One of the ex-militant leaders in the Niger Delta has vowed not to support the APC-led government of President Muhammadu Buhari. Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, made his position known yesterday, shortly after another faction in the region was planning to endorse Buhari for reelection in the February 16 Presidential Election.
Report says he spoke from his creek hideout, saying he was not part of ex-militant leaders, who purportedly plan to endorse President Muhammadu Buhari in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, as the preferred candidate for Saturday’s presidential poll, reported the Vanguard.
Pan-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, also said, yesterday, that other ex-militant leaders were not with Victor Ebikobowei, alias Boyloaf, on his reported endorsement of President Buhari ahead of Saturday’s election.
Reacting, yesterday, to online report naming him as one of the five ex-militant leaders involved in the arrangement facilitated by another ex-militant leader, Boyloaf, he said through his Media Adviser and Consultant, Paul Bebenimibo: “We wish to notify the general public that Tompolo is not aware of this development.
“The attention of Tompolo has been drawn to a press release in the online platform that he (Tompolo) is among five ex-militant leaders who are set to endorse Buhari as preferred candidate of the February 16, presidential election in Port Harcourt.
“The endorsement is said to be coordinated by Boyloaf. It must be pointed out that Tompolo has not been in touch with Boyloaf since 2015. Tompolo is not in endorsement politics.
“Tompolo is presently troubled with the way and manner his kinsmen in Gbaramatu Kingdom are being harassed and intimidated by President Buhari military on daily basis.
“This same military harassed, brutalised and killed his father, Chief Thomas Ekpemupolo in 2015 and up till now President Buhari has not made any statement by way of apology to him. Therefore, what will be the reason for Tompolo to endorse him, to further kill his kinsmen?” Vanguard quoted him as saying.
In a related development, the National Secretary of PANDEF, Dr. Alfred Mulade, in a statement, said “PANDEF stands for restructuring of Nigeria, no true and patriotic lover of Niger Delta, particularly the Ijaws, who claim to agitate for the betterment of the region, will abandon the genuine course for restructuring of Nigeria that PANDEF stands for.”
Dismissing the endorsement of President Buhari, “a sworn enemy of restructuring” by Boyloaf, PANDEF said, it was in constant consultation with all well-meaning critical stakeholders, including ex-agitators, “to support and ensure the success of the Atiku Abubakar presidency which is best for the country at this time.”
The region has been a PDP controlled areas since 1999 till date, except Edo and Imo which were taken over by APC.