By Gabriel Ewepu
Ahead of the Edo Governorship election, the is the Founder of One Love Foundation, OLF, and social crusader, Chief Patrick Eholor, in this interview with Vanguard, disclosed that the Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, has declared that anybody who wants to cause violence will not see Election, while speaking on the state of security, the preparedness of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the sensitization of electorates made by his organization, and other issues.
What is your observation about general security readiness to curb and control any possible outbreak of violence before, during, and after the election?
I think that the Nigerian police are very ready and I also believe that the Nigerian police is one of the best police in the world if they do not compromise. So there is no thug or cultism or any influence of the politicians that will supersede the police if they want to work efficiently. So on that, I am very optimistic that police are very ready to curb their excess if they want to do anything otherwise.
What is your confidence in security agents’ preparedness ahead of the election?
I think the police are always very ready if they are not any intention to compromise. Recently you know the Femi Fani-Kayode, the gentleman who is on white substance who insulted a veteran journalist and said that they believe in brown envelopes so if the police are not compromising as regard to brown envelopes I think the police will be very well prepared to curb any excess from thugs or from politicians who think any Nigerian is worth their blood of reelection or winning election, I am very confident that police will be able to combat them.
What is your concern about the protection of voters on Election Day as far as security is concerned?
We have had elections where you have more than one or two elections in one day and the police were able to provide adequate security so I am sure I do not have any concerns about what the police will do or what they would not do. The police are well-armed, they are well trained, they have more superior power than the thugs so with that nothing cross my heart if the police do not compromise, I emphasize a compromise if they do not compromise the Police will deliver.
I think there is an electoral law now in respect of people who violate, who either steal ballot papers or who in any way increase or decrease or disenfranchise the voters. I think there is a serious penalty for that, I do not know what section if I did I would have at least quoted it. So as regard that I think a lot of people know but the government should go out on public awareness to warn persons who want to breach or violate any citizen rights by compromising with any of the politicians either to add or to minus or steal our votes and also there have to be lectures and lot of awareness about those who are intending to buy votes, I think the police should arrest anyone who is inducing anybody to sell his vote and also arrest those who are willing to sell their votes. I mean it is a process and we will get there one day. I am sure that we are getting better by the day so let’s do some public awareness by the government. It will be very helpful.
As a Foundation what have you been doing to sensitise young people not to be used as tools to disrupt the election?
I think with my Foundation, a lot of articles and interviews both print media and live television to sensitize the people, to advise them that this war was not created by them and they cannot solve this war. These people who are either APC or PDP are one family is just unfortunate that the family is dysfunctional there are very related so is not worth the blood of any citizen.
READ ALSO: My husband must not die in vain, widow of suspect who died in Lagos police custody cries out
What do you think should be done to forestall any breach of a peaceful electoral process?
I think people should know better than their life has been stolen from them and they are over 20 years of age and they still call themselves youths and the best thing to do is for them to go out there and perform their civil responsibility by voting for their choice by voting for an agenda by voting for the manifesto and after voting go home or watch and protect your vote is not worth dying for whatever is not worth living for is not worth dying for because at the end these politicians will settle and when they settle it becomes business as usual. So we must change the narrative.
As a renowned and Patriot citizen of Nigeria and a son of Edo land, what do you think could be a punitive measure to deter any group planning violence?
I am not really sure that their thinking will come to pass because our reverend monarch Omo Noba Nedo Duku Akpolokpolo, the Ogidiga I of Benin Kingdom has consulted his ancestors and deities that anybody who wants to want to cause any act of violence will not see the day of the election and they will not because our ancestors are not going to be sleeping for anybody to come and cause any violence in our State.
We do not want any blood in our state, you know is an election, election is something one comes to improve on people’s lives is not about violence, you do not govern people who are dead. You govern people who are alive. So the election is going to be very peaceful, it is just hype, there must be hype in certain times you know, and the hype will come down, nobody wants to die for these people everybody wants to live.