A drum of war is sounding in the Niger Delta region following the decision of a foremost freedom fighter and founder of the Niger Delta Volunteer Force (NDVF), Asari Dokubo, to oppose the N4.5bn monthly pipeline surveillance contract awarded a former militant leader, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, aka, Tompolo.
The aggrieved Dokubo, in a viral video, said it smacked of greed for Tompolo to be in charge of pipeline protection for all the ethnic groups in the Niger Delta.
Dokubo wondered why Tompolo would be in charge of Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers States querying whether he was the only one that knew how to eat.
He vowed to stop Tompolo from being in charge of the surveillance contract for the 83km pipeline criss-crossing his Kalabari area in Rivers State.
Dokubo said he would not allow Tompolo’s armed boys escorted by soldiers to enter the Kalabari area.
The creek warlord accused the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, of deliberately giving everything to Tompolo to spite him and destabilise the Niger Delta.
He said by giving all the pipeline contract to only Tompolo, Sylva was only interested in causing confusion for the government in the region.
Dokubo said: “You will take pipeline contract in Delta State your place and then you come to Kalabari to take another one saying you are an Ijaw man because you are the only one that knows how to eat.
“You took the ones that belong to Gbaramatu, Itsekiri, Isoko, Urhobo, Kwale, you took all because you are the only one that knows how to eat. You went to Bayelsa and took everything then you came to take the one in Kalabari.
“If Timipre Sylva gave you because he said he wanted to clip my wings as if he were a god. When Sylva was a member of the House of Assembly, did I clip his wings? I am older than Sylva.
“When he was a Governor, did I clip his wings? He is now a Minister, did I clip his wings? Sylva said I was becoming too powerful and connived to give pipeline contracts to only Tompolo so that he would destroy what we are doing for the government he serves.
“We are making the government to be stable, but he is destabilising the same government he serves. So he brought Tompolo gathered people saying he would buy guns for them. Let them come. I am not boasting, let soldiers bring the Tompolo boys here.
“I am not talking about Rivers. I am saying they cannot take Kalabari. They can take every other place but I won’t allow them take Kalabari. You are collecting over N4.5bn a month for doing nothing. And people are supporting you. You must leave the 82km pipeline for Kalabari. You can’t take it.
“Take all other place but this one in Kalabari, you can’t take it. Have you heard that since we started fighting, army had entered my camp before? But his own within three days Iroko was destroyed and Camp five was destroyed. Till today, army is still occupying Camp five. Army has never entered any of my camps before. I live inside camp close to army people”.
Dokubo faulted Tompolo’s mission saying he was only fighting for the protection of Gbaramatu and not for the interest of the Ijaw nation.
He said: “I can’t compare myself to Tompolo. It is unimaginable that I will condescend to the level of Tompolo. Who is Tompolo? What is his antecedent? Don’t allow me open a can of worms.
“What Ijaw struggle is Tompolo fighting? Is he even involved in Ijaw struggle? He is fighting war with Itsekiri. He has never been in Ijaw struggle. Gbaramatu vs Itsekiri, that is the war he is fighting.
“He is not even involved in Ijaw people who are fighting like Ogbeh Ijaw. Ogbeh Ijaw had been fighting with Ilaje, has Tompolo gone there before. Is he in Ijaw struggle? Show me one place he has done anything in Ijaw land. So Gbaramatu struggle is Ijaw struggle.
“What development has he brought to his area? Come and see my place and see what is happening there. The Maritime University they fought under Goodluck to bring, up till now is the university recognised by law?”