A pan-Itsekeri organisation, the Warri Study Group, WSG, Sunday, asked the international community to hold President Goodluck Jonathan accountable if an ex-Niger Delta militant, Government Ekpemupolo, popularly called Tompolo, turned the seven decommissioned Norwegian battleships he recently acquired against the Itsekiri or other ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta.
The group, in a statement signed by its Chairman, Edward Ekpoko, and Secretary, Tony Ede, asked Jonathan to revoke the security contract granted Tompolo’s company and place him under watch.
WSG says President Jonathan, Tompolo and the DG of NIMASA, Akpobolokemi, are from the Ijaw ethnic group, and may be acting a script.
“President Jonathan, Tompolo and the DG of NIMASA are all of Ijaw extraction and we therefore see a script being acted out. Nigeria is the only country in the world where individuals – a rehabilitated militant for that matter – is awarded a contract to oversee the security of the coastline of a nation and with powers to import warships and sophisticated arms,” WSG said.
The group added that oil theft and bunkering have been on the increase in the region since Tompolo’s company, was awarded the contract to protect pipelines in the region, oil theft and bunkering have been on the increase since Global West Vessel Service was awarded a multi-billion-naira contract by the Federal government to secure pipelines in the Niger Delta.
WSG fears that battleships – Hulk class - may be meant for intimidating other ethnic nationalities in the region rather than the motive professed it was meant for.
The news of the acquisition was reported by PREMIUM TIMES, on Saturday, PREMIUM TIMES reported that Mr. Ekpemupolo’s security company, Global West Vessel Service, which was awarded a multi-billion-naira contract by the Federal government to secure pipelines in the Niger Delta, procured seven decommissioned Hulk class battleships from Norway. According to the report, the battleships with capability to carry missiles have been re-armed.