As intrigues and horse-trading continue to characterize preparation for the 2015 elections, President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term bid has been described as unstoppable.
Former leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Government Ekpemupolo (also known as Tompolo), made this declaration on Thursday at his country home, Oporoza, Delta State, at the instance of the grand finale of the 2013 Amasekumo annual festival. Clad in white ritual apparel with a head gear, Tompolo, while fielding questions from journalists, averred that nobody would stop the incumbent president from his second term ambition, saying it was their (Niger Delta) right.
According to him, anything short of this would amount to people trying to do “something funny.”
“What I want to say is that we are going to get 2015. Nobody will stop us; if anybody is trying to stop us, it means they are trying, maybe, to do something funny. This is our right and we are going to get it by the grace of God,” the former warlord affirmed.
Tompolo also said the pardon granted former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Deprieye Alamieyeseigha, was the most laudable thing President Jonathan had done for the people of Niger Delta, noting that God would reward him for it. He added that the president was one of the best presidents to emerge from the shores of Nigeria.
“I support Jonathan 101 per cent on the pardon given Alamieyeseigha. That is one of the greatest things that Jonathan has done for the people of Niger Delta and God will reward him for that. No amount of good one has done in this life that people will not criticize you. What Jonathan has done is to show that 20 per cent is for him, because Alamieseigha is one of the key leaders in the Niger Delta,” he noted.
Reacting to critics’ claim that the pardon was an endorsement of corruption by the presidency, Tompolo said corruption had been in existence for long, calling for a concerted effort to stamp out the menace.
“The issue of corruption in this country has been there for a very long time. We need to get together and help Jonathan as a person because he is one of the best presidents Nigeria has had,” he said.
On oil theft, the ex-warlord said until the cabal behind the thieving is unmasked and dealt with, which he said, they were working on; the business may ruin the nation’s economy.
“We are working on that. The issue concerns everybody not only the Niger Delta. It’s a cabal and we are working to break that cabal so that Nigeria will have peace. What we have is enough for everybody in this country,” Tompolo declared.
Speaking on the delayed renewal of his contract of oil surveillance with the Federal Government, the former leader of MEND, said the Federal Government was working on the renewal of the oil facility surveillance contract, saying there was no problem.
He took a swipe on critics of northerners owning the largest percentage of oil blocs, saying there was nothing wrong in it since the wealth belonged to all Nigerians.
“We are the owners of the oil and by God’s grace, we will get our fair share. As per oil bloc and northerners having the largest share, the truth is that we are all part of the country. What we have is for everybody,” the ex-warlord-turned philanthropist averred.
Tompolo, who underscored the three-day annual festival of Amasekumo masquerade festival as a means to usher in peace, wealth and prosperity ahead 2015, advised Nigerians to work together as one country, saying the nation had all it takes to cater and sustain the people.