Informed sources from the Niger Delta claim that former militant commander, Government Ekpemupolo, better known as Tompolo has ordered his boys to blow up more pipelines and plunge the nation into oil crisis if soldiers who have invaded Gbaramutu Kingdom in search of him, and ransacking the whole creeks, are not withdrawn.
The High Court sitting in Lagos had in January sought for the arrest over charges of corruption in excess of N30 Billion levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Tompolo, fearing humiliating arrest and detention had defied the court summons. The same court this week permitted the anti-graft agency to confiscate his assets.
This writer alluded in an earlier piece titled ‘War in the Creeks as Buhari, Tompolo Alliance Crumbles’ that “Tompolo had boasted to groups of people two months before the renewed Biafra protests of November 2015, why he cannot support Kanu when a big masquerade called Buhari had already begged him to pipe low. At that time Kanu was still posting his hate messages from London, Therefore, before that Biafran struggle too off, many ingredients were already compromised, including Tompolo factor”. I also explained in the piece that “militant leader Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo took his luck too far. Tompolo equated his alliance with Buhari to mean that he has the license from the Muslim North to do as he likes. Tompolo started harassing every political opponent who fails to worship Him, his views and his God. He arrogated to himself the status of a Niger Delta Godfather, and this did not go down well with some sources within the ruling party”.
This alliance crumbled because Tompolo failed to remove his hand from the Bayelsa Gubernatorial elections, and bent on supporting Dickson. The duo of ex-governor Rotimi Amechi and Timipre Sylva decided that the Tompolo factor in Niger Delta politics will have to end. EFCC which had opened a case file onhim since August last year, suddenly renewed efforts to capture him, especially after the ruling APC lost the Bayelsa elections. Human rights lawyer, Festus Keyamo, sworn enemy of Tompolo, who is also EFCC counsel, is laughing last.
The blown pipelines in Warri and Port Harcourt were largely attributed to him, though he has vehemently denied. Information at my modest disposal shows that he knows something about the blown pipelines. His boys did the job, but probably out of overzealousness, not on instructions from him.
The issue of Tompolo has divided Niger Delta Militants. Ramsey Mukoro, a prominent militant leader warning on Tompolo issue described it as witch-hunt. According to Mukoro” none of us is happy with what is happening to Tompolo and other Ijaw people who served under Jonathan, it is a tribal witch-hunt” Iwere Peace Movement, a group advocating for Ijaw Nation and through Mr. Merie Oritsejolomi and Johnbull Deghele Omadeli warned against the Tompolo crisis. According to the group “We see the EFCC charges against Tompolo as a plot to arrest him and keep him in detention like the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mr Nnamdi Kanu and the former National Security Adviser,NSA, Sambo Dasuki and murder him in detention”.
Another Niger Delta warlord, Mr Africanus Ukparasia also known as General Africa has dismissed the Tompolo threat and given government the assurances that there is nothing can do to destabilize the region, He even offered to help the security agencies dismantle the Tompolo factor. General Africa is still relevant in Niger Delta struggle.
NCWS Hails RSG’s Steps Against Illegal Refining
The President of the Rivers State Branch of the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS), Princess Mariam Tolofari, has commended the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, for taking decisive steps against illegal oil refining, air pollution and environmental degradation in the state.
Speaking to journalists in Port Harcourt, state president of NCWS maintained that Wike’s physical visit to some sites of the illegal refineries, mandating and supporting the state security agencies, local government chairmen and chiefs to swiftly end illegal refining has significantly reduced the menace of soot and its attendant environmental degradation and health hazard in the state.
Tolofari said that the governor’s resolve to end the soot in the state was heroic and valiant, while also backing the governor’s call on the Federal Government to respond to the issues giving rise to the soot epidemic in the state.
“We appreciate the governor for taking the bold initiative against operators of illegal refineries and the hydra-headed monster of black soot in Rivers State. We pledge to sustain and support a Green State that is healthy and beneficial to us all”, she said.
She further urged women to restrain their children and wards from joining persons engaged in ‘Kpo fire’ activities and ensure they stay focused in the pursuit of academic excellence and genuine business goals not associated to crime.
By: Nelson Chukwudi
Join War Against ‘Kpo Fire’, Monarchs Tell Rivers People
Some traditional rulers in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area have called on Rivers people to support the state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike on the war against illegal oil bunkering.
The traditional rulers include the Paramount Ruler of Woji community, Eze Emeka Ihunwo, the EzeRisi/Ohia Mbam Abali, Eze Christopher Wonodi, and the Paramount Ruler of Iriebe community, Eze Jeremiah Worenwu.
The monarchs, who spoke in their palaces on the issue, said the war against ‘Kpofire’was a collective one as the situation has reached a dangerous point.
They also dismissed the claim that unemployment was responsible for the menace, adding that there was no society in the world where government employs everybody.
They also noted that the stealing of crude oil did not start today.
Speaking, Paramount Ruler of Woji community, Eze Emeka Ihunwo, said the situation has taken a serious pitch, adding that a lot of lives were being lost as a result of the soot.
Ihunwo also described the action of the governor as timely.
According to the Woji monarch, those in the business of illegal oil bunkering do not know the health hazard they were causing to the people.
Ihunwo said that, in 2018,he invited the youths to his palace and mobilise them against operators of illegal refineries using Woji as conduit channel for evacuation of illegally refined products, and stressed that because of the collective understanding and collaboration of all stakeholders, Woji has not recorded any such criminal act within the community.
He, therefore, challenged other monarchs to emulate the Woji example.
The monarch also acknowledged a reduction in soot in the atmosphere in the state capital, while the amount of oil spill on surfaces of water has also reduced.
Also speaking, the Eze Risi/Ohia Mbam Abali, Eze Christopher Wonodi, said the intervention of the governor has saved the people of the state from series of health challenges.
Wonodi said it behooves the people of Rivers State to give their maximum support to the governor to succeed in eliminating the scourge of the soot pandemic in the state.
He also advised the youths to desist from the nefarious act and find other legitimate means of eking out aliving.
Wonodi also said that his kingdom has started sensitising the people against involvement in illegal oil bunkering.
On his part, the Paramount Ruler of Iriebe community, Eze Jeremiah Worenwu said Wike has shown that he has the capacity to solve societal problems.
Worenwu said that Iriebe community would comply fully with the governor’s directive to stop illegal oil bunkering, and warned those who may want to delve into the illegal business to stay away from the community.
While describing the governor’s action as welcome, the Iriebe monarch said the war against ‘Kpo fire’ needs the support of all members of the society, including the security agencies.
By: John Bibor, Oribim Ibama
ABOLGA Boss Declares Zero Tolerance On Oil Bunkering Activities
The Chairman of Abua/Odual Local Government Area, Hon. Daniel Daniel has thrown his weight behind the ongoing war against soot in Rivers State, assuring that his administration would do everything humanly possible to smoke out the criminal cartels involved in the illicit business.
The chairman, who declared that his administration would not condone activities of artisanal crude oil refineries in Abua/Odual, said he would demolish all illegal oil refining sites in the LGA, as directed by the state governor.
Speaking after visiting one of the uncovered artisanal crude oil bunkering sites in Odau Community, Daniel commended the efforts of the state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, for his relentless pursuit towards bringing to an end the menace called soot, which was threatening the very existence of the people in Rivers State.
He added that the practical steps taken by the governor within the last few weeks was yielding results.
Daniel used the opportunity to caution those who play politics with the fight against soot in the state to desist forthwith.
He further added that it was not proper to politicise this all important issue, which was causing harm to the environment and killing the people slowly.
The chairman called on all indigenes and residents of Abua/Odual Local Government Area to join forces to nip the danger posed by the soot the bud.
The ABOLGA chief executive alsosaid that anyone with useful information onthe locationsof the sites and names of operators where illegal oil bunkering activities are taking place within the area should report with immediate effect, to him or the DPO of the Abua/Odual Divisional Police Command for necessary action.
He disclosed that as the chairman of council, he has knowledge of all forests/communities in the LGA, adding that his administration would leave no stone unturned in implementing the directives of the state governor.
The site visited in Odau Community has over 15 boiling pots and occupies an estimated geographical area of over one hectare of land.
The Tide learnt that the site is bounded by communities from Ahoada-West LGA of Rivers State and Ogbia LGA in Bayelsa State.
Those who accompanied the chairman on the enforcement visit are the DPO of the Divisional Police Command and his men; the C4i LGA commander and his team of gallant men.
Others are the Chief of Staff to the Chairman, Hon. Okpokipoiy Peters; Supervisor for Environment, Hon Vincent Reuben Obu; and his works counterpart, Hon. Zinami Fyneroad Iwariso; Special Adviser on Inter-Party Affairs to the Chairman, Hon Alex Walters who is an indigene of the Odau Community, among others.
By: Nelson Chukwudi
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