Patriot Patrick Eholor is a human rights defender, and is a regular commentator on happenings across Nigeria.
In this interview with JUNGLE JOURNALIST Media Limited, Eholor proffers solution to the mindless killings by cultists in Edo State:
From your point of view, do you think the upsurge in cult related killings is as a result of politics in Edo State?
As far as I know cultism has been going on. I don’t want to attribute it to political tension but however, cultism has been going on. I don’t want to commend or condemn them, everybody has a right to Association or club membership. But the issue is that, the killing is out of hand. These are people’s children, our children. If its not hitting us directly, it’s hitting us indirectly. It’s not good fot the economy of the state, its not good for our image and its certainly bad in the face of tourism.
That’s why am really voicing out to the people of Edo, to the government, to the police, to every security outfit to see how it can be nipped in the bud.
What else can be done by the citizenry to ensure that it ends?
In my place, we have a saying that those who have the truth do not have fine clothes to go to the Palace. It’s very sad that those who should have resolved these issue are part of the problem. Whether in the police force, in the government circle, a lot of them who are high and mighty are members of thees cult groups. I know some of them and they know me too. So I am not here to say they don’t have a right to belong where they like, but what disturbs me is that, because of their elite status, if they want to resolve this, they would have done that long ago. Cultism in those days was easy to manage because they were confraternities in schools who braced up to reject certain policies of lecturers or the school authorities.
That’s why it was efficient then and there was unity.
But now, it’s in the hands of conductors, drivers and miscreants. Not meaning to disrespect anyone, am not saying they cannot be what they want to be. But what’s disturbing is that the leadership and hierarchy of these cults have lost control. They don’t even know who is a member and who isn’t.
I think what they should do is to come up with a policy and sit on a table with other rival confraternity groups and put a sanction that anybody who go out to kill others should be severely punished. Then you will see that this thing will change.
The sad thing is that the police who should be the umpires have most of their members as cultists. As a matter of fact, I was on air some days ago and Sunny Duke Okosun the anchorman spoke to the Police PRO. The PRO admitted to us that a sergeant was culpable in this hooliganism and cultism. They had to demote him from his rank to the rank of corporal. He said that we might question why he wasn’t fired, but said that we should be aware that the government has spent a lot of money to train him into a human being. He has a family too. If you dismiss him outrightly, he already knows how to handle guns, and might end up another bandit, armed robber or terrorist.
The PPRO was on point. So the responsibility boils down to their leaders to reconcile their seemingly irreconcilable differences and end the killings. They can do so if they decide to use their willpower for that.
What about the parents? Don’t they have a role in this matter?
It’s unfortunate that the parents are victims and the children are also victims. This is a new era. Some of these children have been victimised, sodomised, raped, threatened and they have become so weak and vulnerable, and the only way they feel they can bong is to join a rival cult. And when they joined, their mother was not there when they signed the death warrant. Their mother is crying everyday, she has lost control. Most of these cultists are animals and even behead people. Anyone who has the mindset to behead anyone is an animal, is uncontrollable. Their parents are also victims and their hands are tied.