By: Michael Odigbe
Edo-born Chief Patrick Eholor is a person one can call a Nostradamus in a way because for over a decade ago he accurately predicted the mess in which Nigeria has found itself today.
Fortunately, unlike his peers who sat idly back doing nòthing, he has steadfastly plunged himself into the titanic to salvsge the country from the precipice.
Of course; he has encontered several challenges in the process.
As our Nostradaus, he foresaw that communities who depend on rogue politician in Nigeria’s fumbling, sick democracy are doomed. So, what did he do? Before the 2015 general election he mobilized his Utoka community, made of 18 villages, to be self-sufficient through farming which is their primary occupation.
Eventually, there was food, financial and personal security in the area. This made members of the community to be fearless and independent-minded in politics.
No one could buy their votes. it is largely hungry electorates that put a price tag on who to vote for on election day.
Listen to actionable Nostradmus in an article titled 2015-Jonathan And The Rest Of Us which he wrote in The Nigerian Observer of March 13, 2013.
His words :’Before you can speak your mind fearlessly as 2015 comes, you must be independent just like my Utoka community. All persons above 16 living there have taken to farming so that even without government they can survive.
Right now, they are self-dependent. I mobilized them to adopt this attitude of life. It is only when you are really independent of politicians and government that you can be free to play politics on the basis of ONE MAN, ONE VOTE without anyone influencing you.”
Also, Chief Patrick Eholor with his sixth sense of reading the minds of Libyans saw the massacre of Nigerians and modern enslavement coming. That is why as early as 2012 he circulated a hand hlll he christened Voice of Concerned Citizens of Nigeria thinķ about this.
Since the nineties as a young man, Patrick Eholor has been preaching the gospel of unity in Edo State, Nigeria and the universe.
This led him to set up an Non Governmental Organization (NGO) he names “One Love Foundation” of which he is the president.
According to him, the foundation is an acronym for “One Love Family And Caring Association” for unifying humanity.
He lives this existential goal of his foindation each day of his life being not a pretender like most Nigerians. Hence, you will never find him on a hate mission. Rather, he spends his time, money and energy on issues that promotes justice, peace and unity among mankind.
He is archetypically his brother’s keeper as pescribed by the Holy Bible. As one, he always.
Punctuates and ends all his conversations with “One Love”. Also, he dislikes being addressed as Patrick Osagie Eholor in informal settings if you want to blend well with him.
He prefers to be called “One Love” or “Ultimate Equal” because of his belief in the ultimate love and equality of the human race in Edo State; Nigeria and the human race.
Indeed, recall this unity message started by the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) in April 2014!
Here is the message: “No matter where you are from, let us stop fighting each other. Let us live as one. It doesn’t matter where you come from. Your tribe or religion does not matter. It doesn’t matter who you are. Keep Nigeria First… We are one. Let us live together.”
This message came as centrifugal, divisive forces which Patrick Eholor foresaw several years ago and strove to prevent with his foundation before it began to rip the country asunder.
Patrick Eholor , moreover, has been campaigning against police brutalities on innocent, hapless citizens. Only few people in Edo State, Nigeria and the world are listening to him.
In 2020, he discerned inhumanity of the pilice to Mr Timothy Otoibhi, an okada rider in Ologbo Town in Ikpoba-Okha Local Govèrnment Area of Edo State. Police in Ologbo arrested him in January 2010 while he was plying his Okada business for alleged burglary.
He was tortured for 12 days by the police to confess to the crime to no avail, according to the victim.
Subsequently, the police demanded N200,000 to grant him bail. When he refused, he was charged to court and remanded in prison custody to await trial with the tymphanic ear membranes ruptured and pus exudinģ fŕom his ears.
It was at this stage his sister Mercy met me and narrated his ordeal to me. Quickly, I referrred the case to Patrìck Eholor.whose foundation got the victim out of police trouble.
Such a classical demonstration of his detribalised neighbourliness to oppressed Timothy Otoibhi and other countless victims has endeared Patrick Eholor to his admireŕs and explain how earned the prefix “Patriot” to his name.
Patrick Eholor predicted in his conversations and media parleys that nothing is done immediately, on police atrocities, the civil society will one day revolt against them.
What he said came to pass in October 2020 when there was massive protests in reaction to extra- judicial killings as well as other heinous inhuman behaviour of the policè.
Buhari is the first to iďentìfy corruption as tantamount to death sentence on Nigeria. People like Patrick Eholor have long envisaged this evil deelopment and fought to eraďiçate it.
In one of his struggle against corrùption, he called on Oshiomole to probe how the Paris Debt Refund to Eďo State was mismanaged bý ex-Gov Osarienmèn Osuñbor through the state’s waterboard.
Similarly, in his war on corruption Patrick Eholor questioned President Goodluck Jonathan’s N420 billion bailout for banks in Nigeria.
He erupted like an active volcano: “I have been thinking of Nigeria and the N420 billion bailout by the federal government for banks. Whose money is to be used? Tax payers’s money? How long will the poor continue to bail out the rich? How many poor and middle-class citizens, investors or micro businesses were given loans by these banks?
The bailout is a ploy to continue to ridicule the middle class and the suffering people of Nigeria.
It is a pity the government cannot bail out our universities with N30 billion and are being forced to shut down. Yet, it is spending a whopping N420 billionn on bailing out banks…… These are ironies we can do without.”
In 2012, Patrick Eholor saw corruption eating progressively into the body mass of Nigeria while the vast majority stood aside watching helplessly the nation dying.
He was saddened by the development and called on all Nigerians to join him to combat the deadly menace. His call was made through a hand bill which he printed and circulated across the country from his Benin base.
The hand bill reads in part: “Corruption is destroying Nigeria’s development and future. It is killing our industries. Also, it is damaging our youths disrupting their timely graduation, employment opportunities, rights to marriage and family life as well as stealing their happiness and self-advancement.
With our stolen funds, some of our governors, lawmakers, ministers, commissioners, local government chairmen and permanent secretaries jet out to foreign countries on a daily basis to squander your happiness and fortunes. With your money, they acquire multi-billion naira mansions they don’t live in. Also, they put some of the looted funds in secret foreign bank accounts that are lost when they die. Meanwhile, poor Nigerians are perishing with hungèr; diseases, frustration and total distress. Stop the lawless exploitation of a few on many Nigerians that are turning Nigeria into a failed state. Join me in the anti-corruption war. EFCC and ICPC alone cannot do the fighting. Together, they have less than 3,000 staff keeping watch over millions of Draculas looting our funds. The anti-corruption agencies therefore need your active outcry, support and numbers..”
Only an infinitesimal people hearkened to Patrick Eholor’s plea. Twenty-one years later in 2023 all the damage he saw about corruption doing to Nigeria are now manifesting. Alas, his anti-corruption tough talks were seen as mere wolf alarmist cries full of Shakespearan sound and fury signifying nothing.
Incredible!! Eust name it. There is no evil under the Nigerian sun that Patrick Eholor has not campaigned against. Even take the education sector. Imagine, during the Jonathan presidency, he also came out with a pamphlet he titled “Education Crises In Nigeria… Join Our Struggle To Prevent A Shameful Tragedy”.
How many Nigerians listened to his request to reposition education for innovative technological growth development? Very few, indeed. Today, our education sector is in retrogressive decay.
A graduate cannot speak flawless english. He or she needs a mobile phone to find the sum of 5 multplied by 5!!
Two weeks ago, I called Patrick Eholor for a chat after over six months of lost contact. He replied telling me that he was in Lagos. We discussed drugs and their increasing costs daily.
One particular drug which sold for about N4,500 before is now N52,000 he informed me.
He added: “I saw all these things coming. I saw tomorrow. I knew life will be difficult if we don’t fight corruption and mismanagement of our resources. Join me to combat the ugly situation, I shouted. Only few people listened. Hence!, we are where we are now. No regret. The struggle continues. One Love.”