FREEPRESS – Comrade Patrick Eholor, is founder of One Love Foundation. The Edo based prominent social critics and human right activist recently spoke on topical national issues with some select newsman.
As a social critic you have been out the media space for some time now. What has been happening to you?
Well, when you continue to do things one way and you continue to get the same results common sense suggest that you change tactics. I just decide to take a break and do things differently.
We just had general elections in Nigeria. Are we getting it right democratically?
We are still very far from it. However, the people came out in their numbers to vote the candidates of their choice but am dissatisfied with the INEC chairman, we are still playing money politics, the result is very clear and there is a need for a change. However, the power that be, the ruling party headed by President Muhammadu Buhari want to govern by every means necessary and I think is undemocratic. We have learnt some lessons no doubt and iam optimistic that future elections will be better than what we have just heard.
What is your take on the administration of Governor Godwin Obaseki?
I have not been around for some time now but with what I have seen so far I think am very satisfied because combined the 8 years administration of Adams Oshiomhole , he did practically anything. He just spent the time making noise about, am surprise nobody is talking about the water storm projects; the same Oshiomhole who embarked on campaign against godfatherism is today the only godfather. Yes, you didn’t ask me anything about Oshiomhole, am just saying it as an emphasis. However, Obaseki’s roads construction, rehabilitation and restoration is laudable. He has being able to restrained professional politicians, today, there is no more touting, people no more harass market women, as a social critics I say it the way it is. Obaseki is doing amazing job in the state. What he is doing is setting precedence that politics is purely service to the people.
As bridge between the old and young what can you say about this upsurge in cult related killings in Edo state?
Again, this is where we need our religious leaders to mentor our youths. The problem we have is that our youths have lost owing to bad governance, today our youths are hooked on all kind of drugs, drugs are coming into our inner Cities unchecked, parents no longer have time to check the activities of their children, the internet and television is where they get their education from and that is where they are negatively influenced, no parental guardians and that is why they are killing themselves. I think what can really put an end to it is by enacting a law at the state house assembly. There should be strict law to punish any cultists caught. However, am afraid if such laws or legislation will work because even some lawmakers, pastors, senators, commissioner of Police are cult leaders and lords. If you are part of a robbery gang, how do you catch a thief? It is time for us all to seat down and have a social dialogue to curb cultism.
Today we have a new government in place. What is your agenda or suggestion for them?
For me, I don’t know if we have a government in place because its legitimacy is being questioned at the courts. Not until all the litigations and cases is sorted out I cannot recognised any government. It is when all this things is done that will determine if we are going to support the government or not. However, it is difficult to support a government that is talking about corruption and same government is surrounded with corrupt people. Who can be more corrupt than Tinubu , Oshiomhole, Fashola, and Amaechi? Yes, Buhari is a man of high integrity but integrity does not give good governance, Buhari has no idea about good governance. Look at Edo state for example, just imagine how many lives the abandoned new wing of the Central hospital would have been saved? Oshiomhole staged the hospital to deceived Buhari to commission the edifice, this is just preposterous. Imagine Oshiomhole during their campaign said when you decamp to APC your sins are forgiven, today Akpabio is a free man, and that is why I said Buhari is surrounded by corrupt politicians and I owe nobody apology about that. Look at what happened in the elections especially at the state house of assembly elections Oshiomhole wrote the results, it is a shame, meanwhile at the Presidential elections the peoples voted and their votes counts, we are just making mockery of democracy