Wanted ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, a.k.a.Tompolo, on Sunday made a solemn appeal from his hideout to rampaging militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers, to ceasefire, alluding that President Muhammadu Buhari-led government was ready to hold a dialogue with the group.
Tompolo also said last Saturday’s invasion of his home and Gbaramatu communities by the military in the name of searching for him and members of the NDA, had further proved his assertion that the Nigerian government was only interested in the Niger Delta oil.
In an appeal letter to members of the dreaded militant group, the former leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, personally signed by him, urged the group to retreat in the interest of the entire region.
Tompolo, who described himself as a man of peace, emphasised that he was neither a member nor a sponsor of the group, as some persons believed, stressing that he was only a victim of ethnic politics.
He asked the NDA 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 lamented that the actions of the group were causing his people in Gbaramatu kingdom both economy and psychological pains especially Saturday’s alleged invasion of their communities to ensure he was arrested by all means.
The ex-MEND leader added, “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.”