One of the leading members of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) led by Chief Africanus Ukparasia, (aka) General Africa, yesterday condemned some former militant leaders from the region to absolve High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, (aka)Tompolo, over the recent bomb attacks on oil and gas pipelines in the Gbaranmatu Kingdom of Delta State.
General Africa said though the investigations are still being conducted by the federal government to unmask those behind the recent bomb attacks on some oil pipelines, but the preliminary investigations conducted by leading ex-militant leaders from the region showed that the bomb attacks were allegedly planned in Ondo State by the duo of Tompolo and an ex-militant leader known as General Shoot at Sight.
General Africa,who is a leading ex-militant leader from Bayelsa State and a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), noted that the attack was carried out to spite the federal government and to stop the arrest and prosecution of Tompolo.
Ukparasia in a statement issued yesterday in Yenagoa, said: “Tompolo and Gen. Shoot at Sight conspired to bomb the pipelines to send a message that they have the capacity to disrupt oil production and therefore cripple the economy of the country.”
“Tompolo was supplied with 19 metal outboard boats, while Gen. Shoot at Sight was supplied with 6 metal outboard boats prepared in Ayetoro community in Ilaje local government area of Ondo State. The boats which are mounted with double 200 Horse-powered engines each cost Tompolo and Gen. Shoot at Sight N1.2 million without the engines.”
Gen. Africa warned that any attempt to commence another round of militancy in the Niger Delta was a selfish agenda and called on the security agencies to quell it immediately, “we warn Tompolo that this time around, he will not have the opportunity of hiding away from the federal forces in his vessel like he did the last time when the federal troops ordered by late President Yar’adua went after him.”
“We are ready to assist the federal security agencies to fish Tompolo out from his hideout to face prosecution. Tompolo has since defeated their purpose for taking up arms against the Federal Government in the first place, as he has chosen to pursue a selfish agenda by blowing-up pipelines, thereby degrading the already devastated environment to further impoverish the suffering masses of the region who depend on the environment for their daily bread. “