By Cletus Opukeme Warri
The General Officer Commanding, GOC and leader of the defunct Movement For the Emancipation Of Niger Delta, (MEND), High Chief Government Oweizide Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo on Friday met with a delegation of Delta Ijaw rights activists and some Ijaw indigenous publishers under the auspices of Delta Ijaw Comrade Community (DICC) at Oporoza, the traditional headquarters of Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.
Tompolo who referred to the group as critical stakeholders in the Niger Delta, said Ijaw activist and indigenous publishers had played strategic roles in the emancipation struggle of the region.
The Niger Delta leader had urged Niger Deltans to be calmed and patient with him, noting that he would never deviate from the ideals of the Niger Delta struggle.
Chief Tompolo, appealed to Niger Delta stakeholders to cooperate with the Federal Government of Nigeria to ensure the sustenance of peace and restore lost environmental heritage of the region.
He noted that youths and people of the Niger Delta must always be seen to be doing the right thing, explaining that he would always stand to defend the region and to doing the right thing. According to him, he would continue to survive because he will only do the right thing.
Tompolo had admonished youths to always engage in productive ventures that would add value to the Niger Delta region.
He noted that the cooperation of all stakeholders in the region in ensuring that the pipelines are properly protected is so imperative.
In his speech, President general of the Delta Ijaw Comrade Community (DICC), Amb. Binebai Yerin Princewill had appreciated Tompolo for being consistent in the struggle for the Emancipation of Niger Delta region, stressing that DICC under his leadership is proud of him and would always commend him for the good things that he has been doing.
Meantime, Binebai had noted that the Comrade Community is housing Ijaw activists, some media houses and other dogged personalities that are of Delta Ijaw extraction.
Binebai who led the DICC delegation had also lauded Tompolo for the stakeholders meeting in Niger Delta that have also included the Delta Ijaw Comrade Community (DICC).
While addressing the press after the meeting, Princewill had also thanked High Chief Kestin Pondi for facilitating the meeting, noting that the group owed him high esteem.
On his part, pioneer president of DICC, Comr. Austin Ozobo had also appealed to Tompolo to empower Ijaw media houses in making them national papers and as well as Ijaw rights activists.
He also presented the Water Resource bill as an inimical bill to Niger Deltans that should be resisted.
In his reaction, the CEO/Publisher Niger Delta Mirror Ndm Newspaper Online, Comrade Oyinbi Onduku appreciated Tompolo for reaching out to all critical stakeholders, stressing that he has taken the right step in the right direction.
Onduku reiterated that the media has a very important role to play to stop illegal oil bunkering by educating the people on the dangers of Kpo fire to our health and environment, adding that they will do their best to support the assignment given to him by Nigerian Government.
While the Vice President of NUIS had also decried the high level of havoc illegal bunkering had caused to youths that were supposed to be in school, stressing that NUIS intended to carry out a sensitization programme along this regard.
She appealed that the support of Tompolo would be very important in achieving the success of the programme.
In his concluding remarks, Tompolo had promised to reconvene another meeting between the Comrade Community and him for a more robust discussion, adding that everyone should return and work for the betterment of Niger Delta.
However, those present at the meeting include, Amb. Princewill Binebai, President DICC/Publisher The Liberator Newspaper, Comrade Oyinbi Onduku, CEO/Publisher Niger Delta Mirror Ndm, Comr. Ezekiel Kagbala, Publisher Focal Point Report, Comr. Austin Ozobo, Publisher Congress Newspaper, Comr. Tare Magbei, Publisher Daily Report Nigeria, Comr. Ekpegha Preye, Publisher South-South Daily, Comr. Basil Ujobolo, Publisher Kpookaa Media lnt’l, Comr. Welemu William Jnr, Comr. Kalaere Jackson, Chief. Efie Oruware, Comr. Timi Black. Comr. John Gbozimo, Comr. Vincent Donye, Comr. Moris Esegha, Comr. Doubra Timiyan, NUIS representatives amongst others.
Source: Congress News