Arrest Order: Security Agents Storm Gbaramatu Kingdom In Search Of Tompolo
BEVERLY HILLS, January 17, (THEWILL) – Security operatives have invaded Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South West Local Government Area, LGA, of Delta state apparently to fish out the wanted former militant commander, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, better known as Tompolo.
This came as Tompolo’s foot-soldiers allegedly continue their random attack on oil and gas installations purportedly in protest of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos which issued a bench warrant for the ex-Niger Delta warlord's arrest.
It was gathered that the regrouped militants have continued the bombing of oil and gas facilities in creeks of the Niger Delta region at the weekend, thus forcing the deployment of heavily armed security agents to the area.
A source told THEWILL that the recalcitrant militants had used dynamite to blow up the Abiteye Flow Station belonging to Chevron as well as Alero gas pipeline, and another pipelines from Opuekeba to Dibi and Alero in Warri North LGA of the state on Friday.
Oil and gas workers are said to have already been evacuated from major oil and gas facilities in the area following the fear and tension created in the creeks. This is as construction work at ongoing projects in communities around Gbaramatu Kingdom have been grounded.
This development have prompted the navy and army to deployed several gunboats including the newly acquired frigates gunboat to the Gbaramatu creeks ostensibly to engage the ex-militant leader and his boys.
But reacting to these acts of militancy, the umbrella organization of Ijaw youths worldwide, the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC condemned the attack on oil and gas facilities in the state saying that residents of the communities where oil facilities were attacked would be the eventual victims of these attacks and ultimately the already degraded Niger Delta ecosystem.
The IYC also condemned the alleged military invasion of Gbaramatu communities, urging the military to exercise restraint as the Ijaw people are not at war with the federal government.
In a statement signed by the spokesman of the congress, Eric Omare, the group also warned against ethnic disharmony between the Ijaws and Itsekiri alleging that some persons were trying to fan the embers of discord between the two neighbouring ethnic group over the situation in the region.
The statement reads; “The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Worldwide condemn the attack on oil facilities in some parts of Delta State. The IYC is of the view that our people who are residents of the communities where oil facilities were attacked would be the eventual victims of these attacks and ultimately the already degraded Niger Delta ecosystem. We call for cessation of attacks from whoever is responsible.
“We also condemn the invasion of Ikpokpo, Saghara, Opuedebubo, Okpeleama and Tebujo, all Ijaw communities in Gbaramatu Kingdom of Delta State. People suffered different degrees of injury and wanton destruction of properties. The Ijaw people are not at war with the federal government. We call on the military to exercise restraint in their actions.
“There is no basis to attack innocent villagers especially when the Chief of Naval Staff has stated that the attacks were carried out by saboteurs and that the security agencies were on top of the situation.”
While warning against further attacks on innocent Ijaw people and communities, IYC stressed that residents of communities close to where oil facilities are situated should not be made to suffer for attacks they know nothing about.
The body also advise community leaders to refrain from encouraging inter-ethnic crisis in Delta State, noting that “We frowned at statements alluding to the possibility of an Ijaw and Itsekiri crisis as a result of the attacks on oil facilities.”
“While we strongly condemn the attacks on oil facilities, there is no basis for anybody to try to instigate a tribal war as a result. Politicians and Community should stop promoting inter-ethnic crisis because of political interest at the expense of the poor and innocent people who would suffer the effect of such crisis while they enjoy in the cities with their families,” the statement added.