Just as the military stormed Gbamaturu Kingdom, Delta State, hometown of wanted former Nigerian militant commander, Mr. Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, the fugitive has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to stop hounding him, saying he supported former President Goodluck Jonathan in the last Presidential election not because he hated his challenger but out of conviction.
Jonathan lost his reelection bid by over two million votes.
In an open letter Monday, Tompolo told the President that some “anti-Ijaw elements’ around him were misleading him to see Ijaws as enemies.
“I do not think it was criminal for me to openly support one of my own, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for the presidency in 2015. I did so out of conviction not because I hate you or because you are a northerner. After all, most of my personal friends and acquaintances are from the north.
“To cap it all, the memories of my robust relationship with your Katsina brother, the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua are still painfully fresh and reminiscent of brotherliness,” the fugitive, who was recently declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on allegation of money laundering amongst other vices said.
He advised the president to avoid treading a “dangerous dimension” by seeing Ijaw people as enemies.
“I make bold to say that there are several APC elements within and around your government who see anything Ijaw as criminal and anti-Buhari. Unpretentiously too, certain non-Ijaw ethnic merchants cum bigots have expressly displayed open hatred for Ijaws in the Niger Delta region.
“Such persons have almost succeeded in warping a governmental mindset against Ijaws, whether in or outside your government. Please, Mr. President, this very dangerous dimension is avoidable by your government.
“They will be happy to see a ravaged Gbaramatu Kingdom and by extension, Ijaw land under the pretext of looking for me. This is a very dangerous template such persons are laying and it is only good for Mr. President to deploy the inner mind to stratify this unwholesome gimmick,” he added.
Meanwhile, soldiers invaded Gbamaturu in Warri South LGA early Monday in search of members of the Niger Delta Avenger, a new militant group that has claimed responsibility for the recent devastating attacks on strategic oil facilities in Delta State.
Tompolo has since distanced himself from the group.
According to reports, the military arrived in Oporoza, Gbamaturu at about 12.30am and departed around 5.30.am. No arrests were effected but their presence caused tension in the riverine town.