In an open letter the Former militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo, has written to President Muhammadu Buhari, asking that the military should return his symbol of authority as the
chief priest of Egbesu Shrine, Oporoza, Gbaramatu Kingdom, removed from the traditional temple about a month ago.
In an open letter written yesterday to the president, Tompolo said his symbol of authority was taken about 31 days ago, when soldiers invaded Oporoza to look for him on allegation that he was behind the bombing of oil facilities in the region. He added that they also placed the traditional ruler of Gbaramatu kingdom under house arrest for one week.
He said: “As I said in my previous publications, the military made away with the symbol of authority of the Gbaramatu people from the Egbesu Shrine, which I am the Chief Priest. They also made away with other valuables worth several millions of naira from the community.
“The most annoying one is the purported arrest of 10 young promising men, most of whom are orphans, who are secondary school students, sitting for the West African Senior Secondary School Examinations (WASSCE) and other palace staff, and labelled them as members of the Niger Delta Avengers.
“As I write you now, these innocent young promising men are still with your military for no reason. This is truly man’s inhumanity to man in our own country. We are presently being treated like conquered people because of crude oil.”
Tompolo said he was appealing to the President, “to please kindly direct your army to return the looted items, including the symbol of authority, and also release those innocent young men to continue their academic programme, even though they have missed the WASSCE for this year.
“Mr President, remember, there is no condition that is permanent. I have kept faith in this country. I have contributed in no small measure to the development of this country. It is my prayer that God Almighty should preserve me to meet you again to tell you my side of the numerous stories you have been inundated about me.
“This was how they arrested Chevron Nigeria Limited Staff on routine duty in Kokodiagbene community of Gbaramatu kingdom, and labelled them members of Niger Delta Avengers. It took spirited effort by leaders of the kingdom and other well -meaning Nigerians to convince the military, that the arrested men were not involved in pipeline destruction.”
He noted further that: “Mr President Sir, please permit me to quickly recall a similar incident that occurred in May, 2009, when this same military invaded several communities in Gbaramatu kingdom.
I am still in a great shock as the only developmental project, Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, established by the previous administration in 2014 in the coastal area of the Niger Delta region to meet the yearnings and the aspiration of the people, is yet to commence academic session.Even though all is set for University’s take off,” Tompolo said.