From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
An oil exploration monitoring group, Niger Delta Movement For Radical Change (NDMRC), has faulted Mrs Rita-Lori Ogbebor and Asari Dokubo for their respective positions on the N4.5 billion monthly pipeline contract awarded by the federal government to Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo.
NDMRC said both Ogbebor and Dokubo were enemies of the Niger Delta region who were promoting tribal war.
Ogbebor had fumed over the multi-billion naira pipeline contract awarded to the former Niger Delta warlord and leader of the Emancipation of Niger-Delta (MEND), Tompolo, saying that it will lead to anarchy in the region.
In an interview, she insisted that the award of the humongous contract sum to one individual was a clear demonstration of the government abdicating its responsibilities to the people, and lambasted the federal government for failing in its responsibility to manage oil resources in Niger Delta and maintaining peace in the country.
But in a statement by the president, Nelly Emma; secretary, John Sailor; and public relations officer, Stanley Mukoro, NDMRC urged her to shun tribal sentiment and promote unity among the people of the region.
The group stated that it is only those into illegal bunkering that would oppose the award of the pipeline contract.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we want to let Chief (Mrs) Rita-Lori Ogbebor to know that Tompolo has magnanimously sublet the Itsekiri aspect of the pipeline contract to an Itsekiri son, Chief Emani Ayiri in his determination to carry everybody along as far as the pipeline contract is concerned.
“Chief (Mrs) Rita-Lori Ogbebor is certainly on her own because only recently Itsekiri youths stormed Oporoza, headquarters of Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South Local Government Area of Delta where they declared their support for Tompolo and promised to work with him on the pipeline contract awarded to him by the federal government,” they stated.
With the award of the contract, NDMRC expressed confidence that the time is up for “those deeply involved in the illegal oil bunkering in the Niger Delta Region that has destroyed the ecosystem in the area and led to loss of revenue by the federal government and it is Tompolo that can help the government to halt the illegal bunkering.
“Let all those who are making so much money from the illegal oil bunkering and who is against the award of the pipeline contract to Tompolo have a quick rethink and accept the reality on the ground that Tompolo has come on a rescue mission as he has all it takes to deliver on this national assignment.
“Tompolo is not only a leader in the Gbaramatu Kingdom but a respected leader and a man of Honour in the entire Niger Delta Region. Tompolo has been given a job and he will not fail because his reputation is at stake.
“The people of the Niger Delta region will continue to remain grateful to Tompolo for drawing the attention of the federal government to the neglect of the area and his dogged fight against oil theft in the region.
“He has helped in securing permanent peace in the region, protection of critical oil and gas infrastructure, eradication of oil bunkering and increased generation of internal revenue, especially in the maritime sector.
“Let all stakeholders in the region join forces and give him the necessary support and encouragement as far as this pipeline contract is concerned, he is not doing it for himself, but for the love of our beloved country and the people of the Niger Delta region.
“Tompolo is prepared to expose all those involved in oil theft in the region. He has a mandate from the federal government and nobody dares cross his way.
“We want to sincerely commend President Muhammadu Buhari, the GMD of the new Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and Chief of Defence Staff for taking this drastic action in ensuring the award of the pipeline contract to Tompolo to put an end to oil theft in the region.
“The successful execution of the pipeline contract by our hardworking local contractors in the Niger Delta region will lead to an increase in our revenue that has nose-dived due to the unwholesome activities of oil bunkering,” the group stated.
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