I won’t succumb to Tompolo’s blackmail —Ayiri
By Emma Amaize
WARRI—EX-MILITANT leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, yesterday, cautioned that the current siege to Gbaramatu Kingdom, Delta State and manhunt for him by the military would not guarantee the desired peaceful atmosphere for uninterrupted oil exploration activities by the Federal Government.
Meanwhile, Itsekiri leader and Niger Delta activist, Chief Ayiri Emami, insisted, yesterday, that he would not capitulate to the intimidation of Tompolo.
Responding to comment against him by Tompolo, who accused him of fabricating lies against him, Emami said: “Whatever I am saying is the truth. It is the right thing I am saying.”
Tompolo, in a statement, said he was dismayed at the nonstop siege to Gbaramatu Kingdom and manhunt for him by both the Federal Government and Nigerian military under the guise of looking for members of Niger Delta Avengers, despite his numerous statements that he had nothing to do with the militant group.
He berated Itsekiri leader, Chief Ayiri Emami and others for allegedly giving bogus information about him, saying: “It baffles me that the Nigerian military has refused to believe me that I am not part of the group and its activities as contained in several media statements.
“I am obviously a victim of circumstances in this matter because of my case with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. How can I resort to destruction of oil facilities because of those trumped-up charges against me by EFCC, when my lawyers are already challenging the faulty process of legal service on me?
“If not for the common insinuation that the Nigerian judiciary is on trial, why would my case with the EFCC become the greatest issue in Nigeria today when there are so many important things to talk about?
“I am greatly touched and disappointed with the manner the Nigerian government and the military are being arm-twisted by the unfounded claims of Ayiri Emami and others that I am behind the Niger Delta Avengers group when there is no single proof to back the claim.
“May I once again point out that Ayiri Emami and others accusing me of the destruction of oil facilities in parts of the Delta State are simply looking for relevance, recognition and pipeline surveillance contracts. If anyone doubts what I am saying, they should find out from the GMD and Minister for State for Petroleum because Ayiri and his likes have been troubling the Minister for pipeline surveillance contracts for some time now.”
Reacting, Chief Emami said: “If I am lying, why did Delta State Government set up an Advocacy Committee to stop pipeline vandalism in the creeks of the state? Who is the committee, headed by the deputy governor, going to meet in the creeks? Is it Itsekiri militants or Ijaw militants?” Vanguard