—Nigerian Army killed my father on the order of the President
—Urged Mr. President to learn from the recent happenings
Niger Delta activist and founder of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, yesterday declared that he has been marked as a state enemy by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration because of his natural and open association with his kinsman and former President of the Federal Republic of the Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, coupled with his support for the Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa during the 2016 Gubernatorial election in the state which every political key indicator was against the anointed All Progressive Congress, APC candidate of the Federal Government, Chief Timipre Sylver.
He stated this recently in a release announcing the forthcoming one-year remembrance of his father, the Late Chief Thomas Osen Ekpemupolo, the Ibe-Ebidouwei of Ijaw Nation, billed for Thursday 7th, September 2017.
The release also stated that the late Chief Thomas was killed by the Nigerian Army as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government of Nigeria, on September 7, 2016.
According to him, in an orchestrated plot the Nigerian Army was unleashed on the Gbaramatu Kingdom in search of me, and the rampaging soldiers stormed my father’s home in Kurutie Town, physically brutalized him to the point of death. He sustained injuries in one of his legs and due to lack of medical facilities in the area he could not be treated and could also not be timely evacuated because of the siege and blockade by the Nigerian Army. By the time he was taken to Warri after many days, the doctors advised that the lower limb of the injured leg be amputated due to infection, unfortunately, a few days after as a result of the physical brutality meted out to him by soldiers of the Nigerian Army, his sustained injuries led to his death.
Since then, according to the freedom fighter, the President Muhammadu Buhari administration and the Nigerian Army has not found it worthy to set up any committee inquiries or conduct a corona inquest to look into the circumstance that led to the death of my beloved father. Our father’s life was brutally cut short on the orders of President Buhari by soldiers of the Nigerian Army. My family has been painfully deprived of the love of its great Patriarch. The death of my father in the hands of the Federal Government of Nigeria is in the tradition of a long list of martyred Ijaws and Niger Deltans who dare to ask for a better and equitable participation in the management of the oil and gas wealth taken from our very ancestral soil. The Ijaw freedom icon, Maj. Isaac Adaka Jasper Boro, the Ogoni rights leader Ken Saro Wiwa and numerous young men and women in the Niger Delta have paid the ultimate price of freedom with their lives
According to the release, the high Chief was quoted as saying that his bank accounts remain frozen on the order of Mr President thereby financially incapacitating him from performing natural obligations as a father such as payment of his daughter’s and other dependents tuition fees and sundry expenses in Nigeria while the president’s children have schooled or may still be in the process of schooling in highly rated Universities in the United Kingdom (UK) surely with funds derived from proceeds of the oil and gas resources in the Niger Delta.
In the same fashion, the Niger Delta leader stressed that It would be proper to assume that President Muhammadu Buhari now appreciates the value of human life having been humbled by his recent experiences with ill health, a reminder of the frailty and mortality of human existence. God is the supreme arbiter of the universe and each and every one of us cannot escape the karma of divine retribution. While on all of his medical tourism and sojourn in world class medical facilities in the UK, which bills were paid with proceeds ultimately derived from crude oil and gas revenue in my backyard, the mass of the Niger Delta people and Nigerians continue to be denied access to basic health facilities. Furthermore, I wish to use this medium to advise Mr. President to turn a new leaf and seek the true face of God who has given him a new lease of life. His life has been saved while he orders the destruction of others.
Authenticating his claim as a law abiding and development oriented citizen, High Chief Government, added that he is sure by now Vice President Yemi Osinbajo would have briefed you, Mr. President, as is expected of government protocols, about his visit to the take-off campus of the Nigerian Maritime University with standing structures and world class facilities is a testament to my personal values of hard work, probity and accountability. The Vice President and other government functionaries will bear witness to the monumental facilities in place that could be assumed to have been sold far below its true value. On the contrary, it means that your Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi riding on the wave of victory and new found political power and motivated by hate and vengeance lied out right when he claimed that I sold an empty stretch of land to the Federal Government of Nigeria. I understand that Rotimi Amaechi is a high-stake investor with campaign funds that ushered in your regime and as such he now seems insulated from the deliberate mischief and quagmire that he has dug your government into. I hope you have realized that I was falsely accused.
According to the peace advocate, It is a great travesty of social justice to and disdain for us that we are being persecuted instead of praise for our personal efforts where government failed in its responsibilities, all for the building of the Maritime University in the Gbaramatu Kingdom, a place hosting over eight flow stations in the oil industry and the Niger Delta where over 90% of Nigeria’s revenue is derived from. In this context, it will not be out of place to ask the juxtaposing question of what economic significance is your hometown Daura, which you approved construction of a railway line to, and the construction of a helipad with revenue derived from oil and gas in the Niger Delta region? The wealth of the Niger Delta is being freely appropriated and vigorously used to fund the reconstruction of the North East and other parts of Nigeria, on the contrary after much diplomacy of pleading by Ijaws and other well meaning Nigerians we earnestly await the commencement of academic activities at the Maritime University Okerenkoko.
Also, Let me use this medium to also inform the world that the Nigerian Navy under the behest of President Buhari administration has looted my Waterfront and Jetty facilities in Edjeba, Warri, maliciously and unlawfully seized by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission EFCC. In the last taken inventory of my facility, there was over 10 billions naira worth of building and other materials in the Jetty, but information reaching me now has it that the Jetty has been stripped bare by service personnel of the Joint Task Force [JTF] Some of the materials presumably have been taken to Northern Nigeria. How could this happen under your watch? As rightly observed by other well-meaning Nigerians, let me echo their thoughts by asking ‘where is the much touted anti-corruption crusade? Queried the Ijaw leader.
Bemoaning the environmental degradation and abject poverty that his community contend with daily, the security expert said that the problem of environmental despoliation and degradation and issues of political, economic and social injustice and inequalities arising out of the oil and gas explorations aided by the policies of the Federal Government of Nigeria still looms larger by the day. Intimidation and threat is now employed to cow Niger Deltans in the place of engagement and positive tangibles.
Without allowing the above to dampen his spirit, the resolute Tompolo told his people that, as we mourn and remember our late patriarch, the Late Chief Thomas Osen Ekpemupolo, we will seek justice to apprehend and hold accountable the very soldiers responsible for his murder so that he can finally rest in peace and we his descendants can be fulfilled. I will also not be deterred by persecution and state act of terror against my person and communities in Ijaw land in the quest for the emancipation of our land and people.
Narrating his ordeal in the hands of the President Buhari led Federal Government, he recalled that in the wake of the renewed hostilities and destruction of crude oil facilities by unknown persons in the Niger Delta region last year, the powers that be now found an ample opportunity to frame me on trumped up accusations and charges, subsequently I was falsely and maliciously accused by the Federal Government of Nigeria as the brain behind the then unrest. In furtherance of my persecution, I was accused by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of fraudulently selling a stretch of land to the government for 13billon naira.
A visit to Okerenkoko reveals that the whole town is wearing a new look in preparation for the ceremony which comes up as stated above. To the people, they are planning to turn this ceremony to a carnival of the sort in appreciation of a man they described as their benefactor.