Interview: I Only fell ill not Confession – Chief Akpojene
Chief (Dr) Gregory Oke Akpojene (MON) JP, immediate past Isoko Development Union(IDU) President-General and Chairman of Akpojene Groups of Companies at Otor-Igho in Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta State; he has received several meritorious awards in Nigeria and abroad. He is one of the biggest Nigerian farmers in the country. He is a great philanthropist of the 21st century. In this brief interview with Godday Odidi at his farm office, he shared his minds on the alleged confession against him and other issues. Excerpts..
Sir, you were recently alleged of confession, can you explain better on it?
Thank you very much my able journalist son. It all started on September 15, 2013 last year, when I was critically ill to the extent that I taught I will not survive it. It was a partial stroke that almost took my life, but my God saw me through for a divine purpose. It was rumoured that I confessed some callous activities in my community here. I have never confessed one day. I am a hard working farmer to the core. You can see a man that confesses but still monitoring his farming activities that shows some people were prepared to dent my image. I have been into farming for 47years, as a retired successful teacher and a former Local Government Chairman. I have contributed enough resources to the developmental progress of Isoko nation through my passionate farming activities.
Since this alleged confession against you, have you able to attend any public function?
No, I am still recuperating. I would soon attend public functions. As it was rumoured that I was a chronic wizard, many people run away from me. Though, some people knew that I did not confess any callous activities. Some churches and pastors came to pray for me. I received some financial donations from some of my business partners too. The story was that I was a callous wizard that has confessed and died! How Akpojene can die in Isoko without noticing it? I am still alive. Is it a crime to fall ill? Everybody must die one day. At 77, I am not afraid of death but God saved my life to prove to my rumour mongers or carriers that I did not confess any wizardry activities at Otor- Igho community. It was a miscalculated attempt to discredit my personality in Nigeria but God passed them. Many people trooped into my office and house to see for themselves whether I was really confessing or not, but to their amazement, such things never existed.
How did Uloho Cooperative Society, Oil Palm farmers Association of Nigeria and ICB Global members reacted over the alleged confession of you?
They did not believe such rumour of confession. They all stood by me. I really appreciated them all. We must always be our brothers' keepers in the trying period of life.
You have been fighting over the years to see that Akpojene Research Institute and Akpojene University of Agriculture are approved by the government, what is the cause of the delay?
You must know that Akpojene farm is one of the biggest in Nigeria. I prepare to acquire more farm lands for my farming activities than houses. Akpojene farms are enough to site Akpojene Research Centre and University of Agriculture. So I know one day the government will approve it for me.
In spite of all these allegations, some organizations intended to give you more awards again, will you accept them?
If I am a wizard, will they give me awards again? I have received over 100 awards all over the world. I will receive the awards as far I am still living. I am a hardworking person with integrity. And I will also farm till I die.
What is your message to Isoko people?
Well, Chief Dr. Akpojene is still alive and healthy.