The Niger Delta Movement For Radical Change (NDMRC) has rained heavy knocks on Chief (Mrs) Rita-Lori Ogbebor over her position on the N4.5 Billion pipeline contract awarded by the NNPC and the Federal Government to Chief Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo, accusing her of promoting tribal war.
The group’s grouse
The group equally slammed Asari Dokubo, who they alleged have been saying unpleasant things against Tompolo over the pipeline contract, describing him as enemy of the oi-rich Niger Delta Region. Chief (Mrs) Rita-Lori Ogbebor had fumed in an interview over the pipeline contract awarded to the former Niger Delta warlord, Tompolo, saying that it will lead to anarchy in the area. Ogbebor, had also warned the Federal Government to withdraw the N4.5 billion monthly pipeline contract awarded to the leader of Movement for the Emancipation of Niger- Delta (MEND), Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo, describing it as invitation to anarchy.
For her, the award of the humongous contract sum to one individual in Niger Delta is a clear demonstration of government abdicating its responsibilities to the people and therefore lambasted the Federal Government for failing in its responsibility to manage oil resources in Niger Delta and maintaining peace in the country. But NDMRC, an oil monitoring group in the region in a Press Statement signed by its President, Nelly Emma, Secretary, John Sailor and Public Relations Officer (PRO), Stanley Mukoro, and made available to newsmen on Tuesday, lamented the position of Chief (Mrs) Rita-Lori Ogbebor on the pipeline contract, imploring her to shun tribal sentiment and promote unity among the people of the Niger Delta Region. “Our attention has been drawn to the outburst of Chief (Mrs) Rita-Lori Ogbebor on the award of the pipeline contract to Tompolo and we must say that we are saddened by her position on the issue.
It is very sad and painful that at a time that we are talking about how to promote national unity and halt the unabated illegal oil bunkering in the oil rich region, Chief (Mrs) Rita-Lori Ogbebor is bringing tribal issues into the award of the pipeline contract to a respected son of the region, Tompolo. We are highly disappointed with her position on the pipeline contract,” the group said. The group added that; “We hate to believe that she is into illegal bunkering, hence she is seriously against the award of the pipeline contract to Tompolo, because it is only those who are milking the nation high and dry and smiling to the bank with their proceeds from illegal bunkering business that will really go against the pipeline contract.
How Tompolo involves other stakeholders
“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 NNPC and the Federal Government.
“She should stop promoting tribal war, because her children are not on grounds and if there is a crisis today, only innocent children and not her own will be affected and we want to implore the Olu of Warri Kingdom, Ogiame Atuwatse 111 to be wary of the kind of chiefs around him so that he is not misled by mischief makers and those promoting tribal war.”
While saying that the hard earned reputation of Tompolo was at stake to deliver on the pipeline contract, the oil monitoring group stated that; “The time is really 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 are against the award of the pipeline contract to Tompolo have a quick rethink and accept the reality on ground that Tompolo has come on a rescue mission as he has all it takes to deliver on this national assignment and people like Chief (Mrs) Rita-Lori Ogbebor and Asari Dokubo cannot stop the moving train.”
Angst against Asari Dokubo
“We have come across all the unpleasant comments and interviews against Tompolo by Asari Dokubo regarding the pipeline contract and it is unfair and very unfortunate that this same man helped by the former Niger Delta warlord, Tompolo is out saying all kinds of things about a man so much respected throughout the country.
Asari Dokubo has forgotten in a hurry how Atake Tom chased him away from Rivers State over 20 years ago and Tompolo sheltered him by giving him asylum, to protect him from Atake Tom and his boys and at the end of the day, he paid Tompolo back by snatching the girlfriend of the senior brother of Tompolo and ended up marrying her and when returning to Rivers State, the same Tompolo gave him enough boys to follow him back home for his safety and protection,” the group said.
The group added that; “We have always known Asari Dokubo as a selfish and ungrateful person and so we are not surprised now at the behaviour of Asari Dokubo, because his main source of income is coming to an end, because Tompolo is out to clean up the system and halt the oil theft for the benefit of all Nigerians and this is not going to be palatable to Asari Dokubo and his co-travellers.
“Tompolo is not only a leader in 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 and the game is up for the likes of Asari Dokubo.” The group also said that; “The people of the Niger Delta Region will continue to remain grateful to Chief Government Ekpemupolo, a wonderful son of the Niger Delta Region 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 Niger Delta 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 not scared of the likes of Chief (Mrs) Rita-Lori Ogbebor and Asari Dokubo, who may be working together against the pipeline contract, as he is prepared to expose all those involved in oil theft in the region. He has a mandate from the Federal Government and nobody dare cross his way. “We want to sincerely commend President Muhammedu Buhari, the GMD of the new NNPC 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 increase in our revenue that has nosedived due to the unwholesome activities of oil bunkering. Our security agents must beam searchlight on all those kicking against the award of the pipeline contract to Tompolo, they may have skeletons in their cupboards,” the group stated.