Former Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, Sunday, said he had no apology to offer to the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, a new militant group, which, last Tuesday, issued him a three-day ultimatum to act contrite for allegedly denunciation of the group and its violent activities. The Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, apex Ijaw youth organization, in a statement by its spokesperson, Mr. Eric Omare, threw its weight behind Tompolo.
It maintained that the militant group should not force him to support their destructive mission, just as the Centre for the Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ, and Ijaw Peoples Development Initiative, IPDI, condemned the resort to violence by Niger Delta Avengers.
Tompolo who spoke through his Media Adviser and Consultant, Mr. Paul Bebenimibo: “He (Tompolo) will not apologize to them (Niger Delta Avengers). “If not for his present issues with the Federal Government, he (Tompolo) would have gone after them and exposed them because they seem to make things difficult for him, as the government is pointing fingers at him, but he cannot do anything in his present situation,” Bebenimibo said.
He mentioned two prominent Itsekiri and Ijaw activists, both stalwarts of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Delta state, who he said, “are only looking for attention from the government, so they use the happenings to seek relevance from the government, they may be behind these guys.”
The militant group in a statement by its spokesperson, Col. Mudoch Agbinibo, May 3, took umbrage at Tompolo’s green light to servicing companies to go about their normal operations, particularly repair of the Forcados Terminal 48-inch pipeline.
It declared: “We hereby give you a three- day ultimatum to apologize to Niger Delta Avengers in the same national dailies as anything other than that will mean that we shall bring the war to your doorstep by blowing up all oil installations within your backyard (Gbaramatu Kingdom).”
The group alleged that the former General Officer Commanding, GOC, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, had “taken side with the Federal government to fight the Niger Delta people.” Two days after the ultimatum, the militant group on Thursday, May 5, bombed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC crude and gas lines and Well D25 in Abiteye, a key gas well operated by Chevron Nigeria Limited, CNL.