Tuesday, September 20, 2022


The people of states that constitute the Niger Delta are currently enveloped by trepidation over the uncertainty that trails the pipeline surveillance contract awarded to Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo.

Tompolo is expected to lead the protection of oil pipelines across the six South-South States – Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Rivers.

Despite an initial vehement opposition, the President Buhari administration engaged Tompolo due to increasing oil theft in the region.

The deal was sealed by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Nigeria was producing around 1.6 million barrels per day as of July 2021. However, by July 2022, the output had dropped to around 1.1 million.

But the decision to recruit the ex-commander of the defunct Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) has opened up an old wound of animosity among former militant leaders.

Top on the list of those agitated are HRH Ateke Tom (Amanyanabo of Okochiri Kingdom) and Mujahid Asari Dokubo (Edi Abali 1 of Kalabari), whose supporters have threatened war.

Dokubo has been more vocal, questioning why another person was employed to guard the 83 kilometres of pipelines in his Kalabari territory of Rivers.

Tompolo is from Delta. The chief priest of the Egbesu deity is a High Chief of Oporoza, the traditional headquarters of Gbaramatu Kingdom.

Prominent Itsekiri leader, Chief Mrs Rita Lori-Ogbebor believes the authorities were wrong to have handed the pipeline security job to only Tompolo.

The Igba of Warri Kingdom said the insecurity Nigerians should worry about “is not the type going on in the North, but that of the Niger Delta”.

“What we have today will be a child’s play if the insecurity fully manifests. If it has not, it will soon do so in another few months”, Daily Post quoted him as saying.

But an Ijaw leader, Dr. Clarkson Aribogha said violence won’t solve the issue, and advised Dokubo and others to make peace with Tompolo.

Warning against “wrong step”, he asked if the defunct Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force (NDPVF) leader is fighting an “Ijaw struggle, Kalabari struggle or personality egoistic struggle”.

Aribogha further informed Dokubo that the government does not give contracts to a person who is uninterested or did not apply.

“Contract award is never by political appointment or civil service recruitment, but based on fulfilling requirements – integrity, capacity, trustworthiness and acceptance.”

Credit : Biafranupdate

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