Wanted ex-leader of militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Government Ekpemupolo Tompolo has denied any involvement with the militant group Niger Delta Avengers.
In a statement issued in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Oporoza, Delta State, the ex-MEND leader decried what he described as the continuous military siege on him and his Gbaramatu Kingdom, saying it was unfortunate.
“I wish to humbly express my disappointment and displeasure with the Federal Government and the Nigerian Military on the continuous siege on me and Gbaramatu communities under the guise of looking for members of the nascent Niger Delta Avengers,” the statement read.
“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.
He described himself as “obviously a victim of circumstance 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 the 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 is 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 it out that Ayiri Emami and others accusing me of the destruction of oil facilities in part of the Delta are simply looking for relevance, recognition and pipeline surveillance contracts.
“If anyone doubts what I am saying, such should find out from the GMD and Minister of State for Petroleum (Ibe Kachikwu), because Ayiri and his likes have been troubling the Minister for pipeline surveillance contracts for some time now.
“The Minister has even succumbed to the Ayiri Emami gimmick by appointing some of his cronies as special advisers.
“The funny thing about Ayiri Emami is that he does not even have the capacity and goodwill to protect oil facilities.”
“When I had the one year pipeline surveillance contract in Delta State, Ayiri Emami was one of the directors of the company (Oil Facility Surveillance Limited) in 2012.
“He could not protect the oil facilities in his beat, and so I was the one that was equally doing his job. It is on record, and the authorities of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) can bear me witness, that even those in Bayelsa (Pajeros Nigeria Limited) and Rivers (Adef Energy Resoures Nigeria Limited) that had similar surveillance jobs like me, could not protect the oil facilities in their respective states.
“It is a pity that President Muhammadu Buhari and the Military do not know the kind of informants that are working with them. I want the whole world to know that I am not in competition with Ayiri Emami on pipeline surveillance contract. And so I wish to call on his acquaintances to call him to order, as there is no blessing in the path he is treading.
“Therefore, they (Federal Government) need to launch a thorough investigation into the issue, rather than harassing and intimidating the innocent Gbaramatu communities and the people, as this mode of operations by the military will not guarantee the desired peaceful atmosphere for continuous oil exploration activities by the Federal Government,” Tompolo stated.