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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.