Reports have it that the former Niger-Delta militant leader, Government Ekpomupolo, a.k.a Tompolo is not in his best mood now, as he is gnashing his teeth with grief over the demise of his father, Thomas Osen Ekpemupolo, and he has started making plans on how to avenge his beloved father’s death, who allegedly passed on weeks after military torture.
A community source confirmed that the irate former militant leader has vowed to leave no stone unturned to avenge his father’s death.
“Chief Tompolo is very upset and he has vowed to do everything within his powers to fight the Nigerian army as a way of avenging his father’s death,” the source said.
Thomas Ekpemupolo, aged 84, died in the early hours of Wednesday at Lily Clinic, Deco Road Warri, Delta State.
Recall that during a military siege to root out members of the Niger-Delta Avengers in the community on May 28, Tompolo’s aged father was allegedly attacked by the army officers.
In an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari last month, the ex-militant leader said “the rough treatment” his father received in the hands of the soldiers led to the amputation of his lower limbs in July.
“From the doctor’s report, it will be a thing of miracle if he survives this incident,” said Tompolo, who was at large after he was declared wanted by the Nigerian government in February.
“Is this 84-year old man also a member of the Niger-Delta Avengers that they brutalized him to the point of death?”
Another community source said that there is danger looming on the horizon, as the Niger-Delta warlord has already started calling for meetings with a view to escalating militancy in the crisis-ridden oil-rich region.
“This is not a good sign at all because Tompolo has already started calling for meetings to resume the high level of militancy in Niger-Delta and you and I know that he has all it takes to blow up all the oil facilities in the region.
“The meetings are aimed at recruiting a sizable number of young people for his new militant group. There is fire on the mounting,” the community source bemoaned.
Reports say that the passing of Tompolo’s father may not bode well for the Federal Government’s olive branch to broker peace and proffer solution to the lingering Niger-Delta problem in order to boost crude oil production and rescue the country’s dwindling economy.
FG and Niger-Delta Avengers have agreed to enter into a dialogue to stem the rising tide of pipeline vandalism in the region but this latest development could botch up the arrangement.
The intensification of the destruction of oil facilities in the region by the militants since the inauguration of the Muhammadu Buhari administration is greatly undermining the nation’s economy.
It is for this reason that any genuine effort to stop the attacks on oil facilities in the region should be expedited. Latest figures show that Nigeria’s daily oil production average has plummeted to a lowly 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd). This is 900,000 barrels short of the 2.2m barrels benchmark in this year’s budget. The unfortunate situation has left the country heavily short of its revenue projections and reeling from its increasing inability to meet its obligations.
This scenario underscores the need for peace in the Niger-Delta and other parts of the country, to ensure wholesome socio-economic development. But the irate and aggrieved Tompolo, who has alleged that the military’s brutality against his late father led to his sudden death, could be fanning the ember of a full-blown war.
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