The Federal Government of Nigeria last month, awarded the surveillance and security of the nation’s pipelines in the Niger Delta region to the leader of the moribund Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta MEND, Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo.
According to the FG, the award of the contract to Tompolo was based on his company’s proximity to the region, and the interests it had in the community.
But a former warlord and Founder, Niger-Delta People Volunteer Force, NDPVF, Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, has cautioned Tompolo, and soldiers working with him, to keep away from oil pipelines in his Kalabari territory, Rivers State.
In what is beginning to look like a battle for the soul of the region, Dokubo-Asari, said the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, spite him by awarding the pipeline surveillance contract in Rivers State to Tompolo, bragged in a viral record that he would serve it hot to anybody who entered his Kalabari homeland in connection with an oil pipeline.
He also said he would prefer to collaborate with President Muhammadu Buhari than with detained Nnamdi Kanu, who he accused of carrying out genocide in Igboland.
Dokubo-Asari said: “You (Tompolo) took pipeline contract in Delta, your place, and then you come to Kalabari to take pipeline contract because you are an Ijaw man; because only you know how to chop (eat).
“You take from Gbaramatu land, you take Itsekiri people own (portion), you take Urhobo people own (portion), you take Isoko people own (portion), you take Kwale people own (portion), you take all.
“You take the whole of Bayelsa own (portion), and then you come to Kalabari. If Timipre Sylva gave you because he wants to clip my wings, when he was a House of Assembly member, did I clip his wing?
“I am older than he is. When he was governor, did I clip his wings?
“That I am becoming too powerful, so he connived and gave pipeline contract so that he will destroy what we are doing to make the government he is part of, stable.
“Therefore, he brought Tompolo and Tompolo gathered people and told them he would buy guns and give them. Let them come.
“I am not boasting. I think soldiers will guide him here. Let them come. I did not talk about Rivers state. I said Kalabari. They cannot take it. Let them take any place they like, not Kalabari.
“You are collecting over N4.5 billion a month for doing nothing and people come to Oporoza to support you.
“Leave the pipeline in Kalabari here, you cannot take it. Take other places, it is Ijaw land, yes. But this one in Kalabari, you cannot take it.”
Maintaining that Tompolo did not save him as some people purported, he asked, “Where did Tompolo save me? I am the one that saved Tompolo.
“People are alive, they know. Does Tompolo leave Oporoza? Does he not know me? Saved me where, how?
“I took my things there. I went to fight them with my men. When I want my things back, they did not agree to give me.
“Tompolo brought 48 rifles for me which I take go. Did they give me one human being? I take my boat go, I take my guns to go, I take my General Purpose Machine Gun, GPMG go, take my rocket launchers go in 1998/1999, 2003(sic).
“Igbo blood flows in my vein, so that is it. I come from five generations of educated people; I went to the school when some of you were in the bush.
“If anybody has betrayed Ijaw nation, they are the ones. Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, is dead today.
“Even the amnesty they took is sabotaged because of them. In their greed to have everything to themselves, they destroyed everything.
“‘We want to take chairman, managing director of NDDC. I must be the person to nominate, NDDC, NIMASA, I must be the person to nominate’.
“These are the people and betrayers, evil men that have kept Ijaw land like this, believing that they must have everything at the expense of other people,” he said.