Olusegun Samuel in Yenagoa
Ex-militant leaders from the Niger Delta region have attributed the defeat of the Governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Timipre Sylva to the alleged unholy alliance between him and the former militant leader, Government Ekpemukpolo also known as Tompolo.
They said the previous award of over $370 million belonging to Bayelsa (central corridor) to a contractor in Delta state angered most of the ex-militants in the corridor.
The ex-militants in a statement, said the wide acceptance of the winner of the just concluded Bayelsa Governorship poll by the electorate, was made possible by them to counter the undemocratic plan of Sylva/Tompolo alliance.
The statement signed by Fidelis Nagard, also known as ‘Water Phython’, said the action of the ex-militant leaders was carried out as a show of force to the federal government and the President Bola Tinubu administration that Tompolo is no longer a political factor in the Niger Delta region.
“We had it on good authority that Tompolo promised the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Ganduje, that he would ensure Chief Timipre Sylva win in Bayelsa state, but the ex-militant leaders agreed on a counter plan to show to the federal government that Tompolo is a voodoo priest and not a political guru or a fighter.”
“Tompolo is only riding on past glory in which major ex-militant leaders played vital roles. Tompolo betrayed ex-militant leaders and lied to them to secure the pipeline surveillance contract for himself and his allies.”
“Had it been that the federal government deployed its federal might as planned to forcefully and illegally rig the Bayelsa guber poll, there would have been total chaos in the region. We had mapped out plans to cause chaos and shut down oil installations across the region which would have crippled the nation’s economy.”
“For the records, ex-militant leaders did not even deploy 10 percent of our plans and arsenals before check-mating the Sylva/Tompolo tactics.”
The ex-militant leaders, however, called on the federal government to ensure that development and empowerment policies for the region are not channeled through Tompolo and his likes, “but the Tinubu administration must deal with each state separately. Any politician that passes through Tompolo will be disgraced and retired like Sylva.”
“It is on record that Tompolo and Sylva never worked for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. They worked for the opposition and delivered their communities and states for the opposition during the February 2023 Presidential poll.
“We have also proven to President Tinubu’s administration that ex-militant leaders that worked vigorously for his victory during the 2023 Presidential election can equally worked against his administration and his party if they continue to channel developmental projects and pipeline surveillance contracts in the region through Tompolo who never worked for the President.”
They also called on the federal government to take a close review of the crude oil pipeline surveillance contract and ensure that it is decentralized across the corridors in the region.
The statement warned that “if it is awarded to only one contractor, it is dead on arrival. If they go ahead, it will be sabotaged. The Federal Government should decentralise the contract for national and economic security interest of the country.”