The Pipelines Surveillance contract awarded by the Federal Government of Nigeria to ex-commander of the defunct Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) Niger Delta, “Government” Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, has attracted the ire of fellow former militant leaders in the region such as HRH Ateke Tom (Amanyanabo of Okochiri Kingdom) and Mujahid Asari Dokubo (Edi Abali 1 of Kalabari) and others, whose supporters have threatened total war.
Tompolo was engaged by the government due to increasing oil theft in the region. The deal was sealed by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). By the terms of the deal, Tompolo is expected to lead the protection of oil pipelines across the six South-South States – Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, and Rivers.
CPPBI warns that the Niger Delta could become another theater of war, if the brewing imbroglio is not speedily and satisfactorily resolved within the shortest space of time. Also to be considered is the wider economic implications of an outbreak of violence in a region where the country’s major source of revenue is located.
Mr. Tompolo, Asari Dokubo, Ateke Tom and other stakeholders in the region should give peace a chance as an outbreak of violence in the Niger Delta would be counterproductive for all parties involved. They should keep their swords sheathed to avoid an avoidable catastrophe.
CPPBI calls on the Nigerian Government, prominent Niger Delta leaders and other critical stakeholders to immediately rally to forestall the outbreak of a major conflict that could disrupt the relative peace in the zone by constructively engaging with the major actors and shadow parties in this conflict with a view to preventing a worst-case scenario.
Let’s give peace a chance!