This came as soldiers also, yesterday, invaded Oporoza, headquarters of Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State and home base of ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo. The troops, who arrived the community in two gunboats, were in search of members of Niger Delta Avengers, the militant group that resumed bombing of oil installations in the state.
The military men, who came at 12.30a.m., laid siege to the community until about 5a.m., when they departed. A source said the Army reportedly acted on intelligence report that the militants had secretly converged on the community.
However, the Pere (traditional ruler) of Gbaramatu Kingdom, HRM Oboro-Gbaraun II, Aketekpe Agadaba, who expressed fears over the development, yesterday, offered to mediate in the face-off between the Federal Government and Tompolo, despite his dissatisfaction over neglect of the kingdom by government.
But the Niger-Delta Avengers, which earlier claimed that it had no link with Tompolo and in fact, issued him a three-day ultimatum for denouncing the group, remained unperturbed, as it said it had concluded plans to extend its attacks to Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Calabar. A source said leaders of the militant group reviewed their operations, weekend, and expressed satisfaction that it was able to effortlessly cripple oil operations in Delta State and was willing to continue with the bombings, if President Buhari failed to address their demands.
Meanwhile,Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Co-ordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP, Brig-Gen. Paul Boroh (retd), expressed confidence in the ability of the military and other security agencies to apprehend those behind the recent sabotage of oil and gas pipelines in the Niger Delta.
“None of these elements will go unpunished for their nefarious acts against the interest of the nation,” Boroh warned. Boroh, who spoke in Abuja, said following the presidential directive to arrest the situation, he was confident that the perpetrators will be arrested soon.