Ijaw youths felicitate with ex-militant leader Tompolo at 47
• Urge FG to drop charges against him
• Accuse govt of neglecting N’Delta region
The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) has felicitated with Niger Delta ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, as he marks his 47th birthday today.
The group appealed to the Federal Government to end all legal issues involving the ex-militant leader, popularly called Tompolo, and pays more attention to the development of the Niger Delta region.
The President of the IYC, Eric Omare, in a statement, said Tompolo have made indelible marks in the struggle for the advancement of the Niger Delta region at great risk to his life and family.
He said: “Tompolo is a true hero in the class of the late Major Jasper Adaka Boro, Harold Dappa-Biriye, Ken Saro Wiwa and other Niger Delta heroes.
He added that Tompolo gave everything towards the emancipation of the people of the region.
The IYC leader also condemned the apathetic attitude of the Federal Government towards the demands of the people.
He expressed concern that the promise made by Vice President Yemi Osibanjo that oil firms should relocate their headquarters to the area, has not been fulfilled.
He added that similar promises made at the peak of the renewed hostilities spearheaded by the Niger Delta Avengers, have also not been kept.
The IYC president said some key projects that were ongoing in the region have been relegated to the background.
He cited the Federal Government’s deliberate non-funding of the East-West Road, despite the increase in capital funding of projects.
The IYC reiterated that federalism remains the key demand of the Niger Delta people.
Omare added that the issue, which would make the people to control their resources, has remained elusive.
He, however, commended the Federal Government for fulfilling its promise to begin academic activities at the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, in Delta State.
He commended the approach, which has led to over 200 pioneer students doing their academic activities at the university.
“We commend this display of good faith by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government, and urge him to remobilise the contractors working at the permanent site of the university.
He noted that construction was progressing at the permanent site, until it was stopped by purported investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The IYC president urged former Governor Timipre Slyva, who heads the university’s governing council to facilitate the construction, especially now that it has commenced academic activities.
The group stressed that it was contradictory for Tompolo’s trial to continue, despite that NIMASA acquired his former Mekadive Driving School, Kurutie, to begin the university.