Former leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), High Chief Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo, has suspended the seven days ultimatum issued to the Federal Government over the inauguration of a substantive board of the NDDC.
Tompolo, in a statement on Saturday, June 5, said he reluctantly took the decision following the consultative meeting held on Thursday, June 4, by leaders of the Ijaw nation and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio in Oporoza, headquarters of Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri Southwest Local Government Area of Delta State.
He explained that since the ultimatum was issued, concerns were expressed by Nigerians on the matter, particularly highly-placed individuals, which necessitated the Federal Government to take steps to resolve the vexed issue.
Tompolo further explained that he issued the ultimatum because of his love for the region and Nigeria and stressed that at no time will he ever be compromised by money and other material things.
He said: “As it stands now, I have accepted the outcome of the meeting reluctantly. It is pertinent to state at this juncture that, I do not want anything to disrupt the relative peace we are enjoying in the region. It was on this premise that I accepted the outcome of the meeting.
“The Minister promised profusely to start the process of the constitution and inauguration of the substantive board of the NDDC immediately (from Friday, June 4, 2021), and that he should be allowed to drive the process to an end on or before the end of June 2021.
“The ultimate goal in this issue, is for the Minister to abide by the promise he has made to start the process of constituting the NDDC board now. Government shenanigans must be put away in this matter as constituting the NDDC board is very dear to the heart of the people of the region.
The former warlord thanked Ijaw leader, Pa E.K. Clark, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and his deputy, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro as well as the national President of the Ijaw National Congress (INC), Professor Benjamin Okaba for their prompt intervention.
He also commended traditional rulers from the region, the Commander of Operation Delta Safe, Rear Admiral A. Hassan, leaders and youths of the various ethnic nationalities for their solidarity and expressed optimism that the government “will do the needful to develop the Niger Delta region as seen in advanced climes”.