*Says Barrister Ogie, Philip Shaibu frustrated Edo CoS out of office
Fearless and consistent, Patriot Patrick Eholor has been known to speak the truth, and fight for the masses, even when there is threat to his life.
He became famous for staging many protests against some unpopular decisions of the then governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, and even extended his protests against the then Federal Government, National Assembly and to any sector where the common man faces oppression.
Truly, Eholor fits into a succinct description of himself he gave to Jungle Journalist Media Limited “I am a man who is a social crusader, a man who has put his life before men and risked everything that I have, and ate fire for my people to drink water”.
His relentless campaigns led him to receive a meritorious award from the African Bar Association some time last year in far away Liberia, in the presence of President George Weah.
Now in this interview, Eholor cries out about the dangers facing Nigerians in the wake of COVID-19, and specifically talks about Kano and late Abba Kyari.
He also comments on recent resignation of the Chief of Staff to Governor Godwin Obaseki, among other things:
Covid-19, Kano, Abba Kyari:
Abba Kyari was a victim of his own impudence. Before he passed on, because of nepotism and indiscipline of these so called bosses who call themselves leaders, I have never recognised any of them as a leader, I have always seen them as bosses. Because a boss is somebody who wants everything done his own way, a leader is one who seeks your opinion, will accommodate you and you all work together.
Abba Kyari moved the budget allocation of the Ministry of Health to the Ministry of Agriculture. Who does that? That’s why I said he is a victim of his own impudence. As we speak today, it has not been reversed. Whatever money the Health Minister needs, he will have to pass through the Ministry of Agriculture.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture has to approve whatever he wants. Its not done anywhere. The current minister now, is finding it very difficult in this Covid 19 era.
Unfortunately, as is usual with our ministers, they feel that the president is God and they can’t approach him and tell him where they feel the pain. The president isn’t God, he was elected.
Now, there is no isolation centre in the whole of Kano. The only few that they had have been closed, some people have contracted Covid-19 and have absconded. So there are walking corpses everywhere in Kano, waiting to die, and distributing the virus.
If he has not moved the Health Ministry to Agriculture, perhaps the health sector would have been working and he won’t end up a victim of his own. So we have to be careful not to throw stones into the market as we don’t know who its going to hit.
Back to the Kano case. What can you say about Kano and the challenges of Covid-19?
We should call the lawmakers-Senators and Federal House of Representatives, who know that they were genuinely voted in, and acknowledge that they have a responsibility to represent those who voted for them, and remind them that this Covid-19 is real and they should stop playing politics with it.
First, Nigeria will wake up to be responsible to its citizens, to talk to Airtel, MTN, to talk to local and multinationals, Dangote, and those we call rich men. They should call them to come in and assist Nigerians.
Nigerians need that help because they cannot be at home and also be hungry. They are not afraid of Covid-19, they are afraid of hunger.
There was a protest in Kano where people were chanting ‘coronavirus barawo, coronavirus barawo’. It means they are ignorant, it means there is no leadership in that constituency, it means there is no governance in that area. Otherwise they will not say that Coronavirus is barawo, they would have known that its a deadly disease and has no respect for anybody
Having said that, are you aware that about 25 to 35 of very prominent people that have lost their lives within the past few days in the North? So what they have to do is to begin interstate ban. There is no movement into and out of the states. Nobody should leave Edo State to Lagos, nobody should leave Ibadan for Sagamu, Kaduna to Sokoto, Warri to Bayelsa, or leave Bayelsa for Calabar. Because there are a lot of carriers who do not even know and they are taking it from one place to another.
You need to see what happened in New York, and over 53,000 have been lost in the country. The last interview you did with me I told you over 10,000 have lost their lives. So by the day, its counting.
We have people who go to the North and buy cows, tomatoes, yams and onions. We also have our northerners who travel from the North to the South, they should stay in the North for now. If there is any people coming to the South, let us quarantine them.
It’s not enough to say they have no right to travel.
They should be in their respective quarters until we find a solution.
Resignation of Chief of Staff to the Governor of Edo State
What’s your opinion on the resignation of the Chief of Staff to the Governor?
You don’t ask me that, you journalists know what’s going on. What I think is that you reap what you sow. This thing started from Adams Oshiomhole who is my brother and my friend. Because Oshiomhole is a man that was so open in governance, he entertainer no secrecy.
He might have his own flaws, he might have his own issues but he was open to a fault. When he took Barrister Osarodion Ogie as his chief of staff, Ogie enjoyed that position without interference. But Patrick Obahiagbon, the Igbodomigodo, who is also my friend was not so fortunate. Igbodomigodo was a victim of loyalty, of kindness, a victim of honesty. Because he had an aspiration, those who didn’t want him to aspire high, who wanted to stop him did just that.
So Osarodion Ogie took the job of the CoS and was doing the job of the CoS, even though he was no more the CoS.
Igbodomigodo was not too happy, but because of his loyalty to Oshiomhole, he bore that burden.
Now, Akerele came from Lagos and didn’t understand the politics. The Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu whom I know very well, who loves power and will do anything to get it – he knows that, he is my friend. Even when he reads now he will smile and giggle, because he knows that I am the Observer – General in politics.
The same way, he knows the history of his boss, Adams Oshiomhole. But he and Ogie didn’t want a free hand given to Akerele. Akerele was more like just like a CoS by name. He wasn’t doing anything representative of his office. He was redundant, and may have become useless, but because he was not a useless person, he realised sooner than later that he was very useful to himself, his friends and family and said I will no longer tolerate this, it’s either I live free or die.
So he said, I beg to resign. Thank you for letting me work with you. If the likes of Shaibu or Ogie had allowed Akerele to work, he would have delivered as a CoS.
Are you invariably saying Governor Obaseki has no hand in it?
I don’t know the governor too well to either deny or accept anything of him. I love the governor so well from a distance, but I am afraid of the devil in him. There is a demonic power in the governor that supercedes the genuine work he is doing.
Please can you throw more light on this?
You can see some people very nice, very respectful to your rights, you cannot predict them, but more also, whenever they are doing things that does not please God, the devil will tell them that they are doing what’s right. Continue, you don’t have to listen to anybody, continue, you should imprison or destroy anybody you want to destroy. You should not listen to any advise. That’s why I said that I am afraid of the devil in him.
Otherwise, if you look at him name, Nogheghase Godwin, my own must come to pass, you have won, its all synonymous with God. But because there is something in him that he needs delivering from, that’s why he is surrounded by those two powerful, destructive forces that we are seeing destroying his government today.