I Was Under Pressure To Convene Meeting – Tompolo

LEADER of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger-Delta, MEND, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo, explained, Friday, that he summoned Saturday’s meeting the of the militant group in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, because of the overpowering pressure mounted on him and other MEND leaders by ex-agitators and other beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme.

Tompolo confirmed there was apprehension in Ijaw land over the continued delay by the Federal Government in paying monthly stipends to the beneficiaries, adding that whilst some of them, leaders, understood the reason for the noticeable delay apparently caused by the scrutiny of government agencies, including the Amnesty Office, majority of the beneficiaries did not see it in that light.

His words, “While a few see the delay in the payment of their monthly stipends in the light of the need for the current government to settle in properly, others see the delay as a template to stop the programme. The expulsion of some students (home and overseas) by their schools and training institutions particularly has heightened these fears.”

The ex-militant leader, who is the Ibe-Ebidouwei of Izon nation is, however, flabbergasted that a section of the media mischievously linked the meeting to the stoppage of the his pipeline surveillance contract, even though payment had not been made for the services rendered in the renewed contract, or termination of appointments.

Describing is it as highly provocative and despicable; he said he was considering calling off the meeting, if anything, to show that he had no bad intention and would want Niger Delta to remain peaceful under the President Muhammadu Buhari government.

Vanguard gathered that leaders across the region had called Tompolo, yesterday, advising him to cancel the meeting, as the intention was likely to be misconstrued.

However, the group of MEND, which refused to disband after Tompolo and others disbanded the militant group in 2009, yesterday, in a statement by Jomo Gbomo, distanced itself from the meeting.

Source – vanguardngr.com

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