Embattled former militant leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo (Tompolo) has revealed how the military sacked his hometown – Gbaramatu Kingdom and took away the symbol of authority from the Egbesu Shrine and other valuables in Oporoza community during the May 28, 2016 invasion.
He also has called on the leaders of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) to call off the group’s campaign and sign on to federal government’s dialogue option.
Tompolo who is rumoured to have fled to Libya, expressed the belief that the federal government was serious about ending the oil-rich region’s intermittent armed struggling.
Tompolo also reiterated his earlier claim of not being involved in the formation or operations of the dreaded militant group, the Avengers, adding that the group’s activities had only given vent to rumour peddling from those intent on implicating and profiteering from the Niger Delta crisis.
He, however, advised those operating the militant group to call it off, take advantage of government’s call for dialogue as their activities were rubbing off negatively on the Niger Delta region and its peoples.
“I wish to once again write the members of the Niger Delta Avengers to embrace the Federal Government dialogue option as a way out of the brewing crisis in the Niger Delta region. As I have said before now, I do not know you and how to reach you except through the mass media, therefore it is high time you stopped the bombing and destruction of crude oil facilities in the Niger Delta region.
“One thing you guys may not be aware of is that, you have not only succeeded in militarizing the Niger Delta region now, but also succeeded in given birth to so many negotiators and political jobbers within the government circle, who are very serious rumour peddlers in the country now.
“I wish to reiterate that you guys must stop the bombing and destruction of oil facilities in the Niger Delta region now and embrace the dialogue option from the Federal Government as it is (dialogue) the only pragmatic means in resolving a crisis no matter huge and complicated such crisis is.
“I believe fervently that the Government is serious and willing to end this re-occurring crisis in the Niger Delta region. Enough is enough”, Tompolo said.
He expressed displeasure at the manner in which the military personnel who carried out the recent operations in some Gbaramatu communities allegedly violated the communities, especially his Oporoza home community, and dislocated the people’s everyday life.
“As for the people of Gbaramatu kingdom, they have not known peace since you guys started the bombing of oil facilities as they have been harassed, intimidated, violated and invaded on daily bases by the Nigerian Military under the guise of looking for members of your group (Niger Delta Avengers) and my humble self, who they have criminally and wickedly linked to the Niger Delta Avengers.
“Presently all communities in Gbaramatu kingdom have been disserted by residents for fear of a repeat of the 2009 military invasion, which still leave the communities in shambles. Even till now, the military has not returned the symbol of authority they took away from the Egbesu Shrine and other valuables in Oporoza community during the May 28, 2016 invasion.
“It is pertinent to state that I have not heard and seen in any part of Nigeria, even the most volatile North Eastern part of Nigeria,where Boko Haram has been killing innocent people, the way and manner the Military desecrated the traditional worship centres in Gbaramatu Kingdom. This is a clear oppression and intimidation of the peace loving people of Gbaramatu Kingdom”, he said.