Category Archives: Interviews

Here are some of those working against corruption fight in Nigeria – Activist Eholor

Frontline civil rights defender and philanthropist, Chief Patrick Eholor has taken government officials and parastatals in President Mhammadu Buhari’s government to the cleaners.

Eholor believes there are many elements in the government that are too neck-deep in corruption that they would never let the fight against it succeed.

In this interview, he mentions names and explains why he does not see any ray of hope, with such elements serving in the government.

Excerpts.

Minister Chibuike Amaechi:

Chibuike Amaechi is one of the problems of this country. As a Minister, he has done nothing else but to follow the north sheepishly.

Do you remember when he was a governor? Amaechi started the worst elephant project ever in Nigeria, by jumping into monorail construction. He claimed he wanted to connect it across Port Harcourt, but after a few kilometers, the project was abandoned, permanently, and is today, a monumental waste in the city. That monorail project cost the Rivers State Government a whopping N33.9 billion. As a matter of fact, the technical partners handling the project then, Arcus Gibbs Nigeria Limited described the project as a hoax!

Amaechi is a white elephant project man. At the moment, he is very busy connecting roads, and two roads from Jigawa and Sokoto to Niger Republic. While the railways will gulp a whopping $1.96billion, the roads will consume N30 billion.

Sadly, the old rail roads that connected his homestead of Rivers and the rest of the country are abandoned, and there is no plan on ground to start the projects.

While at it, Amaechi is busy, warming up to become a president!

The Inspector General of Police

The Inspector General of Police, Muhammadu Adamu is supposed to be the watchdog for good behavior among Nigerians, but the police force has continued to be an organization lacking in morals and ethics, and swimming in corruption.

Every year, the IG would announce that road blocks have been cleared on our roads, but that statement is always in theory. As a matter of fact, the road blocks usually increase in size of police officers, and they have ended up making the road blocks cash cows. There, senior officers compel the junior ones to make daily returns for them, and thereby exploit transporters. The IG is very much aware of this, but chooses to pretend he does not.

The same ritual is repeated every year, about police attaches to VIPs. The IGP would order the withdrawal of officers attached to VIPs across the country, but fail to do anything to implement the order. This way they have reduced respectable officers to bag carriers and mere drivers to rich men and their wives.

The police is paid over N300,000 per personnel by the VIPs, and only a little fraction of this money gets to the officers themselves. You can see why they refuse to withdraw them in truth. They are fantastically corrupt, and are making money from the VIPs!

State Governors, FG, Covid 19

The government has turned the fight against Covid 19 into a mere jaw exercise. First, NCDC and the FG started by bandying figures that didn’t really exist, and when they got funds to cater for citizens who were locked down in their homes, the funds were hoarded by governors and states, palliative measures were hijacked, and items meant to be shared were hidden away from the people, even perishables. It took the End SARS protests to expose this shameless act by our governments.

In Lagos, they are busy arresting poor people who cannot afford to defend themselves claiming that they are fighting Covid 19, yet they pretend they don’t know about the parties and feasts being hosted by their fellow moneybags.

It is at these parties that the London, and American, and other foreign returnees have been using to spread the disease, and this has led to the recent spike.

Despite the fact that he United Kingdom has cried out over the new dangerous strain of the disease, Nigeria has refused to close its borders from Europe and other such vulnerable countries. The result is that our people get exposed to Covid 19 infections.

All that the Federal Government and States are interested in is the Covid 19 funds. No one is genuinely interested in fighting the disease. Or ensuring that Nigerians are well cared for, medically and otherwise.

I can tell you that Nigeria is not yet serious about the fight against Covid 19. They are treating the pandemic with kid gloves, and it will be suicidal if this unseriouness and love for money overwhelms us and lands this country in a mess where it becomes impossible to deal with the pandemic.

Godswill Akpabio

Senator Godswill Akpabio has no business being a minister, with the level of corruption cases against him. At first in 2015, a whopping N108 billion corruption case was brought against him by the EFCC.

A few years after down the line, Senator Akpabio in his capacity as the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, along with the Acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Mr Daniel has been accused of embezzling N40 billion.

This man was brought to testify at the Nigerian Senate and he could not defend himself. This is the man that heads the ministry, and says he has come to clear up the Ministry.

How can a man stinking of so much corruption be able to fight it, and clean up the Ministry?

Festus Keyamo

The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo said N46 billion had been budgeted to provide certain jobs for 774 Local Government Areas across the country.

In their projection, they are to pay each of the beneficiaries who is either a graduate and Masters Degree holder N20,000, when the government realised that the minimum wage is N30, 000.

Literally, they will be giving a graduate N60,000 within three months, which is less than $200. The disbursement of such money to the graduates will not address the issue of unemployment in the country.

The best option was for the Federal Government is to use that money to establish industries across the geo-political zones to absorb the teeming unemployed youths in the country.

The Minister also kicked off this so-called empowerment programme with wheelbarrows and cutlasses for the youths, most of who are graduates. How can you give cutlass and wheelbarrow to graduates? When they have openings at the NNPC, FIRS, CBN, Nigerian Customs, Immigration, NIMASA, NLNG, and so on, then give it to their own children.

The children of the common Nigerian is only good for wheelbarrows and cutlasses. They spent N46 billion to acquire those things. Tell me how we intend to end corruption in this country.

ASUU and Covid 19

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has began to play the kind of dirty politics that the Nigerian Labour is used to. After keeping our youths at home for one whole year, and then having reached an agreement with the Federal Government, they are now saying that they cannot go back to the classrooms to teach.

Apparently, they want to begin to demand for more money to return to school.

ASUU, in as much as he had a genuine cause to go on strike initially, must avoid the temptation of keeping our youths at home again.

INTERVIEW: How Nigeria can effectively become a functional state again from 2021-Activist Eholor

Human Rights defender, Patrick Eholor granted an exclusive interview to newsmen on January 1st, 2021.

Eholor, who is the President of One Love Foundation touched several pressing issues in the country. Jungle Journalist Media Ltd was there.
Excerpts:

Good will to friends, family and compatriots

Nigeria is like the Bible from Genesis to Revelation when you look at the problems facing us. No one can really read Genesis to Revelation in one day.

Throughout our life time we will continue to read the Bible for better understanding.

I must thank members of my household for the support that they have given to me over these years. I also thank my friends who have tolerated me because I am not easy to cope with. The kind of advocacy I champion sometimes becomes very uncomfortable for my friends and my family given the fact of the kind of government we have in this country, because when you talk, they will use DSS(Department of State Services) operatives or police to harass you. It becomes very worrisome for my friends and my family. So, I want to thank them for their prayers, their love that they have given to me over the years.

Captain Wells Hosa

Let me thank Captain Hosa Okunbor for his generosity and wish him good health. God will give him a long life and take away any pain from him. Captain Hosa Okunbor is a good man.

Some of the issues EndSARS protest was trying to address

We are talking about reforming all institutions in Nigeria. It would amuse you that Nigeria is the only country that has men more powerful than institutions.

Lets talk about the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA). Let us ask them why they’re not declaring the revenue that they collect? Why are they congesting the seaports? Why do we have only one seaport in Lagos? Can’t we have seaports in the different geopolitical zones?

Officials of the Nigerian Immigration Service

Lets talk about the Nigeria Immigration Service(NIS). Why is the immigration not enforcing rules at our borders? Why are our borders so porous?

What are the Customs doing in Ekiadolor on the outskirt of Benin? What are they doing in Ore(in Ondo State)? Customs are supposed to protect our borders and airports, not Benin City.

Men of the Nigerian Customs Service

Let lecturers who are involved in sex for grade be shown the way out of our institutions.

Lets talk about the military who use horsewhip to beat innocent citizens. The military are supposed to be people who protect our sovereignty. They are not supposed to use horsewhip to dehumanise our people.

We have pastors who have turned our father’s house to a den of thieves. Pastors who are talking about miracles, who could not find a solution to Covid-19.

President Muhammadu Buhari and his Vice, Prof Yomi Osibanjo

The President’s New Year message to Nigerians

I stopped listening to President Muhammadu Buhari’s broadcast when he did a 12 minutes broadcast when there was a massacre at Lekki and he did not acknowledge those that were massacred because they were not his biological children.

I want to tell him that those people are his children. He should have done the noble thing by at least sympathising with the families of those who lost their lives. He should have also done the noble thing by sympathising with the families of the policemen/women who lost their lives during the #EndSARS protests. His 12 minutes broadcast was so empty. Because of that I was so discouraged and I have vowed never to listen to any of his live broadcast again.

Mr Godwin Obaseki of Edo State

Why I took Governor Godwin Obaseki to court over primary school leaving certificate

What I was doing with Governor Godwin Obaseki in that regards is not to witch-hunt him. I have said it several times and I am not ashamed to say it, that I don’t have a university education. I am a farmer. It doesn’t make me inferior. I have my Primary Six School Leaving Certificate from Oza Primary School, Benin.

That’s very important for me. For Obaseki to say that he will give Primary Six School Leaving Certificate to all pupils without letting them sit for an examination is ridiculous.

That’s reducing our educational standards. That’s why I went to court to challenge him. I gave him 24 hours to respond which he refused to do. We are in court already and the court will interprete that.

Call for legalisation of ownership of arms and ammunition

A few days ago, Prof. Itse Sagay, a reputable lawyer, supported what I have been canvassing for over the years. Now, Fulani herdsmen have taken over our state. They go to our farms, they rob our people, they rape and kidnap our women. We cannot continue to let that happen.

If we are allowed to carry arms like the Americans and Israelites that nonsense would not happen. You will think twice before talking about coming to my house to attack me knowing that I am well armed and you know what the outcome would be.

I am also taking the Federal Government to court as regards this so that we can fight for the rights of the citizens to bear arms and ammunitions for self defence.

How we can get out of recession

I don’t know who advised President Buhari to reopen the borders. Shutting down the borders was a very good thing. Recently, Senator Yaya Abdullahi, the Senate Leader, disclosed that there is a proliferation of arms and ammunition to Nigeria through our borders in the north. How can a country be importing candle when we can produce it? How can we be importing fuel from Niger?

We are surely going to experience a deeper recession soon. The reason is that President Buhari doesn’t have a good economic team to advice him. We are a big blind country where people who forge their certificate are more respected than those who have genuine educational qualification.

That’s why it is going to be very difficult for us to leave this quagmire. Our reserves have been depleted. Our oil has dwindled. As a matter of fact, in the next six years nobody will buy our oil again because everybody will be driving battery or solar operated cars.

We are moving backwards because of quota system which we need to stop. Those who score poor marks from the northern part of the country are given consideration in admission into higher institutions against those who scored higher from the south. These people with poor scores end up heading departments, ministries and government agencies. I am not saying that there are no smart and intelligent people from the north. We have people like Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and late Balarabe Musa who are very intelligent people from the north. Such people should be given such sensitive appointments not the dullards.

Service chiefs should go

The service chiefs have overstayed their legally approved time in service. They should be eased out.

As it is now they feel they owe their allegiance to President Buhari, not Nigerians. That’s the reason they do things that tends to get Nigerians angry. They have tried their best which is not good enough for Nigerians.

On Senator Godswill Akpabio and NDDC

Senator Godswill Akpabio has often been accused of illegality when he was the governor of Akwa Ibom State and it is a big surprise that he was appointed into the federal cabinet after he was encouraged to decamp to the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC) with a remark that his sins would be forgiven. The man who was prosecuting him, Festus Keyamo, was made to be his subordinate. Is it not wrong? President Obasanjo created the NDDC as an interventionist agency to help the Niger Delta region. The constitution does not give anybody in the Presidency any major say in its affairs only for it to be hijacked by the Presidency.

The youths of the Niger Delta would investigate the way funds meant for the NDDC has been used over the years, and whoever is involved in diversion of such funds would have to pay for it. I am already in court with them and I am using the FOI Act to expose them and prosecute them. They are going to end up in jail.

On Professor Yemi Osinbajo

He should resign honourable from his position as Vice President. He has shown that he is a law breaker not a law maker. He cannot say he is not aware of the many illegalities going on around him in the Presidency and which he has never raised a voice against.

Obasanjo Is An Igbo Man, S’West Hasn’t Produced President Since 1999 – Adefuye

Senator Anthony Adefuye, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), on Tuesday said it is the turn of the South-West to produce the President of Nigeria in 2023 as the only region that is yet to do so since the return of democratic governance to the country in 1999.

Speaking in an interview with INDEPENDENT, Adefuye said those clamouring for the Presidency to go to the South-East are wrong as the region produced former President Olusegun Obasanjo who was in power from 1999 to 2007.

According to him, Obasanjo is an Igbo man because his father hailed from Anambra state while his mother is a Yoruba woman.

He added that while in office Obasanjo concentrated most of his efforts towards developing the South-East, including appointing five Ministers as well as the Central Bank Governor from the region while he completely abandoned the South-West.

He said: “I believe that in 2023, the APC will zone the Presidential ticket to the South. When it comes to the South, then it will be narrowed down to the South West because that is the only region that has not produced the President since 1999. It has always been the North and the Igbos.

“Some people argue that what about Obasanjo? Obasanjo is not a Yoruba man. He is an Igbo man from the South-East. His father is from Anambra while his mother is a Yoruba woman. And that was why during his tenure, he completely ignored the South West. For example, throughout his eight years, he did nothing on the Lagos- Ibadan expressway.

“But he did a lot for his people in the South-East. He picked five Ministers from there and even appointed the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria from Anambra where his father comes from.

“So, it is right for the South-West to demand for the Presidency in 2023. What we should be doing now is working towards 2023 to ensure that the Presidency comes to the Southwest. The Southwest has never produced the President before,” he said.

It’s time to allow Nigerians carry arms and ammunition –Eholor

Chief Patrick Osagie Eholor, social crusader and President of the One Love Foundation, in this one-on-one chat advocated for legalising possession of firearms by Nigerians.

Excerpts:

On Cross River’s anti-crime unit, Operation Akpakwu and Governor Ben Ayade’s pronouncement

Most of the state governors are the criminals not the citizens. Governors who are collecting security votes and spending it without the consent of the citizens; governors who are hiding palliatives. They should be ashamed of themselves. The man (Governor Ben Ayade) is acting like a military officer. It was so disgraceful of him to put on a military uniform to address his people. When did you see Joe Biden or Donald Trump wearing military uniform and behaving like a military dictator? These people(Nigeria governors) get so power drunk.

This was the same attitude that Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State was putting up and I had to confront him. He went to a meeting of his kinsmen and was humiliating them. That wasn’t good. There are ways you can talk to people without been harsh. You will recall that Governor Wike was saying that there would be no room for endsars protesters on the streets of Rivers State.

That anyone who dares him would be arrested. I challenged him that he is not bigger than the people who power belongs to and they elected him. It is our fundamental human rights to demonstrate. It is our fundamental human rights to protest. Wike is supposed to be a law officer but he is a lawbreaker.

Prof. Ben Ayade has been in the news for so many bad reasons. It is very wrong for him to say that he is going to destroy any whose landlord is harbouring a criminal. Let me ask him, does he have a credit bureau in his state? Does he have the number of people in his state? Does he have a social security number in Cross River State? Does he have the enabling environment in the state that will stop these acts of criminality he is trying to banish from the state? It is quite wrong for him to be enacting such ambiguous laws in his state.

I think the people of Cross River State are very docile. If they are not docile they should rise up against this dictator(Governor Ayade) and show him the way out of office by telling members of the state house of assembly to commence impeachment proceedings against him for threatening the peace loving people of the state.

On the abduction of secondary school students in Katsina State

It is unfortunate. We know that our security system is dead. What they (abductors) did in Katsina State was to embarrass President Muhammadu Buhari. There is a saying in Benin that a lion cannot come to an area to steal a goat if he knows that the people there are very powerful. The lion would be taking a big risk if he does that. President Buhari cannot even defend himself not to talk about defending the students.

That’s the reason the abductors carried out that daring operation of abducting over 300 students right under his nose.

I have said it several times that Nigeria’s security chiefs are only loyal to President Buhari not to Nigeria citizens for reasons best known to them. They have served this country beyond the time permitted by the constitution. We are also aware that President Buhari has the power to extend their stay in office. But they have outlived their usefulness. Right now they have nothing to offer Nigerians. This abduction incident is an embarrassment to them and the nation. I urge General Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), to as a matter of urgency resign and apologise to Nigerians.

What’s also worrisome is the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who is a SAN, an understands the legality or illegality of what’s happening yet he is championing law breaking. He should apologise to his immediate family and the youths of Nigeria who have suffered in the hands of law enforcement agents and criminals. He should resign in shame because he too has over stayed his usefulness. It is when the ovation is loud that he should leave the stage.

My suggestion is that we should hire mercenaries to defend and protect our citizens and porous borders. I advocate for what is obtainable in America where every citizen has a right to bear arms and ammunitions. It is time that we agitate that every responsible Nigeria citizen should be allowed to bear arms and ammunitions. If we all have arms and ammunitions we can defend ourselves. From all indications, it is obvious that the government can no longer defend the citizens.

INTERVIEW: Agitation for Biafra will end when Igbo man becomes president — Prof. Ibe

Prof. Gregory Ibe is the founder of Gregory University Uturu (GUU), Abia State and one of the people eyeing the governorship seat for Abia under the platform of PDP in 2023. In this interview with MADUAKO ELEWEKE, he speaks on EndSARS protests, Abia State charter of equity, Nigeria presidency of Igbo extraction among other things. Excerpts:

What is your take on the state of Nigeria, especially the just concluded EndSARS protest?

EndSARS came like a surprise to everybody and they hash- tagged it,, which switched all over the world and everybody decided to follow the challenge, because it was a challenge.

In the modern time, you must see this kind of thing because of one injustice or perceived injustice along the line. They went for the police to the extent that they took the matter so far and what came out of it was surprising to every right-thinking person.

Yes, there is right for agitations, which the president said was provided for in the Constitution. If I may say, we ran it to a point that hoodlums took over it and we couldn’t meet the aim again. The aim of the agitation was to develop a template to speak to the authorities, but as far I was concerned it was a total confusion because I don’t know if we actually achieved anything apart from the responses the president or the government gave.

If it was coordinated well, it could have led to sitting down with the government and bringing out something reasonable for the system. People bought into it and it became marketplace and what we are left with today is that our critical infrastructures have been reduced to nothing.

Police cannot operate in a vacuum; they need buildings, vehicle to carry out their duties. I think, we have left more vacuum, more dangerous vacuum than we tried to cure.

Every community needs police and security men, and they are not having it now. Police is your friend and now, how can police be your friend under this condition?

I think, there must be a reform system that would reform whole Nigeria. The police code of professional conduct ought to be put in place so that an average person would be watching what the other is doing. What led to American problem was American police sitting on a black man’s neck till he died.

So, I think we continue to reform police until they get where they ought to be. They were not like this some 20- 30 years ago. This is a lesson to Nigeria. Police and government should be reformed totally. I should also call for different forms of police in the country.

Let create railway police, school police and others to reduce the pressure on the main police and their duties should be enshrined in the Constitution.

I will also want the police to be decentralized and give state some level of autonomy. If there are traffic police, they should not do the work of civil police.

In some states, there is complain that police have refused to return to duties. What is your take?

With the vacuum, the state governors will have to create state police, which everybody has been clamouring for over the years. I know that Federal government will not allow that vacuum to be, because it is very dangerous. Two wrongs do not make a right.

So, I appeal to our brothers and sisters in the Police to return to work and function according to the laws that guide their operations. It was the police extrajudicial killing that triggered off the protest.

In some states, Covid-19 palliatives were hoarded, while people were dying of hunger, what does that portend about our leadership?

When Covid-19 started, you could recall that Federal Government shared a lot of seized rice from customs to different states government.

Some state governors complained that the rice was not good for human consumption. Some states still shared them to their people to eat that way and they ate and by God’s grace they survived. I want to look at few scenarios before any other thing.

Those states they found these rice and food items, were those food items part of the Federal government palliatives given to states? Two, when were these food items received? Some states claimed that they just received those items, and they were waiting for another outbreak to share them.

Again, federal government gave each governor N1billion for the Covid-19 pandemic. What did the governors do with the money? The Kogi State governor stated this and I am quoting him. Federal government should ask them to give account of how they spent the money. How many molecular laboratories did we have in each state done by the federal or state government during the Covid-19? Without National Centre for Diseases Control NCNC, I don’t think we would have survive it. We should critically review what the governors did with one billion naira and additional money from the various donor agencies across the country.

N1billion is not a small money. If you have an existing
building, to build a molecular laboratory it will not cost
more than N25 millions and with N100 millions, one will do
about four molecular laboratories in each state and
everybody would have been tested. VTM is between N800 to N1000 for single probe and N1500 to N1800 for double
probe. Tell me why government could not flood the country with all these materials to test every Nigerian?

For me, they made wrong excuses. The foods that were meant for hungry people and you kept them without giving to them. If the epidemic break out again, there is a government and system, there should be another provision.

Why allowing people to suffer hardship when there was provision to soften their challenges? Those states making such excuses and statements should stop that and find another excuse to give.

It was possible because federal government responded quickly and timely by sending N1billion to governors.

Where are all these monies? Federal Government should institute a panel to investigate all these things and find out what happened.

The Israeli government, my company Skill G and my University Gregory University Uturu in Abia state jointly produced materials and donated to Federal Government. We also did palliatives in Abuja, Imo and Abia States and if I have opportunity, I would have done it to the whole country.

Again, during Covid-19, I made sure that people have food on their tables. That is what we called responsiveness when it comes to emergency. I want us to be our brother’s keepers. I am looking at the situation where all the rich men will be their brother’s keepers, not just for their constituencies but to everybody.

Recently, one Nigerian national newspaper Daily Trust honoured you, as Unsung hero. How do you feel?

It was a surprise, that a newspaper could honour me with that. When somebody drew my attention to it, I was looking at the pictures; I could not recognize anybody. I also believed that many people looking at my face may not recognize my face. I appreciated the honour and those who were honoured along with me as well as those who are yet to be identified in the same honour that have done well to human development and bringing succour to people.

My philosophy in life is that, do what is right for the people and for the alleviation of poverty. Support one another, build capacity of other people so that their tomorrow will be better, and they will investigate you and you will live a life of fulfillment.

That was what I feel that has happened and it has been my guiding principle. I appreciated the newspaper, the people that wrote about me. If I still have the opportunity, I will continue to do good for the people for societal good.

Ebonyi State House of Assembly recently gave PDP 7 days ultimatum to zone it’s 2023 presidential ticket to South East or face court action. Again, the Igbo youths are agitating for Biafra, while the elders are calling for Nigeria presidency of Igbo extraction. Which way Ndigbo?

Freedom of expression and politics is guaranteed in the Constitution, but when it is taken too far, one begins to ask questions. A party prompted you up and suddenly you decided to give it warning that if it doesn’t give you presidential ticket the worst would happen.

I think 7 days have elapsed and we are waiting for their worst to happen. As far as I am concerned, the PDP national should disregard the threat and let see how to achieve our dreams of South East producing president of Nigeria. It is surprising that such statement was coming from the South East and with these kinds of utterances our chances of producing president of the country keep getting narrow by the day.

I for one I have been promoting president of Nigeria from South East. I have been on it over the years. I founded a coalition to make sure that the dreams of every Igbo man, that Igbo man become of the country is actualized.

You see our condition is very precarious and somebody who wants to be president is given ultimatum to the party that prompted him up or move to other party. This running from pillar to pole in politics gives me a lot of concern;
it weakens the position of Ndigbo in Nigeria politics.

As it stands today, Ndigbo is ripe, qualified and the right people to produce the president of this country come 2023. Nigerians should give Ndigbo the opportunity as given to others to lead this country.

Nigerians should disregard all the agitations by some group. If the Igbo is made the president of this country, Nigeria will develop faster because their views, thinking and God’s blessings on them. Other tribes have ruled the country and I hope if the opportunity is given us, we shall deliver effectively to the surprise of many.

Are you saying that if the Igbo man is made president of Nigeria, the Biafra agitations will die?

It will. There is nothing to worry about, it will just fizzle away any day Igbo become president of Nigeria. Let me give an example, when the governor of Zamfara state introduced Sharia law and people asked Obasanjo, who is my boss about what he had to say, he said he has nothing to say, rather he will allow market forces to determine the operation.

You know that strength of the governor was dependent on monthly allocation from federal government and the internally generated revenue.
He invested heavily on buses for commercial purpose for women and for men. Under two years, he could not handle the buses carrying women again and the women started joining the men in the same buses. The market forces played it roles, and everything died naturally.

So, the issue of Biafra agitations will fizzle out the day the Igbo man is made the president of Nigeria.

In Abia state where you are aspiring to be Governor under PDP platform, the Ngwa people are still insisting on continuing in power, what is your reaction?

There are a lot of permutations going around, but everybody seems to be playing blind eye on what Abia charter of equity says.

The Abia state charter of equity says at whatever situation, we find ourselves and if the three senatorial have a shot, the I (Isuikwuato) must have it.

This is the guiding document, the elders have said it should be enacted as a law in the state, but those who have tested the power from our district sat down on it because they can manipulate it.

Whatever is of God, is whoever that is going against this, must also know that life doesn’t belong to anybody. Whatever that is in this world comes from God.

Whatever, we are doing we must remember that there were people who made sacrifice for the state. After these people have taken their turn, Isuikwuato must have their turn to lead Abia State.
Why would people want to change the rules of the game at the middle of the game? They should remove selfishness, anything that should bring rancour in the zoning arrangement and let us have a state that is called a state.

APC is making serious in-roads in South East, especially Abia. do you think APC is a threat to PDP in Abia State?

APC is a political party and the more you spend the more visibility you get. Politics is all about creating impression, even when all is not good, you keep telling people that all is well Whether, APC is coming up or not, there are more people in the state that believe in PDP.

Abia is PDP and majority of ndi Abia believe, trust, and have confidence in PDP. PDP will certainly get all votes and supports of Abians any time and any day.

However, that does not mean a downtrodden party cannot come take over the state because at the end, there must be minus and plus. If your government is not doing well, you can lose out from the seat and APC become the bride for the people.

APGA can also become the perfect bride of the state depending on circumstances If the PDP can maintain it’s structure and all the seamless zoning formula that has been working in the state, the way it has been working, then it becomes more formidable and the pride of the state.

News Echo

How IPOB Used #EndSARS To Attack Igbo Muslims- Mallam Okonkwo

The Director, Islamic Centre, School of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Anofia, Afikpo, Ebonyi State, Mallam Isa Friday Okonkwo, was a former Director of Administration of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA).

He told Daily Trust how the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) used the #EndSARS protests to attack Igbo Muslims at the centre and the region. He also spoke on how they were ‘caged’ at the centre for days at the height of the crisis.

Before the #EndSARS, let me take us back to 2017, when one of our brothers, who used to be a Muslim, and by name Muhammed Nbono, submitted the names of about 26 Muslims in Igbo land to the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as those sabotaging the interest of having their country and thereby marking them for death.

For over a year, there were threat calls coming to all of us from all over the world, from members of IPOB. But after some time, it stopped.

During the #EndSARS protests, the names were re-published on their Facebook pages and the calls resumed. Daily, we get up to three calls from strangers, threatening to destroy us. So, this is on one side. On the other side is this Islamic Centre in Afikpo, which is a unique Islamic school in the eastern part of the country and the whole country.

It has been in existence since around 1953 and it took a new shape in 1983 and from 1983 until date, it has always been graduating scholars from that part of the country.

It is also important to mention that in 2006, there was an attempt to bomb this place. They came and raided the place. Eventually, the destruction was not too much.

So, this time around, they send messages after messages that they will be coming to attack the Islamic Centre. So, all this while there were protests, we have been living in fear. I could be attacked as the person of Isa Okonkwo and the centre could be attacked as the Islamic Centre.

What was your experience during the #EndSARS protests?

We were under siege throughout the protests. We could not even go out. We were in the school with all the students and there were about 300 student boarders from different parts of the country. We could not move anywhere.

So, when the threat was getting too much, we attracted the attention of the IGP, the director of DSS and even later, the governor of the state. That was when we started to have security agencies coming to protect us in the school. So, we first had some policemen who came to stay with us in the school. Later, the GOC of 18 Division instructed the commanding officer of Nkwangu Cantonment and they sent about seven soldiers. So, both the police and seven soldiers are presently with us on the school premises, 24 hours of every day.

How then are the students and the teachers feeling coming to the school to study with policemen and soldiers around?

It was when we saw the policemen that we even felt comfortable to teach and learn. It was so horrible when they were not there. Let me tell you one shocking incident that happened. The chief of the village used to park his cars in the compound of this school because of the cordial relationship between us and the village. So, at a stage, the chief decided to remove his cars. So, I asked the driver, why the sudden removal. He said that the chief said that IPOB is going to attack any moment from now. And that they said that the director is the first they will make sure they eliminate, so, he didn’t want his cars to be damaged because they could mistake his cars for the director’s.

So, you did not receive any support from the people that you are living with as neighbours or did you think this was something beyond them?

When the chief of the village removed his vehicles from the school, we didn’t want to wait for anybody else to tell us it is the right time we looked for security, because from the chief’s statement, which I will later confirmed, it was obvious that the last man that was supposed to protect us is the one running from being attacked or being mistaken for the director.

How many Muslims are in the area and what is the population of all the people?

The village is over 30 per cent Muslim. I cannot say for sure what the population is, but for sure, I think it is the second-highest population of Muslims within a locality in Igboland. After Nsukka, the next is that village, Afikpo. I am talking of indigenous Muslims, who are the citizens of the area.

What are your plans now, considering that the protests have subsided but the tension is still there?

We have a kind of think tank from the Eastern part of the country as Muslims. I have presented this to them. I am one of them, we have a series of meetings on how to intervene.

We have written letters to the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), intimating them of our problems; we have written letters to the IG of Police, to the DG of DSS, the National Assembly. We have also written letters to all the five governors of the south-eastern region.

So, we are planning to address a press conference. But we don’t have the press here in the east. So, we were thinking of coming to Abuja to do that, to let people know how we are living. Because the Americans will always say that the Christians are being victimized in Nigeria. When, they are the ones dealing with every other part of this country, but nobody tells our story, nobody hears us even when we want to shout. So, we are planning to go out and do the shouting. I am one of those persons that used my contacts to reach out to so many places and they started narrating our case.

We also intend to write to the Ohanaeze Ndigbo that have always vilified the Muslims in the east, so they would note what is going on.

They close their eyes as if they don’t know what is going on. So, we also intend to officially write to them. We also intend to write CAN in the eastern part of the country. So that all this will be on the record. So, some of us are planning to have a congress of all the Igbo Muslims all over the world.

But because of fear, we would not want to have a congress where we could all be wiped out at a time. So, these are just some of the thoughts and activities we are having presently.

But IPOB wanted to establish a country for the Igbos and you are Igbo, why do you think they are attacking you then?

People are mistaken their antics. It is not a tribal war. It is a religious war. They claim they are using is that of Biafra and the main actors of the Biafran Civil War were majorly Christians from the north. People like Yakubu Gowon. Today Yakubu Gowon is a chief in the east with red carpet reception because he is a Christian. T. Y. Danjuma is a chief in the east with red carpet reception because he is a Christian. Now, we have never said we are in support of Biafra, or we are against it, so why must we be the first target? It is just because we are Muslims, nothing else.

*Now, the 26 names of the people they published to kill are all Muslims. They’ve never listed any pastor or reverend. What does that show you, it shows that if you are a Christian from the north, you are safe in the hands of Biafra; if you are Muslim from the east, you are unsafe in the hands of Biafra.*

What message do you have for the politicians and the leaders in the region who are the ones that are supposed to protect you?

Our message to the federal, state and local governments in the region is that we are citizens of Nigeria, we are not foreigners, it is just by the design of our creator that we decided to profess a faith in a country that has a Constitution, which states that everybody is free to choose their association. We have chosen Islam as our religion and Allah as our God and we feel strongly that we have not committed any crime by doing that. And they owe us the protection of our lives and properties.

#EndSARS: If Nigerians protest again, they might be looking for the politicians’ heads this time–Eholor

Democracy Observer-General, Patrick Eholor is at it again. In this analysis of political and economic uprisings across the world, Eholor speaks to Jungle Journalist Media Limited, in his home in Benin City.

He speaks first, about America’s insincerity with Africa and African development, then delves into the recent #EndSARS protests that raged across the country.

He warns that unless something is done urgently to address the questions raised by Nigerian youths, another uprising, this time more devastating is imminent.

Excerpts:

Professor Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, one former minister has been endorsed to head the World Trade Organization, but the United States of America openly rejected her candidature. What do you say about this development?

First of all, I want to congratulate every participant. Honestly, they are all qualified, but we are just looking for the very best. It happens that one of our own, our daughter is also there. You know with her experiences and credentials, she is over-qualified, but the issue with this position is that she does not only need a home-based support, she also need a counterpart, like some other countries that we have a tie and relationship with. But unfortunately, America have their own reasons to back South Korea instead of Nigeria.

The name Okonkwo-Iweala is snynonymous with Nigeria, but she is also an American. She has dual citizenship. One would have thought that she would have been first choice for the United States, but probably because she knows too much about the American undue influence over our politicians, how the Americans have marginalized us, have stolen from us, how they continue to enslave us.

Because she will not be a stooge to them, because she will stand tall and challenge them, and make sure that Africa gets it right this time, that is why they refused to support her. It’s not because she is not overqualified. I want to congratulate whoever is going to wear the cap now. If we have leadership in this country, this is the time for us to wake up. America is not against us, but they have never been for us. They are for themselves. Its only Nigeria that is a country that I know that is not for her citizens.

They are selfish, and they are very unpatriotic. But when you see an American, they are very patriotic. Chinese, South Koreans, they are very patriotic. But unfortunately, those we call big men are only loyal to money. Thy are ready to sell anyone, at any time, for any reason for money. It’s unfortunate.

If you recall four years ago, the same America ensured that Okonjo-Iweala was not also elected to head the WTO. Also earlier this year, Professor Akinwumi Adesina was billed for re-election into the African Development Bank headship. America, which has no stake in Africa also opposed it. Do you think America loves Nigeria?

The question is out in the mainstream, they don’t have love for us but they love our money. You don’t have to love us to love our money or to love our resources. If you look at what Exxon Mobil did in the Niger Delta, the pollution they have caused in Ogoni, you will know they don’t care about our welfare. America is a superpower, they exploit us, they dehumanize us, even though the highest migrants in America, the most educated, the people with the highest financial contribution to their economy are Nigerians, they are still very ungrateful to us. That’s why I cannot wait to see the results of the US presidential elections, that is bye bye to Donald Trump. The relationship between Nigeria and Africa has been very low, has not been very cordial since the emergence of Trump, because he is a confirmed racist, a bigot.

So a man like that does not want the interest of Africa, the interest of Nigeria, who have the highest population in the entire black race.

When we are united, we have positions that will enhance us and take us away from this poverty, this quagmire that the politicians have suddenly put us in, the difference will be very clear that Africa will be the pace setter for the world in the future.

If you are saying this about Trump, what do you say about Barack Obama who never turned his face towards Nigeria at all?

Barack Obama was the president but he wasn’t the man in the mirror. Am not using that as an excuse for him, but there are a lot of issues why Obama could not give us the necessary assistance that we need.

There were conditions given to Africans, Nigeria in particular. They wanted gay rights in Nigeria, but for Africans, they fail to realize that people have the right to be gay or lesbian. Am not in support of it but I am not against it. My life is my life and their life is their life. So it’s about give and take, so if Nigerians had embraced some of the things that America was clamouring for, it would have been good but Africa wanted all. What the Americans should have asked for was trade by barter. But Africa wanted all. They couldn’t respect the human rights, they couldn’t respect gay rights, they couldn’t respect child rights. There were lost abuses within the African continent which Americans could not condone or curtail, and that’s why Obama didn’t give us the full support.

You must be aware that the Democratic Party in America played a very major role in the removal of Goodluck Jonathan in 2015. Today we have a very terrible government in power in Nigeria imposed upon us by the same Obama. What do you say about this?

Niger Delta militants wanted America off their shore, that is also the place of Goodluck Jonathan.

It was very difficult for Goodluck Jonathan to kill or enslave his people. He didn’t give them access to do that, and Buhari perhaps, had made some key promises to them that he will do better than Jonathan, and that was why he emerged as president. Not because he was popular, and not because he was qualified. Today we are wishing that Jonathan was the one in power.

The manager of Lekki Concession Company (LCC) in Lagos said that their CCTV cameras are switched off at 8pm everyday. I want to ask, looking at that scenario, are those cameras supposed to serve as a 12 hour monitors or 24 hour surveillance?

There is a saying that some of us will die and keep living. Some men don’t die, even when they dies keeping living. That brings us to government magic. May the soul of Fela Anikulapo Kuti continue to rest. Fela did not die, he lives among us. This is government magic. In my house here, I have a surveillance camera, I have a memory card that can take you to ten, twenty years. Why would anybody who is making over 7.5 billion every month tell us that there is no security camera to catch 24 hours round the clock activities? I think it’s preposterous, I think they are lying, I think they are fooling themselves, I think there is going to be a forensic investigation and on that forensic, we are going to get the truth out.

Before now, Sanwo Olu came out to say there were no dead bodies. He also said that he didn’t send any military. The military denied they were not there, but you see now, the pressure is high and they are singing. Most of them will be tried for war crimes. They committed crimes against humanity. As they were shooting at the youths, they had the Nigerian flag in their hands, but they continued shooting. Thy will not go unpunished. The more they lie, the more they complicate themselves.

When this thing is over, it’s going to be an offense to call anybody Sanwo Olu. The man who is the manager, no one will be proud to bear his name again. Their names will go with Covid 19, palliatives, SARS, Donald Trump, all the evil things that ever happened this year, the name will go with them. The name will be an abomination. 2020 will sweep them away, and 2021 will be a year of grace for everybody.

You were quoted to have said that if Nigeria refuses to listen to the demands of the youths during their protests, something worse than #ENDSARS is coming that will consume the whole nation. Can you please throw more light on this?

I have told you that I am not Nostradamus, the man that saw tomorrow. I am not a very religious person, but I can see tomorrow, not like Nostradamus, but differently. For over 6 years now, I have been writing letters to the Presidency, to the IG, to the Commisioner of Police, that if we don’t end SARS and reform the police, that the citizens will overwhelm the police force and the armed forces.

I also said that if they don’t handle it very well, and not with kid gloves, it’s going to backfire. The SARS you are talking about is not just any SARS as police. Any Commisioner of Police that’s not acting properly is SARS. Any immigration officer who is giving out citizenship without proper process is SARS. Any government official who is giving out contracts to himself without due process is SARS.

Any government official getting security votes and refuses to use it for the interest of our people, and works to the detriment of our people is SARS.

So SARS is not just calling off some of the notorious policemen wearing black and black to intimidate people with guns and go into women’s private part to search them, there are so many SARS in Nigeria, and we must try to deal with all the SARS before the year 2021. Otherwise, if Nigerian citizens go out again, they certainly will not be looking for palliatives, they might be looking for the politicians’ heads.

‘Another uprising like #EndSARS coming, will consume Nigeria if…’ Eholor

Front line social rights defender, Chief Patrick Eholor has revealed how his organisation, One Love Foundation struggled for several years campaigning for a Federal government reform of the Nigerian police force.

In an interview with Jungle Journalist Media Limited in Benin City, Eholor says the challenges of corruption does not end with SARS and the police, but must be tackled at the national assembly and all facets of government where salaries are bloated for political office holders. He also warns that if the reforms that #EndSARS called for are not tackled now, the next uprising will consume the whole country..

Excerpts:

We have been on police reforms campaigns for over 5 years

For about four to five years now, I have been on this crusade. I wasn’t using the word #ENDSARS, I was saying that police must be reformed, I was saying that the police are being undermined, I was saying that the police are transferring aggression to the citizens, I was saying that havjng an iPhone 5 is not a crime. I was saying that having dreadlocks is a choice. I was saying that the need of a police officer doing down to a woman’s private part to conduct search was absurd, it wasn’t proper.

I was also saying that the bulk of responsibility starts with he federal government, because the federal government have undermined our security. We have no security. I told the, that one day the citizens will rise, and not just overwhelm the police, but also overwhelm the military, and it came to pass.

Some of us who are social crusaders go and protest, sometimes we go and take police permit to protect the citizens and also protect ourselves. The government felt that the only way to checkmate us is to intimidate us, as usual. We now said, enough is enough. And let me tell you, it has not ended. SARS is just an intro to end SARS and to reform the police, to also stop legislooting. They are not legislators.

It is also to stop polithiefing, but I wouldn’t want to use the word revolution. Any government, no matter how strong is afraid when you use the word revolution. But I call it the uprising-it’s the time for power to return to the people, because power belongs to the people.

President Buhari, Osibanjo failed Nigerians

When you grant a press interview, it’s about relationship. It’s about question and answers. If the president had issued a communique, it’s different thing entirely, because you don’t have to ask him any questions, but the country is burning. The country is burning. So the president has to subject himself to questions. Let him subject himself to questions. If he cannot preside over the affairs of we the citizens, he should apologize and resign. The most disgraceful aspect of this, I cry for my beloved country, is Vice President Osibanjo.

Osibanjo is a senior advocate of Nigeria. Osibanjo has disappointed majority of us, as pastor, as a lawyer, as a Vice President. He should be the one to reign and apologize to Nigerians, instead of trying to use us, and lie to us, and confuse us. And usurp some power to Lai Mohammed, whose name has become synonymous with lying.

Time for youth to vote out bad leaders

I think it’s a new day for Nigeria. The people , if 18 million youths can tune in and watch Big Brother, they should also go and register and become voters and vote for any person of their choice and vote out these rapscallions.

On palliatives

The government should not hold any of the palliatives. They were lying that this is the first phase and second phase is coming. If we don’t survive the first phase, can we survive the second phase? They should release the palliatives, the should look into the minimum wage, a country where they cannot pay a minimum wage of N30, 000, which is less than a dollar a day, and are taking the whopping sum of 29 million is fraud. The only way is for us to be nice to them, and for them to be nice to us. It’s a two way thing. If you use left, it will cut you, if you use left,it will cut you.

Worse uprising coming

What they have seen is an intro, they have not seen anything. If they don’t change their attitude to us the citizens, I am not inciting anybody, but this issue will consume everybody if it ever comes up again.

I am not Nostradamus. I am not religious but I am very spiritual. I can tell you, I a, a man that can see tomorrow. And I will tell you what will happen.

Tagging #EndSARS protesters hooligans, hoodlums, thugs is very bad for our national image – Patrick Eholor

Human rights activist, Patriot Patrick Eholor says tagging Protesters in the recent #EndSARS crisis , with negative names such as hoodlums, hooligans, thugs, looters will not drive the process for change especially the much needed positive image for Nigerians abroad.

The human rights activist also known as Observer General of Nigerian Politics spoke in an interview with journalists in Benin.

He said “you cannot call your citizens hoodlums. You cannot call your citizens hooligans. If we arrive at the shores of the other countries, they will look at us as hooligans and thugs! Who can be more hooligan than members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW? Who can be more hooligan than those who collect all sorts of illegal revenues from commercial drivers, wear agbada in the day and campaign for votes for politicians?

“We must have to rephrase these words because they have been trending, going viral, with the public chanting ‘hoodlums, hoodlums! , in the media”.

The activist said people are hungry: “There is hunger in he land, and a hungry man is an angry man. How can you store these palliatives without sharing them to us? The Government has been lying to us”.

He however clarified that he was not out to incite anybody, or to encourage the youths to go on looting spree as it is very wrong: “I condemn it in totality, but the truth be told that it is more wrong of the Government to have kept such huge amount of food. It is not just Edo State but almost across the entire Southern Nigeria, parts of the North and Middle Belt” .

EDO 2020: We must encourage more people to register and participate in elections – Patriot Eholor

The 2020 Governorship election in Edo State has come and gone, and winners and losers have emerged after a tight contest.

In this interview, Democracy Defender and Observer General of the Federal Republic, Patriot Patrick Eholor airs his views on the elections and the way forward for politics, politicians and electioneering in Nigeria.

Excerpts:

What is your view about the outcome of the election?

I think the people have spoken and we must respect the rights of the people. Elections have never been perfect anywhere in the world, it’s a democratic process and so there must be a winner and a loser.

Was it up to your expectation?

I wouldn’t say it’s not up to my expectation. We must educate the electorate, however, we must encourage people over 18 years to register so they can participate in the next election because we have more people dancing owanbe, beating drums, dancing azonto, changing the campaign ground to a comedy ground.

Can you attest that this election will change the face of election in Nigeria, particularly in Ondo?

Election is a serious business. I think there will be a lot of lessons to be learned from our own election as regards the upcoming Ondo election.

What is your score for INEC and police?

INEC isn’t perfect but I think they did tremendously well during this election and should be commended. Police are not supposed to observe and monitor our elections, however I must praise them because they were not biased and partisan in this election from my own opinion.

Why should Edo people be celebrated in this election?

I think the Edo people should be celebrate this election because we have less casualties and the ‘Omo n’ Oba’ of Benin, Ewuare the Great should be highly praised for his prayers.

Did the election really represent the voice of Edo people?

I think the election really represented the Edolites because we can’t be cowed.

What is your advice to the loser, Pastor Ize-Iyamu Osagie and party?

My advice to Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is he should remain steadfast and be a leader that he has truly been and congratulate those who stood behind him during this tough times.

What are your expectations from the winner, Gov Goodwin Obaseki and your advice?

My advice for Godwin Obaseki is he should tune down his rhetoric. It’s only God that choose to have mercy for those he has mercy on and govern those who voted for him and those who didn’t vote for him. He is an elected governor of Edo State not for PDP or APC.

Can you see hope for Edo people in Obaseki’s second term in office?

Edo State has proven that they are the pacesetters of Nigerian politics. They will not expect anything less than the best from his administration.

What will One Love Foundation do to help the Obaseki Government?

One Love Foundation will remain fair and firm.
It’s committed in checkmating any underperforming government and institutions. I hereby congratulate men and women who came out under the sun and rain to cast their vote. ‘Oba gha to kpe re, Ise!’