Also yesterday, Tompolo, the wanted ex-militant leader lamented alleged harassment and intimidation of his family and associates.
In an open letter to President Buhari, which he personally signed and said would be his last, Tompolo noted that the harassment and intimidation of his relatives were being carried out by the security agencies in connivance with two notable members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Delta State.
He said the latest of “the victims of this unwarranted, misdirected and wicked act” were Simeon Bebenimibo, a member of the Delta State Waterway and Land Security Committee and a driver of one of my aides, Mr Ebipade Kari, who was on an errand with a little baby.
Ekpemupolo also alleged said that the military men stormed the house of one of his younger brothers, and harassed his pregnant wife “with guns pointed at her which led to complications because of the closeness to her delivery.”
The arrested duo, he said, were in the custody of the Nigerian Army, Effurun adding that before the incident, the Nigerian Navy also went to the apartment of another of his aides, picked up his heavily pregnant wife, since he was out of town, and kept her for 24 hours at the Naval base before releasing her.
“The mode of operation is that the military command usually decorates associates of Ayiri Emami and Michael Johnny with military uniforms and they go from door to door with a long list of names and addresses of my family members and associates with the intention of arresting them.
“Your Excellency sir, it could be recalled that this was how the military went to Oporoza town on Saturday May 28, 2016, at about 2am, and held the community hostage for one week.
“During that midnight invasion, the military carted away valuables worth several millions of naira, desecrated worship centres and took away the symbol of authority of the Gbaramatu people from the Egbesu shrine, as well as picked up 10 innocent students and palace staff, most of whom are orphans, preparing for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). Up till now, their whereabouts is unknown”, he said.
Ekpemupolo said further that on the same day, the military went to Kurutie in search of his 84 years old father and brutalised him adding “We managed to rescue him to Warri and hospitalised him. Sadly, one of his lower limbs was amputated two weeks ago. From the doctor’s report, it will be a thing of miracle if he survives this incident. Is this 84 years old man also a member of the Niger Delta Avengers, that he was brutalised to the point of death?.
“Will Your Excellency accept this in good faith if this was done to your father or someone of this age in your family? I have not heard of anyone that was treated like this even in the volatile North Eastern part of the country.
“Your Excellency sir, I have been wondering since the beginning of my travails at your instance, and I wish to ask: Is this part of the fight against corruption in Nigeria? Or was it because I supported my kinsman, former president Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 general elections?
“I thought everyone in Nigeria has the liberty to support whoever he or she deemed fit in an election. And as Dr. Jonathan bravely accepted the outcome of the election, which brought you in as president of Nigeria today, I thought you will heal wounds as the father of the Nation.”
He noted that it was on that premise that he visited the President immediately after his swearing-in ceremony to pledge his loyalty and readiness to work with his administration.
“Your Excellency sir, it is instructive to state that you need me to drive your change agenda in the Niger Delta region as I am ever passionate to improve the living condition of the people of the region.
“The truth of the matter is that I have been treated unfairly by you sir. After all these hallubalo about the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, in which I was accused of some wrong doing, you are yet to send emissaries to Okerenkoko (permanent site) and Kurutie (temporary site) of the University to ascertain the level of things on ground.
“Mr. President sir, I have written you several open letters. I have stated my position clearly each time I write you. This may be my last open letter to you. I believe the truth will come to stay one day. You need to do the right thing by uniting the entire country. Be wary of bogus informants. Always try as much as possible to hear every side of issues that are brought before you.”