•This show of love will propel us into further action- Comrade Paul Bebenimibo
•Seek collaboration with Tompolo – Student bodies tell FG
For its unalloyed support to educational development in the Niger Delta through different scholarship programmes, the Tompolo Foundation was on Thursday December 28th, 2017 in Warri, conferred with two different awards by the National Association of Gbaramatu Students (NAGS) and the Law Students Association of Nigeria (LAWSAN).
Speaking at the award giving ceremony, President of the National Association of Gbaramatu Students (NAGS), Comrade Freeborn Abraye, stated that the award is in recognition of the relentless effort by the Foundation and the founder in seeing to the education of all the children of Gbaramatu origin most especially the less privileged.
In his words, “We have gathered today to honour this Foundation for its relentless efforts and contributions to the development of education in our kingdom. The Foundation has been helpful, as most of our parents ordinarily cannot afford our academic bills. It is on this note that the NAGS leadership want to appreciate the Foundation through this award.”
On their part, LAWSAN Spokesperson, Obiri Jonathan, said the purpose of the award is to celebrate the unparalleled contribution of High Chief Government Ekpemupolo and his Foundation to the development of education in Gbaramatu Kingdom and the Niger Delta region in general.
“It is a great pleasure for the Law Students Association of Nigeria (LAWSAN) that we traveled all the way from our campus to identify, partner and recognize the outstanding performance of Tompolo Foundation and with High Chief Government Ekpemupolo in educational support and development,” Obiri stated.
Responding on behalf of the Tompolo Foundation to the two different associations’ kind gesture, Comrade Paul Bebenimibo expressed gratitude to the student bodies and further affirmed their resolve in supporting the teeming knowledge hungry youths of the region via scholarships.
“We are indeed grateful for finding us worthy to be presented with this award and this will certainly spur us to do more. I want to assure you that the founder of Tompolo Foundation, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, has channeled all he has to the development of mankind having seen the high degree of poverty and he will continue to contribute to the empowerment and development of mankind.”
To register their grievance against the continuous witch hunting of the founder of the Foundation by the Federal Government, our correspondent gathered that the two student bodies staged a peaceful protest.
While addressing the protesters, Obiri Jonathan gave a telegraphic account of the deprivations of the Niger Delta people and the role High Chief Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo has played in his relentless effort to attract development to the Niger Delta region.
“The Niger Delta area has suffered in terms of poor regional underdevelopment. As a result of this, various persons have worked hard to ensure that the Niger Delta environment and region gets the needed development. One of such person is Major Jasper Adaka Boro of blessed memory; he tried his best but unfortunately he died.
“Other persons stood up again. We have the likes of journalist Ken Saro Wiwa who fought for the freedom and emancipation of the Niger Delta. He was hanged by the Nigerian military government. The situation was very pitiable until another messiah came up, and that messiah is none other than High Chief Government Ekpemupolo.
“So many persons took to arms agitations but as a result of the arms agitations started by our great leader, Niger Delta has seen the little, though minute development they are seeing today. But as a great leader who believes in diplomacy, he hearkened to the Presidential Amnesty Programme and this opened and made way for corrective justice in the achievement of education in the Niger Delta region.
“Many students as a result of this Amnesty Programme attained education degrees, masters, even PhD. But our great leader never stopped; rather he set up the Tompolo Foundation to further allay the fears of his people by providing education and health services for the people. And that is why the only clinic, the only cottage hospital at Okerenkoko in Gbaramatu Kingdom was formed by this same man for a very long time until the recent witch-hunt against him. He has saved many lives and helped many students to achieve their dreams.”
After listening to the detailed narrative of Comr. Obrii, the student bodies called on the Federal Government to stop the witch hunting of High Chief Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo and instead to seek collaboration through the Tompolo Foundation in driving developments in the Niger Delta region.
Also present at the award giving ceremony was the Director of Education, Tompolo Foundation, Mr. Jude Bebenimibo.