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Rights activist, Ezekiel commends Tompolo on sustained war against oil theft



By Peters Monday, Abuja

Following the recent controversy on the award of Niger Delta pipeline contract, a frontline activist Comrade Daniel Ezekiel has commended High Chief Government Ekemupolo, alias Tompolo, adding that he had delivered on his mandate.

While setting the record straight, Ezekiel expressed disappointment at the cacophony of voices, particularly from ex-militant leaders who had once benefited from Tompolo’s mentorship, but were now joining forces with outsiders to malign him.

While describing the act as unfortunate, he narrated that the pipeline surveillance job, which began in 2002, was initiated by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to address the rampant oil theft, vandalism, and sabotage in the Niger Delta region.

The statement reads, “Obasanjo engaged in negotiation with Tompolo, leading to a groundbreaking arrangement between an individual and the government to secure pipelines.

“The negotiations continued until the late President Umar Musa Yar’Adua assumed power in 2007. In 2010, the federal government awarded the first-ever pipeline surveillance job to Tompolo, who successfully delivered on the contract, receiving commendations from Nigerians across the country.

“However, shortly after the job was awarded to Tompolo, influential government officials begun pressuring the president to distribute the job to other interested parties. Despite being contented with his position, Tompolo agreed to include his fellow brothers from the region”.

Ezekiel emphasised that Tompolo was the only one who fulfilled his contractual obligations, while others perform abysmal in their respective areas, noting that the same individuals, now parading themselves as ex-militant leaders, conspired with influential figures to tarnish Tompolo’s reputation and poison President Buhari’s mind against him.

“Their scheme aimed to remove Tompolo from the job, presuming that it would be transferred to them. However, their plans were thwarted when the job was instead given to a total stranger, the late Captain Hosa, a Bini man. Under Captain Hosa’s leadership, oil theft and various illegal activities plagued the oil sector, causing Nigeria’s daily oil production to plummet.

“Recognizing the mistake, President Buhari eventually reversed course and reawarded parts of the job to Tompolo’s company, Tantita. Over the past year, Tompolo and his team have diligently tackled leakages in the oil sector, resulting in significant improvements in oil output.

According to Ezekiel, ex-militant leaders, including Ateke Tom, Ben Ebikabowei, Asari Dokubo, Bibopere Ajube, and Ayiri Emami from Rivers and Bayelsa states did nothing to contribute to the job’s success, alleging that they misappropriated funds intended for worker welfare for personal gains.

The advocate vehemently opposed the idea of granting the pipeline surveillance job to these individuals, citing their lack of capacity and greed. He called for the renewal of Tantita’s contract, highlighting the company’s impressive record for the past few months.

However, Ezekiel expressed strong support, alongside other well-meaning critical stakeholders, for the continuation of Tompolo’s pipeline surveillance job, while enumerating the positive impact it had on Nigeria’s oil sector.