Human rights activist and Founder, One Love Foundation, Chief Dr Patrick Osagie Eholor has expressed worry over Edo’s share of the 13% oil revenue for the 9 oil producing states. He says in this interview that Governor Godwin Obaseki has kept information on the money a secret, even refusing to include it in the budget. Eholor is suing the governor as a result.
He also speaks on INEC’s readiness to organise the 2023 general elections, Peter Obi, and a host of other issues.
INEC was accused of registering under aged and unqualified persons to vote in 2023. What do you think this entails for us in 2023?
We have the BVAS, with fingerprint identification. Before now, our international footballers used to lie about their age, until they came up with a technology that can tell one’s age. You see, Nigeria is an evolving democracy so you should expect such things to happen.
But also, there has to be a stiff punishment for defaulters.
A friend expressed worry that the hype about Peter Obi may end up a fluke, and he may end up not performing. He gave example of Muhammadu Buhari, Do you think this is right?
Muhammadu Buhari has never taken taken responsibility for his actions, and he is a failure. When one fails, he should take responsibility. There are those who blame everybody when they fail, but when they succeed, they take credit.
Because Buhari failed doesn’t mean that Peter Obi will fail. Obi has always told us that whatever he says or does, he will take responsibility. That’s why his manifesto is being delayed because he wants to stand by every pledge in the manifesto.
What matters is for a man to speak from his heart, not from a teleprompter. So that guy has a myopic mind set. He should be aware that Obi is not a messiah, not a God but a Nigerian like all of us who wants to lead us out of the hands of the selfish politicians.
He wants to change the status quo, he wants to bring power to the downtrodden, and I believe him because he is not hungry for money.
On that note, I want to salute ndi Igbo who felt it was important to collectively endorse Peter Obi. I also want to shout out to the Afenifere for their courage. They said this is not about tribe, but about saving Nigeria when they endorsed Obi.
I also want to shout out to the Omo noba Oba Ator kpee for the fatherly role he played when Peter Obi visited him. So let those who want to be myopic be myopic. This is not about Peter Obi, its about the people.
What we are seeing now is what we call intervention. If it wasn’t God, what we are seeing now, we won’t be seeing it. If God says yes, nobody can say no. So for me, I know Peter Obi is going to be the next president come 2023.
According to statistics which was exposed by Governor Nyesom Wike a few days ago, Edo State got N17. 2 billion naira from the 13 percent derivation fund in 2021. Nobody has heard about that fund until Wike spoke about it.
He said that the 12 flyovers and other projects he has been executing in Rivers State were being built with the money he got from that derivation fund. So chief, what do you have to say about the money Edo State got, which no one seem to know about in the state?
If you look at the statistics, you will see that Edo is number 3 among the most indebted states in Nigeria. General Obaseki is not a technocrat, and has been a financial failure until he was lucky to be Governor. Oshiomhole who imposed him on Edo exposed his inadequacy, inefficiency, inexperience, he was just an incoherent talkative who talks before he thinks.
I have always known Godwin as a crook, not a technocrat. Look at the recent budget, the money he got from the derivation fund is not reflected in the budget, that alone is illegal. You cannot be a governor and you are commiting crime. In budgeting, you bring the past to the present and take the present into the future, so there is no transparency. Obaseki is only giving you what he wants you to see, he has refused to constitute a genuine House of Assembly, I have been denied representation. Those whom we elected were denied representing us.
On this matter, I am dragging Obaseki to court. I have asked my lawyer to look at the locus for me as a Nigerian, as an Edo citizen, to take him to court so the court can compel him to explain to us what he did with the N17. 2billion.
If they were for contract, who approved it? Were they advertised?
Was due process followed? They left me with no alternative than to take them to court and we are hoping that the court will be able to expose them further more on this massive looting. We voted for Godwin Obaseki, not his Commissioners, so let him come and tell our people what they need to know, and desist from referring us to his Commissioners.