by Peters
03 June, 2021

Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo Photo
ex-Niger Delta militant, Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo
The threat by ex-Niger Delta militant, Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo, to cripple the economy of the nation if within seven days the federal government refused to inaugurate a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has started to gain traction.
A group known as the Niger Delta Volunteers for Good Governance, NDVGG, on Wednesday queued behind Tompolo in forcing the hand of government to accede to their demand. Recall that Tompolo, the Ibe-Ebidouwei of Ijaw Nation, had on Sunday May 31, 2021, handed down the seven-day ultimatum to inaugurate a Board “to avert a total breakdown of law and order that will equally affect crude oil exploration and exploitation activities in the region”.

He described the continuous running of the NDDC by a sole administrator at the instance of the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, as “undemocratic and anti-development, hence unacceptable to the people of the region” adding that it would likely set the region on fire, sooner than later” .

According to him, “The people of the region are averse to a one-man show in a commission that is supposed to attend to the developmental needs of nine states, namely, Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers”.

Throwing their weight behind the Gbaramatu warlord, NDVGG president, Ben Bowei, aka, Lord Mayor 1 of Niger Delta, said in Benin on Wednesday, that after exhausting all the available avenues for consultations, the group had no option but to join force with other groups, particularly the well respected ex-militant leader, in demanding for justice.
Bowei, a former national treasurer, Ijaw Youth Council, IYC worldwide, who also doubles as the Secretary-General, Edo Restoration Movement, explained that the decision to join Tompolo became necessary taking into consideration the injustice meted on the Niger Delta people, particularly Edo State.

Reading out the riot act to the federal government, Bowei said “We have come to the conclusion that after the 7-day ultimatum given to the Federal Government by our well respected leader, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo elapses, we are going to crumble all economic activities, particularly oil exploration, in the entire Niger Delta region.

“We have vowed to shut down all facilities which will crumble the economy of the nation unless the Federal Government does the needful by correcting the injustice meted on the people of the Niger Delta.

“Enough of this injustice done to us in our region. We will not accept it any longer, and I mean it! A single individual cannot take a whole region made up of millions of people for granted.

We are demanding that a substantive board for the NDDC be inaugurated immediately else, the government will see our other side. We are not joking. Immediately after the 7-day ultimatum elapses, we are going to strike”.

Bowei further threatened that they would take over the East-West Road and the NDDC office in Benin should the Federal Government fail to set up the Board, insisting that the Act establishing the NDDC does not recognise sole administrator, insisting that what obtains now is an aberration.

Bowei’s Edo Restoration Movement, which has as president Honesty Agingbatse, had some months ago protested the development in the NDDC where he demanded that a substantive Board be set up for the Commission, as required by the Act.

He stated then that the group decided to occupy the NDDC office in Benin because of the marginalisation of Edo State, and the Niger Delta in general.

High Chief Government Ekpemupolo (Tompolo)
The Ibe-Ebidouwei of Ijaw Nation