President of Eleme Youth Council Worldwide, Prince Brain Emere Gokpa has accused the Eleme born Nigeria Ambassador to the Netherlands, Ambassador Oji Ngofa of orchestrating his arrest and detention by the Army during the just concluded March 2019 Elections in Eleme.
Gokpa in an interview with Inside Eleme said he was innocent of any wrong doing on the Election Day, 23rd February, 2019, and wondered what warranted his arrest and incarceration for days. He said he was on election duty as an agent of his party, the PDP when Amb. Oji Ngofa instructed soldiers attached to him to arrest him.
Hear him: “On the 23rd day of February, 2019 on the Presidential Election Day, I went to the Collation Center, at INEC office as an agent of PDP. On reaching there, we spent about 40 minutes when Ambassador Oji Ngofa came in with soldiers and many policemen, and his personal aides now pointed at Agbaro, one Mr. Agba Nwaji and Marcus Tetenwi that the military men should arrest them. But because of the large number of members of Eleme Youth Council that were there, they were able to resist the arrest and the soldiers were unable to arrest the two persons.
“We were on our way going to our different wards, we separated ourselves, I went to my own ward at Aleto; that day there was restriction of vehicles. So I walked from INEC office on foot to Aleto, but on getting to Nchia General Market, by the Alode junction, the soldiers came and picked me because they had been instructed by Oji Ngofa to arrest me and I was just with few of my agents that were walking with me from the INEC office to Aleto. So the soldiers stopped us and said arrest him, that was all I know and the people that were with me went back to Aleto to vote.
He explained further how the military took him to Eleme Police Division and from there to Rukpoku SAR station, accusing him of hijacking electoral material. He boasted that Oji Ngofa and the All Progressives Congress (APC) failed in Eleme because his boys were fully on ground.
His words: “The military men took me from the Echieta Nchia Market junction to Aleto and spent about 30minutes there when they got a call that Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) is coming to pick me that they should drop me at Eleme Police Divison, Ogale and I was taken to the police station. After a while, some SARS men came and carried me to Rukpoku Federal SARS and I met the Commander, Akin Fakorode, they took me to him and the SARS officer that carried me to him told him that this Brain Gokpa, he went to disrupt the elections, and they said I hijacked the electoral materials but by the time of my arrest, the materials have not moved from the INEC Office to Aleto and I did not hijack anything.
“They laid an allegation on me that I wanted to foment trouble but it was politically motivated. I know they felt that as a president of the Aleto Youth Council, I have a lot of supporters and followers, so they thought that my absence was going to demoralize our supporters. But it was unfortunate for Ambassador Oji Ngofa and APC members that my absence did not affect the outcome of the election because we have a structure that without me the structure can still work effectively, and that was why my party won the presidential election. He also said that the former youth president of Ogale, Walter Olaka came to SARS office and accused him of conspiring and sponsoring his assassination.
He said: “They laid an allegation on me that I personally shot Mary Obe and one Mr. Walter Olaka, the former youth president of Ogale said, I Brain Gokpa conspired and sponsored people to assassinate him. He said that Mba boy and his group left my house to shot him, and you are aware that as at last year March, when Walter Olaka was shot, the state government had declared Mba boy wanted. So Mba was a problem to everybody, Mba did not have respect for anybody even the security personnel has it on record that Mba kidnapped an old woman from Alesa and as Mba was going through Alode to Ogale road that leads to Ebubu. They met Walter Olaka close to Millennium Hotel and they shot him.
“So, I don’t have anything reason why I should sponsor the assassination of Walter Olaka, I don’t have any reason for doing that. In 2016, during the re-run election, APC planted guns in my house and brought military men to arrest me. When we got to the Brigade Commander, they understood what the APC did because one of the soldiers saw when the arms were hidden under my vehicle in my father’s compound, so the Army Officer now informed his boss and they discovered that I was innocent and did not spend up to four (4) hours there. I have not planned to kill anybody that is why nobody can take my life”.
The Eleme Youth President expressed excitement over the online protests demanding his release and narrated the deplorable state of the Eleme youth council when he emerged and took over as the youth president.
“I was surprised, I didn’t know that I have such support, it was when I came out of SARS Station that I saw a lot of protests online demanding for my release because they know I was innocent and I’m not involved in encouraging any criminal activities. Before I took over the Eleme Youth Council as president, we inherited a collapsed system, to be very particular Ebubu was a war zone where people die daily as a result of cult clash, so we came up with an idea to put a security agent there. At that time, Hon. J.O. Nwogu was Caretaker Chairman. We worked together to make sure we put the Army presence in Ebubu community.
“When the state Government gave amnesty in 2017 to cultists, we and the President of O-E’la Obor Eleme, Chief Israel Abbey, and Archbishop Moses Kattey went as far as where the criminals and cultists were hiding, we even went to Okrika to meet one of their leaders and the Amnesty programme was successful. Most of them genuinely repented but few of them went back to their former life and Mba boy was among those persons that went back and before the amnesty, Mba boy had a gang of 40 persons but when he went back to his old lifestyle, only 5 persons went with him and when he died, four of them died together.
“I do interact with many youths and I do find out that what makes people to start doing bad things is unemployment, sometimes I do sympathize with them because they don’t have any source of livelihood. Eating a day becomes very difficult, so I think that is why the boys are acting this way and we are trying to give them employment. We do seminars, workshops to educate them, we have sent over 300 youths for skill acquisition programmes”, he disclosed.
Brain Gokpa also said Eleme Youth Council can still use the same measure that was used in restoring peace in Ebubu to bring peace in Agbonchia, revealing that the issue of insecurity in Agbonchia is as a result of misguided information by some people bent on destroying the peace of the community. He said military presence can bring long lasting peace in Agbonchia and advised the Agbonchia Youth Council to first help themselves.