Leading former Niger Delta Militia Commanders led by the ex-war lord, Chief Government Ekpemopulo (a.k.aTompolo) yesterday regrouped in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital to deliberate on the alleged coordinated attacks on the campaign team of President Goodluck Jonathan in some Northern states, vowing to take up arms and engage in armed confrontation with anyone or group plotting to derail the second term ambition of the President.
The meeting of the ex-militant Commanders, held at the Banquet Hall of the Bayelsa State Government House, was attended by the special adviser to the president and chairman of the Presidential amnesty programme, Hon Kingsley Kuku, Alhaji Mujahid Asari Dokubo,Chief Government Ekpemopulo (a.k.a Tompolo), Ebikabowei Victor Ben (a.k.a. Boy loaf), Comrade Eris Paul known as General Ogunboss, Comrade Pastor Reuben known as General Pastor Reuben.
Also in attendance was the State governor, Hon Seriake Dickson, his deputy, Rear Admiral John Jonah and the president of the umbrella body of Ijaw Youths, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), and Engr. Udengs Eradiri.
Alhaji Mujahid Asari Dokubo in his speech at the event declared that the recent incidence of stoning of President Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign convoy by suspected paid youths from some Northern States is an open declaration of war, “this action is calling the Niger Delta youths to war.”
“Every Niger Delta youth should go and prepare for war. For the past four days, I have not slept well nor have I had a change of clothing. I have not been to my house. This is the time, the Northern Youths are trying to know how important you are. After this time, no one will play with us. After the 2015, no Governor will play with us. We are saying we will fight with anything and everything that we have. Ijaw people cannot continue to suffer while other people enjoy.”
Also speaking, the former deputy commander of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, Ebikabowei Victor-Ben (Boyloaf), declared that the recent decision to resign from the administration of governor Seriake Dickson as director general of the State Youths Development Centre was based on the anticipated “call to war”, as all of us are strategists.
“I am not a politician and no politician can intimidate me. I resigned my appointment because I know this day will come.
“They want to use issue of insecurity along the waterways of the Niger Delta to keep us busy. And today, they are intimidating our own (Jonathan). I am Boyloaf, I have retired but not tired. I will go back to the creeks if possible. Whether they like it or not, President Goodluck Jonathan will win. Now that the oil is below $50 per barrel, they want to use Boko Haram to take power. If they take power, we will demand for all the years of benefitting from oil. Nobody can intimidate the Niger Delta. Gone are the days you will intimidate people with the rifle,” he said.
The foremost ex-militants leader, Chief Government Ekpemopulo (a.k.a Tompolo), while delivering his brief speech in his local dialect, said he will not comment on the issue of recent cases of intimidation and attacks on President Goodluck Jonathan, but that the Youths and the Political leaders in the region should forgive one another and unite, “let us unite and within now and seven days, you will see what will happen.”
The president of the IYC, in his speech, argued that though there are various issues that have polarised the fold of the Ijaw ethnic nationality since the ascension of Dr Goodluck Jonathan as President. He called on the youths of the region to come together towards the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan during the Febuary 14 Presidential Election.
The special adviser to the President and chairman of the Presidential amnesty programme, Hon Kingsley Kuku, while announcing the resolutions of the served meeting, announced that the Youths of the region have resolved to support the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan and will not take lightly the attack on the campaign entourage of President Goodluck Jonathan.
According to him, “the meeting noted that while a decent and cordial reception was accorded the APC presidential candidate, Gen Muhammadu Buhari in Bayelsa and other South-South states, the Ijaw people and other ethnic nationalities in the region will no longer accept the .The meeting also called on all political actors to unite and give leadership where it is necessary.
In his speech at the event, the Bayelsa State Governor, Hon Seriake Dickson noted that, the time has come for all stakeholders and interest groups in the Niger Delta, especially, the Ijaw Nation to pull their resources together and work in one accord to ensure victory for the President in the February 14, 2015 general elections.