Ex-Niger Delta Militant Leader, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, the Ibe-ebidouwei of Ijaw Nation has categorically stated that he has no hand in the formation and activities of the Niger Delta Avengers and should be counted out and dissociated from new militant group.
Tompolo, who spoke in Warri, Delta State, through his Media Adviser and Consultant, Comrade Paul Bebenimibo, denied belonging to the Niger Delta Avengers Group, describing such statements as coming from his enemies, who were at work again.
A press release by his Media Adviser and Consultant, Comrade Paul Bebenimibo, said that the attention of Tompolo has been drawn to security reports, linking him to a new militant group, the Niger Delta avengers, who claims responsibility for the damaged Forcados 48-Inch Export Pipeline some time ago, stressing unequivocally that Tompolo does not have a link with the new militant group or any other group.
According to the press release: “He is not part of the group. It is very unfortunate that Tompolo is still being accused of pipeline vandalism despite several press releases he has made, denying his involvement in the renewed hostility in the Niger Delta region. Since the declaration of the Presidential amnesty programme by late President Yar’Adua in 2009 which he wholeheartedly embraced and accepted he has sworn not to be part of arm struggle either overtly or covertly.”
The statement added that;”Most Nigerians, if not all, are aware of the role Tompolo played in protecting crude oil and gas facilities during the last administration, and he is still doing that for the love of country, humanity and out of patriotism. “Tompolo is very happy with his achievements through non-violence advocacy since the enthronement of the 2009 Presidential amnesty for the Niger Delta region, particularly, in the coastal areas. For instance, the establishment of the first maritime university and a dock/ship building yard and other good things which space and time will not permit us to mention.”
Comrade Bebenimibo stated that it is unreasonable and unimaginable to associate Tompolo with any person(s) or group involved in pipeline vandalism, just as the Media Adviser and Consultant to Tompolo intimated President Muhammadu Buhari and the security agencies in the country that, some members of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, particularly from Bayelsa and Delta States are not happy with the President “because they have not gotten anything from him after almost a year since he assumed office by way of appointments and contracts, therefore some of them are involved in nefarious activities in the oil and gas sector so as to be engaged in pipeline surveillance.We are aware of how such persons are chasing the Minister of Petroleum for State, Dr Ibe Kachukwu around”, the press release also stated.
Tompolo has said on many occasions that he will not resort to violence because of his case with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, as his legal team is working towards resolving the issue.
“It is his prayer to God Almighty to see him through in these trying times,” the statement concluded.
Reported by Dennis Otu, Warri.