa is one of the states with the least number of cases because of the measures that were put in place.
In Bayelsa, unlike in some other states, Governor Diri did not direct a lockdown of the state in a manner that it amounted to punishment on the people. He ensured that most of the decisions at that time had a human face. For him, people would have to learn and understand the effects of COVID-19 by persuasion and not by force. He understood that this was unexpected and that nobody prepared for it. The pain of COVID-19 is such that you do not make the people suffer double jeopardy. So, largely the situation was well managed and we saw that at the end of the first wave of the pandemic, the situation wasn’t too bad in the state. However, with it came a lot of things that the government had to do. It had to distribute palliatives to the people across the state, ensuring that persons whose means of livelihood had been affected needed to be given some support to be able to survive.
The government had to embark on the distribution of foodstuff and other palliatives four times between April and July of last year. It also had to establish a research and diagnostic centre with a standard molecular laboratory for testing infectious diseases just as it embarked on extensive sensitisation campaigns across the state. Now, we are in the second wave, which means the government still has to keep an eye on how to protect the people from the effects of the pandemic.
Knowing that the entire world economy was badly affected by the pandemic, resulting to sharp decrease in the revenue of most countries, Nigeria inclusive, how was Diri able to raise funds to cater for the welfare of the people of Bayelsa in the last one year?
The economic situation too did not help matters. COVID-19 ensured there was a downturn in the Nigerian economy, which greatly affected our revenue and monthly allocation from FAAC as an oil producing state. You know there was a drop in the price of oil. So, national revenue was affected. And that by extension meant that the revenue accruing to states, particularly the oil producing states, was affected and Bayelsa was badly hit. But the governor had to prioritise. One of the things he prioritised was the welfare of civil servants, retirees and pensioners.
Bayelsa largely is a civil service state. So, when revenue dwindled it affected the projections, particularly with the infrastructure and other areas the government needed to tackle headlong. With the lockdown, not much could be done at that time. But Governor Diri decided that regardless of the drop in monthly allocation, our people should not suffer so much. He ensured that salaries of civil servants be paid as and when due. In fact, he directed that by 27th or 28th of every month, civil servants get their salaries.
Are civil servants still getting their salary promptly?
Bayelsa has not owed any civil servant salary from January of 2020 till now. In fact, since 2019, no civil servant in the state has been owed despite our tight financial situation. But let’s look at it from when the Miracle Governor assumed office in February 2020. Since then, the first priority monthly is civil servants and pensioners’ salary, no matter how poor the allocation was.
Are you saying the pay of Bayelsa civil servants was never slashed unlike in some other states?
Salary of civil servants or political appointees was never reduced due to COVID-19. There was no pay cut or slashed allowances. The governor ensured that everybody got paid accordingly. He was able to manage that very well. He also courageously handled the situation with the retired civil servants by way of paying their pension regularly and their gratuity. For instance, between N100 million and N200 million is set aside every month since February 2020 for clearing the backlog of gratuities, which date back to 2008. But in January this year, N650 million was released for gratuities. So, in the last one year, over N2 billion has been disbursed as gratuities of retirees in the state. However, what suffered initially was infrastructure development.
Within this period not much could be done until towards the end of last year when the government decided that in spite of COVID-19, we needed to touch the lives of the people better than we were already doing. So, at the moment, Bayelsa is gradually turning into a massive construction site with the number of projects and contracts that have been awarded, particularly for road infrastructure projects. They include the urban renewal project of expanding the Etegwe/Edepie roundabout, which is being done through direct labour by the state Ministry of Works and Infrastructure. This project is almost completed as it was the first to start. Other projects include the Yenagoa-Oporoma road with a bridge across the river at Aguobiri and another major bridge at Angiama. This very important road started by the immediate past administration of Senator Seriake Dickson and being constructed by the Chinese construction giants, CCECC, leads to headquarters of the Southern Ijaw local government area that can only be accessed by river just like the headquarters of the Brass council in Twon-Brass.
The outer ring road project is also ongoing as well as the Igbedi road project in Kolokuma/Opokuma local government area. Construction giants, Julius Berger, has equally been mobilised to return to site for the final phase of the Isaac Boro expressway project as well as contractors returning to the equally important Glory Drive bypass road and the almost 90km Sagbama-Ekeremor road. There is also the bridge projects at Elebele and Imiringi in Ogbia local government area as well as internal road projects in the state capital, Yenagoa, just to mention some of the projects that are either ongoing, nearing completion or about to commence. So, figuratively, we have been able to look at the ghost of COVID-19 and said we are not going to be held back by it as we must move on with our lives.
Although our revenue has not significantly improved, we have been able to prudently deploy funds, particularly the N27.5billion that the state received as refund for executing federal government projects. That money has been deployed largely into infrastructure. The road projects are such that in the next one year or so, people would see a massive transformation in the road network and physical infrastructure outlook of the state.
Were the several court cases (both pre and post-election cases) instituted against Governor Diri not a distraction to him?
Indeed, that was another challenge that Governor Diri had to contend with – the plethora of court cases. It is on record that no governor has faced the kind of legal tussle, legal challenges that this governor has contended with. The pre-election and post-election cases altogether were about 32 and five of them got to the Supreme Court. Instructively, the governor won all of them. Without a scintilla of doubt, these court cases were a distraction. The purpose was for him to lose focus but he kept his calm. He was focused.
Often he had to travel out of the state as those cases required that he kept a close eye on them. The plan of those behind these litigations was to unsettle him. But for a man who miraculously came into office, we were not surprised that the same God that made it possible also ensured that he remained on that seat.
A lot of things were done to unseat him. Some of them we cannot even imagine the length that some persons went just because they wanted to unseat the governor. But as he always say, it is God that gives power. He is the One who is the originator of power and He is the One who ensures that you remain on any seat of power. So, that God has always been present to decide those cases in his favour.
Can it be said that the people of Bayelsa are faring better under the leadership of Governor Diri?
If you know me well, I talk straight. I like to say things the way I see them. I am not one who hypocritically praise-sing anybody. I say the reality the way it is. But, honestly, it might be out of tune for me to begin to score the administration. You can find out yourself what the governor has been able to do, particularly as we shook off the distraction from COVID-19 and the court cases. He has a good knowledge of what it takes to govern this state and to ensure that the people get the full benefits of the government that is in place. I am not saying everybody would be satisfied with the government, but I can confidently tell you that the majority of Bayelsans believe in the government of Senator Douye Diri at the moment based on what they have seen him do.
How has he been able to entrench peace and unity among the people of Bayelsa?
This is a man who is committed and believes strongly in the unity of the state. He believes in the unity of the Ijaw nation. He believes that Bayelsa as the only homogenous Ijaw state, as the home of all Ijaw people, is a place that we should allow peace to reign. It is a place that we must protect our people with everything we have. So, he has ensured that areas where there was hitherto no peace, where there were conflicts and open disagreements, he intervened in such a way that the people believe that there could be reconciliation. I give you an example.
On November 13, three days before the November 16 governorship election in 2019, supporters of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and people who had gone to Nembe to campaign with and for Senator Diri and his then running mate, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, were attacked. Persons were reportedly killed and several persons were injured in that attack. But beyond the attack on these persons that visited Nembe three days before the election to campaign, there was already an existing disagreement within the same Nembe-Basambiri and Ogbolomabiri-Nembe community. They were divided politically and supporters of the PDP became targets of attack.
Some chieftains of the party had to flee from Basambiri and became IDPs in their own state. But, as we speak, that situation has been resolved. The governor has been able to ensure that peace returned. Not peace of the graveyard but real peace has returned to Nembe. The IDPs have now returned to their ancestral home. Brothers that were previously at daggers drawn have reconciled. There is a unity bridge linking the two parts of Nembe. Today, the contract for that bridge that was destroyed has been awarded for it to be fixed. This is because the governor is somebody who loves peace, unity and togetherness. His positive disposition resonates well round the whole state that anywhere there is conflict, the government steps in and they are reconciled. So, the governor has been able to reduce tension and friction in the state to a large extent. Now people in hitherto crisis-ridden communities are beginning to enjoy the benefit of peace.
Education is said to be the bedrock of development. In the last one year, what giant strides has the government made in the education sector?
Without trying to make any excuse, you will agree with me that generally a lot of things didn’t take off immediately because of COVID-19. But I want to say that there are challenges we have identified in the education sector that we really have to correct. There has also been some form of infrastructure decay in the sector over the period and this is being addressed. Contracts for the renovation of schools, particularly primary and secondary schools, have been awarded. Physical infrastructure is important in the education sector. But, generally as a state, Bayelsa is one that has done very well in terms of its performance in national examinations. And the previous government of Senator Dickson did very well in changing the educational narrative of the state.
When he (Dickson) took over in 2012, Bayelsa’s position in national examinations was not good. At that time, we were around 29th or 30th position among the 36 states. But by the time he left office in 2020 that had significantly changed. Today, Bayelsa is among the first seven states when you talk about performance in national examinations. This current administration is committed to sustaining that record and even bettering it.
How was that feat achieved?
I want to say that this change in the educational performance of Bayelsa was not a happenstance. It was not by mistake. It was because of deliberate and conscious policies put in place to ensure that the state does well or for Bayelsans to do well in these national examinations. Let me also recall that in terms of infrastructure, the previous government built model schools across the eight local government areas. These model schools are a delight to see. For instance, the Ijaw National Academy in Kaiama is a school that was consciously built and developed in such a way that you cannot but admire what is in place. The Dickson administration did very well in conceptualising and developing the model schools system, which are all boarding schools and tuition-free. There is however need to replicate that across the state. For a state that is young and developing, some of these things cannot be automatic. It will take some time before we would get every school to be on that level.
Even in older states, you still have schools with dilapidated infrastructure. It is not peculiar to Bayelsa, but we believe that it can still be better. We also need teachers because we are lacking in teaching personnel in primary and secondary schools.
What is the government doing to get enough teachers?
We are carrying out a personnel audit in the civil service so that those with education-related qualifications can be deployed to the classrooms. That is a quicker way for us to be able to get ready personnel instead of trying to recruit new teachers. We started this process from the last administration. So, now we are trying to ensure that we get on top of that situation by getting those trained as teachers either in the colleges of education or in the universities.
What is the administration doing to develop the agric sector?
From the outset, the Governor Diri administration prioritised agriculture. That sector has had the second largest share or allocation in the budget of the last two years. It means we want to be able to feed our people and be able to derive the economic benefit from agriculture. So far, the government has been able to support farmers in the state by guaranteeing the CBN facilities for famers. In addition to that, the government has also taken a N10 billion CBN facility, which is a credit window the federal government opened for states in Nigeria to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. That facility would be disbursed and supervised by the CBN. That money is not coming directly to the government’s coffers. It is not a loan from any commercial bank. Rather it is a CBN facility at a very low interest rate that is going into agriculture development in the state.
What is the relationship between the executive headed by the governor and the two other arms of government?
I can tell you without fear of contradiction that the relationship between the executive and the other arms of government is very robust and collaborative. Frankly, for instance, the legislature has been very supportive of the policies and bills from the executive. The legislators have ensured speedy passage of bills so that the work of the executive is not hampered in any way. A few days ago, while declaring open a special retreat of the State House of Assembly in Asaba, Delta State, the governor said since he came into office, he has enjoyed a very cordial and collaborative relationship with the legislature. He gave an analogy of the arms of government as being like parts of a machine. That if one part of that machine is defective, it would affect every other part. So, there is the need for the three arms of government to work hand in glove, as the governor always say; to work together symbiotically in such a way that the interest of the state is paramount at all times. That is what has underlined the relationship between the executive, legislature and the judiciary in Bayelsa. The relationship has been cordial and robust. This is not political talk. It is just the situation the way it is on ground.
Is the House of Assembly not a rubber stamp in the hands of the governor as it is in some other states in the country?
The legislature in Bayelsa is independent and does its oversight functions as well as its checks and balances without let. There is no need for the governor to pocket the state legislature. To what end?
Patriot Patrick Eholor does not understand why the president usually ignore the wrongdoings of Fulani herdsmen, whether in the guise of kidnappers, terrorists, rapists, or Boko Haram.
He wonders why President Muhammadu Buhari would usually quickly go after other ethnic groups if they take steps or just speak of violence, but would ignore Fulanis no matter how violent.
In this interview, he warns that the Fulanis who are a minority, are provoking Nigerians of other ethnic nationalities and might eventually provoke a civil war that will disintegrate Nigeria.
He also speaks on other sundry issues:
With all the herdsmen killing in the north and south, President Muhammadu Buhari has been very silent. It’s very clear it’s deliberate. Fulani is about 18 million in population, and we know we are a multi ethnic country. They don’t just dehumanize southerners, but also dehumanize the Hausa people. They claim that Hausas are also inferior to them. If you look at their history, Uthman Danfodiyo was not a Nigerian. He migrated from another place to conquer, to kill, to maim the Hausa people and took them as slaves.
Now they have been able to conquer the north, they want to conquer the south. My fear is that, what happened when the Biafra war was fought is nothing compared to what’s coming now.
If Buhari won’t stop Fulani herdsmen, Biafra will be child’s play compared to the civil war coming
I pray we will be able to avert it. I prays that when it comes, we will be able to settle and end it. I pray that these people organize and hold a referendum so that everybody can go their separate ways.
If you look at the numerous offices, it’s only Fulani that are given to hold. Defense, immigration, judiciary, customs, police and all key positions in the federal government. They are the ones occupying it. If you look at them very well, you realize that these people are not very smart because most of them are not educated. If they know the meaning of education, they will not have millions of children as almajiris. It’s time to remind our so called southern leaders that they have sold us out for penny. They must have a rethink, otherwise, they are either with us or against us, that’s the way it’s going to be.
Thy cannot continue to sell Edo state and the south south to fulanis. And we are going to tell our governors to be prepared and organize hunters vigilantes to go into the forests and flush out all the Fulanis. If they want to to live with us, they must live in the towns, but we will never accept them to live in the forests. If they want to live in the forests, then they should pack their bags and go back to their own forests and live there. We need to be aware of what happens in our forests. They are not doing us a favour, we are doing them a favour. The majority of them either do shoemaker, or they cut grasses, or do security jobs. We know these things.
We are not afraid. It’s time to resist this their domination and send them packing. If they think they can kill us, then they have a surprise waiting for them. It’s impossible to kill us all.
For the past four months now, I have been trying to do passports for my house help, and for my children. What they do is that they racket our passports. The Head of Immigration would distribute it to different people and tell them this is what I want in return.
Is it not preposterous that in a country as big as Nigeria, we cannot get our passport in 5 days? Whereas in Ghana, Cotonou Republic of Benin, not even talk of Canada or so, once you apply for a passport, you get your passport in the mail. So what’s wrong with us? Because we have people who sit upon our collective intelligence, year in year out. They hoard passports and give them to people from Chad, from Niger Republic, and we that are Nigerians don’t have it. It has to stop.
Ambassorial Positions for past Service Chiefs
The idea of President Buhari giving the past service chiefs ambassadorial positions is questionable. I am going to go to the court, I am going to make sure that I fight it vigorously, so that they never get that. Because why he is giving them is so that they can have immunity and avoid prosecution by the international courts of justice for all the crimes against humanity they perpetuated against Nigerians.
End SARS and the Lekki toll gate
The people who are talking abut EndSARS in Lagos have exposed themselves. The people who are grieving have not gotten justice, but they have the effontery to say that they want to start collecting money from the toll gate.
We are going to occupy that place from 13th of this month. There is no going back. It’s now or never.
They should look for a way to implement the five point demand of EndSARS protesters, and have a rethink about ever collecting money from the toll gate because of what append there, until everything is resolved.
Osinbajo has been caged for a very long time. They should do us a favour and save him from the humiliation his godfather Tinubu is suffering today, so that would it also not affect him.
Printing of vital documents
Nigeria has a government printing and minting company but it doesn’t print currency in the country. They don’t print passports in the country, they source it out, and that’s a great security risk. The same is for the national ID card. They also source it out to private companies. The reason is because those who are in power know nothing about their jobs. They get their positions through nepotism and favouritism. They should stop, or else we will cease to have a country soon.
If you remember the report by America which said that Nigeria will cease to exist during Goodluck Jonathan’s time, they were right, but didn’t get the time right. What the saw is still there. I think Nigeria is a failed state, nothing is working. Nigeria is going to be like Somalia, if nothing is done about it, God forbid.
Enough is enough from these leaders. They have undermined the people, forgetting that without the people, there is no them.
Abia State governor Okezie Ikpeazu says the state government is not interested in profiling any tribe but clamping down on criminal elements violating open grazing law in the state.
Ikpeazu disclosed this on Wednesday during an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily. He also explained why open grazing is banned in the state.
“Abia State was one of the first states that came out with legislation banning open grazing and our argument is that Abia State is perhaps the smallest state apart from Lagos in land area in Nigeria and we have a lot of minerals and crude oil beneath the soil.
“God did not endow us with sufficient land to permit open grazing and leaving our land for cattle grazing.
“Our interest is not to generally profile the Hausas or the Fulanis, we are interested in the criminal elements,” Ikpeazu said.
According to the governor, the problem of farmer-herders clashes can be solved after proper diagnosis and when the Federal, State and local governments come up with a joint policy to tackle the problem.
“Nigeria is supposed to do a proper diagnosis of the problem and treat it accordingly. We are not diagnosing the problem properly; we are just diverting the attention of serious-minded people in this country.
“We have people who are interested in creating anarchy and confusion so that opportunist anarchists like ISIS who are interested in destabilising the country will come in.
“The Federal government down to the local government should come on one page and have a policy dealing with criminal elements wherever they may be found irrespective of the state of origin or background.”
It will be recalled that Southeast governors recently announced that they have banned open grazing and the movement of cows by foot in the region in a bid to tackle the security challenges confronting the zone.
Chairman of the Southeast Governors’ Forum and Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi disclosed this on Monday during the inauguration of the All Progressives Congress in Abakaliki.
Chief Patrick Eholor, the President of One Love Foundation is at it again. Here, in an exclusive interview with Jungle Journalist Media Limited, Eholor explains why herdsmen must end nomadic cattle rearing, how legalising of guns will end insecurity, and why he took the Federal Government, as well as Edo State Government to court.
He also speaks on other sundry matters.
The rising insecurity problem caused by Fulani herdsmen
In 1969, there was a federal government judgment that said the Fulani has no right to move their cows all over the country.
For the benefit of those who do not know it, Justice Thompson on 17th April 1979, in Suit no AB/26/66 at Abeokuta Division of the High Court, made the ban and warned of unprovoked killing by Fulani herdsmen.
“He declared in his judgment ‘I do not accept the contention of Defendants that a custom exists which imposes an obligation on the owner of farm to fence his farm whilst the owner of cattle allows his cattle to wander like pests and cause damage. Such a custom if it exists, is unreasonable and I hold that it is repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience and therefore unenforceable…in that it is highly unreasonable to impose the burden of fencing a farm on the farmer without the corresponding obligation on the cattle owner to fence in his cattle.
‘Sequel to this, I ban open grazing for it is inimical to peace and tranquility and the cattle owners must fence or ranch their animals for peace to reign in these communities.’
People have a right to make a living, and people have a right to coexist. With this their destruction, AK 47, and their criminal activities like raping women and killing citizens, if they cannot coexist with us and live peacefully, the government should finds place for them to have a ranch. In American today, nobody trains cows on the streets. It’s a shame to us as a nation that we are so primitive, allowing minors to patrol cows with guns and machetes on our streets.
The cause of this problem is not far fetched, it’s due to the abysmal failure of the previous administration, and worsened by the administration of Muhammadu Buhari. He is an abysmal failure. There are no plans by anybody to salvage the situation, so the youths are very restless. They are indulging themselves in cultism, and various crimes. They went to school but after graduating, they send them to streets to look for jobs that are not there.
And they know that there is no job in the streets. So what next, that’s the question you will ask. What you will now ask is that they have focused their minds on criminality. They are now emboldened by the corruption going on in the country and are now saying that we are all equal. No one is superior ro the other. Then there is also the issue of Fulani herdsmen carrying guns to rape our women, and they are saying, enough of it. That’s why you see that there is unrest everywhere.
You can also see last week’s publication and video that went viral, when I suggested and wrote a letter to the President. That we should have a database for the background of all Nigerians, and those Nigerians who do not have criminal records should be allowed to carry guns when they are travelling and when they are home. Not just because of the Fulani herdsmen, but also due to bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers.
It is enshrined in our constitution that the government should protect lives and property, but you can see that they failed at both state and federal levels. Our lives and property are not guaranteed anymore. So we are going to find out how we can protect ourselves and our loved ones. That is why we are here today.
You can also see that those working with Buhari have failed him, because if you cannot trust the messenger, you can’t trust his message.
I want to give you two reasons. Recently, Festus Keyamo came up with an idea to use N52 billion to be allocated to his office to empower 774,000 Nigerians. He wants to to give them N20,000 a month each for three months. These are masters degree holders, graduates, and I ask, after three months, what next?
You want to pay a graduate N20,000 per month for three months and after three months, you won’t pay him again. So what’s next for that graduate? I suggested that he share that money into the six geopolitical zones and establish factories- in the oil, agriculture, infotech and other fields, and before you know, they are good in these fields. That money is only going to insult their sensibilities, and increase criminality.
Surprisingly again, Osinbajo also came out again to say that he is going to bring out 20 million people from poverty. He is saying that without a blue print, he is saying that without telling us how is intends to achieve that.
Somebody also came from the Minsitry of Finance, and said she is going to be paying people N5,000 every month for 3 months. That’s going to be N30,000 after three months, and she will start with 1 million people. How do you now identify the very poor in our society, when you do not have a database? So everything about them is criminality, how they can make money, how they can put people more into abject poverty.
If these things are not nipped in the bud, people are going to resort to self help, and that can turn this country into a banana republic.
Fall out of the #Endsars Protests
Nigeria is sitting on a keg of gunpowder that’s going to explode very soon. Before the end SARS protests, I had led protests to the police stations, led a protest to the Commisioner of Police, Edo State, and also to Abuja. I told them that the police are grossly underpaid, they are not treated fairly, although I don’t encourage the SARS criminality, but they are living below poverty line. There is no barracks, there is no uniform, there is no patrol van, there is no bullet proof vest, there is no gun. And I said, by the time the citizens revolt and transfer the anger the police is transferring to us back, it will overwhelm them.
I am not a prophet but what I said is like Nostradamus. I also foresee something worse than this, and it has to do with the military. The military we have today are also transferring their aggression to the citizens. The military is supposed to be at the borders and in the barracks to protect us, I have lived in Canada for 35 years but never seen military men on the streets. When there is no war, we don’t need them.
But the military also abuse the citizens. Because they are not well treated by the government. They are treated like animals in their barracks, they have no light, no running water, the environment is so dismal that even your dog will not live in that kind of environment.
For that reason, they are very angry, and instead of them to put their anger on the government, they face the citizenry. Also note that the government has not shown sincerity in that End SARS issue. None of the demands has been met. As a matter of fact, the Inspector General we have today should be ashamed of himself, he should resign from the force. He told us publicly that there will be no road block, but the road blocks are back. He told us that unlawful searches will end, but they are still searching people unlawfully. He told us that he is going to take all the police from the VIP, today, he has increased the number. These are facts, and if he says I am lying, let him sue me for defamation of character. My name is Chief Patrick Osagie Eholor.
I have facts to back up whatever am saying today. The end SARS protests was just a warm up protest. Because by the time citizens are tired of being enslaved, decieved, lied to, I pray that the second protest should not happen.
The government should listen to me very carefully now, and do what is needed, and adhere to the promise they made to our citizens, open our Universities so that people can go back to school and do the needful.
Instead of buying vaccine from the west, open the schools, train our lecturers again, invest in our scientists. Who told you that we don’t have engineers in this country? We have engineers but they are not supported by the government. We have the best doctors all over the world but they don’t have the enabling environment. That is why you see that we run abroad for treatment. But we have the best doctors, born here, schooled here, trained here, but they go abroad to work and perform surgery.
When we are looking for someone to work in our gas stations, we are looking for the best. But when we are choosing leaders, we are looking for the worst. That’s why we have problems.
On the news that soldiers are resigning to join Eastern Security Network
It will only worsen the situation we are facing because if they join pseudo military forces, it will only increase the criminality. They are already trained on how to shoot, how to kill, and that is very dangerous.
It was in the news the other day that a soldier and a police officer were arraigned for armed robbery in Bayelsa. Also in Lagos, a 16 years old boy was defrauded of N70,000 by a police officer.
The Commisioner was able to investigate and arrest the police officer. He made sure that the money was returned and the police officer faced criminal charges.
Most of the robberies and kidnappings you are seeing today, I will tell you without mincing words that security agents are behind them. Those who were abused by the system, those not paid adequate salary, those not given proper living wages, they are the ones increasing crime. The military has to realized that they are not pledging their allegiance to Buhari, but to Nigeria. But the reverse is the case. They are not concerned about Nigeria or the citizens. Look at what happened in America recently where Mike Pence did not obey Donald Trump because he had to serve the interest of the country and not that of one man, the president.
The only interest of the expired service chiefs we have here is to protect the interest of Muhammadu Buhari, not to protect the citizenry. If the Chief of Army staff Buratai knows what he is doing, we won’t have been in this situation today.
But because his term has expired like expired milk, and he doesn’t know what he is doing, he is serving the interest of Buhari. The same thing when they selected the IGP. They just select on nepotism and favoritism, instead of experience and ranking.
The IGP is going in February, but don’t be surprised he is going to be replaced with another northerner. Why are all the security outfits headed by northerners? Does it mean we don’t have a south easterner who is brilliant? Or south south, or south west? Until we end this issue of favoritism, the country will continue to get worse and worse. God forbid.
Pastors, prophets and their fake promises (Onye Eze Jesus)
We see mad men everywhere, and I think he is another mad man and a cult leader. He has a right to do what he is doing, in as much as he is not infringing on anybody’s rights. But I will not blame him but I will blame his followers who are desperate about getting rich. Blood doesn’t give you money. Humans head doesn’t give you money. Ram doesn’t give you money. Eating live chicken downs to give you money, and doing all kinds of stupid things doesn’t give you money. What gives you money is intelligence. What gives you money is hard work. But we have to explain to the public that another mad man have come again, false prophets, enslaving the mind, so I don’t take him serious, he is a joke and before the next two, three months, he will disappear.
The lawsuits against Governor Obaseki and the Federal Government
The governor said that because of Covid 19, he is going to promote all the primary six pupils. I felt that will kill our educational standards, unreasonable, and not a wise decision. He doesn’t have to reduce our educational standard. So it’s a public interest, and I took the matter to court.
The next one that I am doing now, I don’t hate him, I don’t belong to PDP, I don’t belong to APC. But I belong to the people of Edo State and Nigeria, and I speak on their behalf. He borrowed N25 billion, which he has not been able to deny and that means the rumor is true.
Recently, John Mayaki of APC accused him of borrowing N18 billion. I am in touch with some stakeholders, looking for facts to see if it’s true or not.
But instead of wasting time on that, I am going to court with the Freedom of Information Act to compel him to tell me whether it’s true or not. If it’s true, he should tell me the reason he is borrowing that money, if it was approved by the House of Assembly. As you know, the House is not well constituted. It’s not robust, 9 out of 24, and so, many people do not recognize that it exists at all. So he is using executive power to get them do whatever he wants.
Right to Firearms and Ammunition
Am sure you must be aware that I also took the Federal Government to court, to compel them allow citizens defend themselves and carry firearms. Imagine a scenario where I am traveling with my daughter, my wife, my in-law, and we are accosted by armed robbers or herdsmen or bandits, and someone take my wife and violates her in my presence. How would I feel if it happens to me? But if guns are legalized, and the criminals know that you are fully loaded, will they dare you? Whether at home or in the streets, they won’t dare you. That’s why I advocate for the rights to carry arms and ammunition.
The Senator representing Imo West and former governor of Imo State, Chief Rochas Okorocha, on Monday took a swipe at the All Progressives Congress, saying the party was hurriedly and was hurriedly formed to hijack power from the Peoples Democratic Party in 2015.
Okorocha, in an interview with journalists in Abuja, said he and other progressive-minded politicians were perfecting a plan to form a new political movement.
But the PDP appealed to the former governor to return to the opposition party instead of making the mistake he made in 2014.
According to Okorocha, from the body language of the Nigerians, it is obvious that they are not satisfied with what is on ground in Nigeria.
The Senator who is a founding member of the APC, last week inaugurated a project of the Rivers State Government on the invitation of the state Governor, Nyesom Wike.
At the event, he called on the good people in the APC and the PDP to come together and rescue Nigeria in 2023.
On Monday he said there was urgent need for the regrouping of the ‘good politicians’ to restore public confidence in governance and save the country.
“The movement for a new Nigeria has begun and we must come together, I mean progressive Nigerians to make the country work”, Okorocha said.
Asked if the promise of the new political movement for a new Nigeria would not be similar to that of the APC in 2015, he stated that the APC was hurriedly formed to take power the PDP without much emphasis on the character of those championing the course.
The ex-governor said, “The APC was a hurried arrangement. It was hurriedly formed to take power when the then government was drifting. The APC would have been better until people who were not members of the party; people who came for congratulatory messages, hijacked the party and became lords.”
In its reaction, the PDP it was not in the least worried by the plan by Okorocha and a few of his friends to form a new political party.
National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents, in Abuja, on Monday, explained that the PDP was glad that more Nigerians especially people like the former Imo State governor had seen the deceit the APC represented.
Ologbondiyan said, “Our advice to people like Okorocha is for him to avoid making the same mistake twice, any party hurriedly put together like the APC because elections are bound to fall into the same errors.
“He should rather come over to the PDP, a very structured party with a pedigree of performance. We’ve made a few mistakes in the past and we’ve learnt from them. Nigerians now know the difference between a properly structured political party which has their interest at heart and an association of angry men who only came together to grab power for power sake.”
When contacted, the National Secretary of the Caretaker/ Extra-Ordinary Convention Planning Committee of the APC, Senator John AkpanUdoedeghe, declined comments on Okorocha’s pronouncement on plans to float a new party.
He said, “The Senator is a respected member of our great party, I have no comments.”
However, a high-ranking member of the party who is conversant with the thinking within the party leadership said the party did not entertain any fears.
The source said, “Politics is a game of numbers just as it is a game of interests. So, if people want to come together and go through the process of birthing a new platform can anyone seriously stop them.”