Former militant commander in the Niger Delta region, Government Ekpemupolo, popularly referred to as Tompolo, has denied giving President Muhammadu Buhari any ultimatum to withdraw soldiers from the region.
The Niger Delta warlord had reportedly given the president an ultimatum to withdraw his soldiers from their region or they would continue blowing up oil pipelines in the area.
A reports had also surfaced where Tompolo allegedly asked his boys to blow up pipelines if the soldiers remained on his heels following a court order to ensure his arrest. But according to reports, Tompolo, on Monday, February 22, denied issuing any ultimatum to President Buhari to withdraw military from the region or he would blow up oil pipelines.
Paul Bebenimibo, who spoke on behalf of the former militant, said the purported statement was trending on social media, adding: “We wish to state categorically that the said publication is not from Tompolo, rather it is the work of those that have sworn to kill him by all means, but Jehovah God forbid.
“Tompolo has stated before now, that he will not resort to violence or destroy oil facilities because of the issue he is having with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
“No amount of provocation and persecution can make him to destroy the country that he has helped to build in recent time. He will wisely continue to pursue his course legally.”
The media adviser to Tompolo also added that, “It is his (Tompolo) prayer for those that are pushing for his death to have a re-think as he believes fervently in Jehovah God, who sees the heart of every human being, knows that he has no evil intention against Nigeria or any individual.
Therefore, he will come out stronger in the face of these temptations and trials.” Meanwhile, there is trouble in the Niger Delta region over the recent moves by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to confiscate assets belonging to Tompolo.
Over the weekend there were divergent views regarding the verdict of a federal high court in Lagos. The court ordered the confiscation of assets belonging Tompolo, the ex-General Officer Commanding (GOC), Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND). And some Niger Delta activists declined to speak on the matter saying Tompolo should have complied with the order to appear before the court, especially after a bench warrant on him was renewed.
This even as the Igba of Warri, Chief (Mrs) Rita Lori Ogbebor has called on the warlord to turn himself in to security agents.
Speaking at a Maritime Summit held by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council in conjunction with Tell Magazine, she called on the ex-warlord to turn himself in to the country’s security operatives’
‘Of course he knows he has to come out, I am not the kind of leader that says because he is from my area and I will support him, he need to come out of hiding to come and state his own side of the story, the Federal Government has asked him to come out so he need to come out’ she said.