For a while now former militant leader in the Niger Delta and ex-commander of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, Chief Government Oweizide Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo has been in the news for his hold on the multi-billion Naira Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited’s oil pipeline surveillance contract awarded to him by the Federal Government.
The N4bn per month contract, which covers the Ijaw-speaking part of Bayelsa State (Southern Ijaw and Ekeremor local government areas), Delta, Ondo, Imo and Rivers states, has attracted a groundswell of opposition from some stakeholders in Bayelsa, Ondo, Imo and Rivers states.
While his contract was announced some stakeholders within the oil-producing region raised an eyebrow on why it’s only Tompolo that will be handed the contract as they also called out the minister of state for petroleum, His excellency, Hon. Timipre Sylva for favouring Tompolo in the contract procedure despite other stakeholders also eyeing the contract.
A very smart and native intelligent Tompolo hurriedly converged stakeholders within the region he would be securing via dialogue to run an all-inclusive pipeline surveillance activities measures to ensure oil theft and vandalism in cut to size.
He met with traditional rulers, youth and women groups, activists and other stakeholders in the South-South geopolitical zone, urging them to support the efforts to rid the region of oil thieves for the good of the region and to clamp down on all illegal activities in the region.
While speaking at the stakeholders’ meeting held at the palace of the King of Gbaramatu Kingdom, Oboro Gbaraun, in Oporoza, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State, Tompolo promised to reach out to all stakeholders and pointed out that “the business of pipeline surveillance is all-inclusive.”
Despite having the support of all political and traditional leaders, his move to ensure all warring factions are put on the same page some have resorted to a campaign of calumny as they have written a series of petitions claiming the Ibe-Ebidouwei of Ijaw Nation is wanted by the EFCC and he has resorted to blackmailing the NNPC for the contract to be awarded to him. Some even claimed the Minister of State for Petroleum had a stake in the contract hence why Tompolo was awarded the contract. Those in the know averred that Tompolo is capable.