Former Niger-Delta militant leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, has called on members of the Niger Delta Avengers smashing oil installations to ceasefire, assuring that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government was ready to hold a dialogue with the group.
The ex-MEND commander also averred that last Saturday’s invasion of his home and Gbaramatu communities by the military in search of him and members of the NDA had further proved his assertion that the federal government was only interested in the crude oil in Niger Delta.
Tompolo, who described himself as a man of peace, stressed that he was neither a member nor a sponsor of the resurgent militant group, as some persons believed, stressing that he was only a victim of ethnic politics.
He advised the Avengers to “put an end to this act of pipeline vandalism, as it will not do our dear country any good, especially in this critical period of our economic history.
“I still maintain that I know nothing about your group and the destruction of crude oil facilities in the Niger Delta region.
“That notwithstanding, for the love of country and out of patriotism, I wish to appeal to you once again to stop the bombing of oil facilities in the Niger Delta region, and embrace the path of dialogue with the Federal Government of Nigeria, as the government is ready to hear you out on whatever issues you wish to discuss with it.
“You guys know that I do not know you and how to reach you, except through the mass media. If truly as you guys claimed that you are fighting for the well-being of the people of the Niger Delta, then you must adhere to this appeal, otherwise, the world will label you as criminals
“Come to think of the consequences of your actions in the region so far, particularly as it affects me and the people of Gbaramatu kingdom. Just yesterday (Saturday), the Nigerian Army invaded the ancestral headquarters of the kingdom, Oporoza town, under the guise of looking for members of your group, particularly me, who they have wickedly linked to your group, and unleashed mayhem on the innocent people of the community,” Tompolo added.
He regretted that the actions of the group were causing his people in Gbaramatu kingdom both economic and psychological pains especially Saturday’s alleged invasion of their communities to ensure he was arrested by all means.
The former creek warrior continued, “and this happened in my absence as I am currently out of Gbaramatu kingdom, but what I gathered from some of the victims of the Army invasion is unspeakable. Even pots of soup were not spared. The Army has massively looted resident homes, desecrated traditional places of worship, committed sacrilege, abominations and what have you.”