Despite my ordeal, no regret for my actions – Man whose viral video sparked #EndSARS protests
…Tells his story of arrest, detention
He obviously didn’t know that the video he was shooting at Ughelli, Delta State would trigger an outrage that would reverberate across the country.
Prince Nicholas Makolomi merely felt he owed it a duty to alert the authorities and Nigerians to the illegal activities of some policemen.
But once uploaded on the social media, the video went viral as it generated interest especially among activists opposed to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the police.
The development sparked tension across the country and led to a mob attack on an off-duty SARS operative, Sergeant Ohwovwiogor Fidelis, at the Ughelli Central Garage axis with the mob him attempting to set him ablaze but for the intervention of a Good Samaritan.
Makolomi was subsequently arrested by the police but not before he had told his story.
He had told Sunday Vanguard: “After the boy (Joshua Ambrose) was arrested on that Saturday, he was kept at the passenger’s side of the car behind the front seat.
“While we were driving in our car behind the police vehicle, suddenly the boy jumped from the car and fell on the roadside after which we chased after the police car while making the video.”
The video gained widespread traction before exploding into #EndSARS protests since penultimate Wednesday.
The anti-police campaign has inevitably claimed lives in Lagos and Ogbomoso in Oyo State.
Speaking to Sunday Vanguard on the turn of events, Makolomi, who regained freedom penultimate Friday from the custody of the police, which had threatened to prosecute him for allegedly inciting violence and distributing false information contrary to the cyber law, said although he felt he made a mistake by shooting the video and uploading it on social media, he had no regrets for his actions.
The business administration graduate from the Institute of Management and Technology, IMT, Enugu and father of two said he shot the video and uploaded it on the social media in a bid to alert Nigerians, the police authorities and government on the unwholesome activities of some policemen.
Giving details of how he was arrested, Makolomi, a member of the royal family of Ughelli Kingdom, said: “I was at home in Ughelli when I received a call from a friend that I should meet him at the popular Delta Mall in Effurun.
“But as soon as I got to the mall, by the gate, I was accosted by a team of policemen who took me to the Ebrumede Police Station.”
Describing himself as an entertainer and sound engineer, he debunked reports that he shot the video to spite the police.
“When I shot the video, I actually meant no harm. I honestly did it as a concerned citizen on the actions of some policemen even though I later came out to the public through my social media handle to say the victim in question (Joshua Ambrose) was still alive and not dead as earlier portrayed” Makolomi said.
“From Ebrumede Police Station, I was taken to the ‘Safe Delta’ Headquarters at Isele-Azagba where I was held for three days before I was taken to the State Police Headquarters from where I was taken to court. While in custody, I was never beaten or assaulted by the police.”
Asked if he regretted his actions, Makolomi, who described himself as the face of the #ENDSARS campaign, said: “I actually felt I made a mistake with the video which went viral, but I never realized that the average Nigerian youth were already vexed with the activities of the average police personnel as reflected in the outcry that trailed the video.
“Despite my ordeal and my subsequent release, I do not have any regret for my actions because Nigeria has to be great again and what I did was what every citizen will do.
“My advice to the average Nigerian youth especially those participating in the #ENDSARS protest is that they should not allow themselves to be provoked and pushed into taking the law into their hands as long as they are fighting for a just cause.”
Commending the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, and the Ughelli North council chairman, Chief Godwin Adode, for facilitating his release, he said: “For the Nigerian government, I want to appreciate them for rising up to the challenge by quickly responding to the demands and agitations of the youths having be made aware of the nefarious activities of some police operatives in the country and I also thank Chiefs Keyamo and Adode for facilitating my release.”