•Otuaro calls for Peace
•Clark says he was told Tompolo’s father’s leg was amputated due to military brutality and was in shock over his death
•IYC says the struggle continues
WARRI – Barely 24 hours after the death of Tompolo’s father Chief Thomas Ekpemupolo, the Tunteriwei of Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State, prominent individuals and various groups in the region have condole with the bereaved family.
It was however, reported that Chief Thomas died at Lily Clinic, Warri, in Warri South Local Government Area of the State due to alleged military brutality meted out on the 84 years old father of the ex militant leader, Chief Tompolo weeks after that saw the amputation of his lower limbs, since then he was said to have been battling with his life until his eventual demise on Wednesday.
OTUARO IN TEARS
The Deputy Governor of Delta State, His Excellency, Barr. (Deacon) Kingsley Burutu Otuaro reacting to the death of the Tunteriwei of the Kingdom admonished the Pere of Gbaramatu kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Oboro Gbaraun II and High Chief Government Ekpemupolo to be comforted in the Lord while canvassing the ex militant leader to support the Chief Edwin Clark led dialogue team
“My heartfelt condolences to His Royal Majesty, the Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom and the Ijaw nation at large on the unfortunate death of Chief T.O. Ekpemupolo, the Tunteriwei of Gbaramatu Kingdom . I want Chief Tompolo to be comforted in the Lord and I also urge him to be firm on his support for Chief Clark’s dialogue team on President Buhari’s initiated engagement processes which we believe is beyond rhetorics that would expedite the developmental narratives of the Niger Delta. The values of dialogue, peace, security and development are not opposing but complimentary values and our prayers are with President Buhari accordingly.”
Deacon Kingsley, also stressed that peace, dialogue and other values will change the narratives of the Niger Delta in which according to him will fast tract development to the region.
CHIEF CLARK IN SHOCK OVER THE DEATH
On his part, the Niger Delta statesman and a former federal information minister, Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark alleges that the death of Chief Thomas Ekpemupolo, Tompolo’s father came to him as a shocker.
This was contained in a brief but powerful statement personally issued to condole with the people of Gbaramatu while calling on the Kingdom to embrace peace despite what has befallen it.
The statement read. “The death of Chief Thomas Ekpemupolo came to me as a surprise. When I was in Warri, last week, I asked of him and they told me that he sustained injuries when the military came to Kurutie and they took him to hospital where his leg was amputated. These are some of the collateral damages we are trying to avoid, but I urge the people of Gbaramatu kingdom to embrace peace, despite what happened.” Chief Clark asserted.
EKPEMUPOLO’S DEATH IS PAINFUL AND UNFORTUNATE – IYC
However, in a similar manner, the umbrella body covering all Ijaws Worldwide, the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC have also described the death of Chief Thomas Ekpemupolo as painful and unfortunate, stressing that the mere fact that he gave up the ghost due to the military brutality is worrisome.
This was contained in a condolence message issued by the Spokesman of IYC, Barr. Eric Omare in Warri yesterday condemned the act while alleging that Tompolo’s father died as a result of military unlawful invasion of innocent people and communities of the Niger Delta.
According to the statement, Omare explained that Chief Thomas has paid the supreme price for the Niger Delta people and cause.
“The IYC received with shock the demise of Chief Ekpemupolo, father of Chief Government Ekpemupolo in the early hours of Wednesday September 7, 2016 in Warri Delta State. The death is unfortunate and painful especially considering the fact that he died why suffering from the injuries sustained why running from military rampage on Kurutie Community, Gbaramatu Kingdom early this year. Indeed, Chief Ekpemupolo is a victim of military unlawful invasion of innocent people and communities of the Niger Delta region in the name of looking for militants. Chief Ekpemupolo has paid the supreme price for the Niger Delta people and cause. The IYC sympathize with the Ekpemupolo family, the Gbaramatu Kingdom and the Ijaw Nation on this untimely d smile. However, the struggle for the betterment of the Niger Delta people continues”. The IYC stated.
REMAIN CALM AND BEAR THIS HUGE LOSS – GBARAMATU TRADITIONAL COUNCIL
The Gbaramatu Traditional Council of Chiefs, have urged sons and daughters of the Kingdom to remain calm and bear the great loss, while noting that the death was indeed painful.
Chief Godspower Gbenekama, the acting secretary and Chief mobiliser of the Kingdom in a condolence message discloses to Gbaramatu Voice Newspaper.
The statement read in part. “And to the family of Ekpemupolo, despite the fact that the circumstances surrounding his death is painful,i will plead with them to remain calm. Let them take it as a prize that the Gbaramatu and Chief Ekpemupolo family had to pay again for peace and development to come to Gbaramatu. He is a patriot. We regret his death but this man has lived a fulfilled life, let everybody be calm”
It added. “We regret the passing away of our great Chief Thomas Ekpemupolo,the Tunteriwei of Gbaramatu Kingdom.His death is so painful but he has lived a fulfilled life.
“Just that circumstances surrounding his death was painful because he died out of injury he sustained from the harassment of military men.
“It is quite painful, but we appeal to all sons and daughters of Gbaramatu Kingdom to remain calm and bear the huge loss of our illustrious father and let us take it as if we have lost a patriot and patriarch.
“Let us take it as if he has died to bring peace and development to the Niger Delta and Gbaramatu Kingdom in particular.
“To the military,we have had this kind of harassment for too long, if they have to carryout their duty, let them carry it out with some form of decorum. We have had too many death on account of military invasion.
“We have to grieve. We have to use decorum. We have to be careful how we manage the present trying period. Every little thing we do will be misunderstood.”
WE RECEIVED THE NEWS AS A RUDE SHOCK –
The people of Kokodiagbene community in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State have also stated that they received the news of Ekpemupolo’s death as a rude shock.
While expressing their shock over his demise, the chairman Comrade Sheriff Mulade has described the death of Chief Thomas Ekpemukpolo, the 84 years old father of ex- militant, Chief Government Ekpemukpolo (Tompolo) as a shock to the people of Gbaramatu Kingdom.
Comrade Sheriff Mulade who is also the National Coordinator of CEPEJ in a press release in Warri, Delta State, while reacting to the death of Chief Ekpemukpolo said that; “The news came to us as a rude shock because he was a great gem. We did not expect to lose him at these trying times. We pray for courage and fortitude for his immediate family. We sympathise with his immediate family.”
“This is to render my deepest heartfelt condolences to the Ekpemukpolo family for the loss when his wealth of experience was most needed”, he said.
The Kokodiagbene Community Chairman added that; “The Ekpemukpolo family and the Gbaramatu Kingdom has lost a rear gem indeed. Chief Thomas Ekpemukpolo was indeed a foremost businessman and a committed community leader. He brought up his children in God fearing and lived an exemplary life”.
According to him; “His exit to the great beyond is indeed a painful loss to Gbaramatu Kingdom and Ijaw nation, Delta State and the entire country. May his soul rest in peace as we pray to God to give the Ekpemukpolo Family the fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss”.
IJAW NATION HAVE TRULY LOSS A MEGA STAR – OBOROTU
The people of Oborotu in Iduwini Kingdom, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State have described the excruciating death of Tompolo’s father as a terrible loss to Ijaw nation while stating that the ethnic nationality have truly loss a mega star.
This was contained in a statement signed and sent to the Gbaramatu Voice Newspaper yesterday at Warri by Engr. Papa Ralf, alias Paratus on behalf of Concern Oborotu Citizens.
According to the statement. ” The entire Ijaw nation and by extension the county at large is no doubt in a very precarious state, our very existence and continued survival is indeed under threat as our region is prone to uncertainties.
“We are using this medium to pray for the Ekpemupolo’s dynasty for God to give them the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss, most especially to Rt. Hon. Julius G. Pondi and Engr. Kestin Pondi to please accept our heartfelt sympathy, we mourn with you all the way.” It stated.