The Federal Government has been warned to drop its plan to arrest the former militant leader of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Chief Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo on the grounds that it would be counter-productive.
This warning was issued by youths from Gbaramatu kingdom in Warri, Delta State, yesterday who threatened that they would not allow their kinsman be humiliated.
A frontline Niger Delta youth leader, Azaiye Piniki, who spoke on behalf of Gbaramatu youths in Warri, said what Tompolo is facing was politically engineered; noting that the resultant effect of the ex-militant’s arrest could destroy the fragile peace in the country.
Tompolo was declared wanted by a Federal High Court after repeatedly refusing to honour summons to do so to face charges brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
They also rejected the government’s proposal to scrap the Nigerian Maritime University project proposed by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) saying it was also politically motivated. Piniki noted that, the university would provide jobs for unemployed Nigerians and further stem the tide of youth restiveness in the riverine communities of the Niger Delta region.
“Before the government took that decision, it was expected that the Minister should have visited the site for on-the-spot assessment of the extent of work done and not sit in Abuja and cancel a project of such magnitude, which is capable of making the economy of the area to boom, thereby raising the standard of living in the area.
“So, I’m joining very many other Nigerians to advise the Minister of Transport to urgently retrieve the statement which I believe might possibly be a slip of tongue and visit the area to see things for himself,” he said.
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