The fugitive wanted former commander of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Chief Government Ekpemupolo (aka Tompolo),“ is still hiding” in Oporoza community in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State, fresh revelation by close allies revealed
Tompolo, who was alleged to have fled Oporoza, which is the traditional headquarters of Gbaramatu Kingdom, to Libya by the Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force (JNDLF), contrary to reports, is believed to be within the Niger Delta creeks.
The latest development came on a day it emerged that President Muhammadu Buhari’s aborted trip to Ogoniland, Rivers State was allegedly aborted by the United States owing to security concerns. Investigations last night revealed that Tompolo, who was declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), over alleged fraud, may have resorted to “hiding” in the creeks rather than surrender himself to the anti-graft agency.
Sources confirmed that reports making round that Tompolo may have fled the country were untrue as the former MEND leader was “still much around in the creeks.” The source said: “It is absolutely laughable and untrue to say that Tompolo has fled this country.
Where do you expect him to run to? The Tompolo I know is in the creeks and for those who know him very well, Tompolo cannot leave his people. Of course such can be scripted but not with the kind of person called Tompolo. “The Libya story to me is diversionary. He has no where to go.
He is in the creeks. Yes, security intelligence may have made it impossible for him to speak or be seen, but I can tell you he is still in town.” The source, who further explained that Tompolo loves his country, said: “Occasionally, people may sell some funny dummies just to divert people’s attention and thinking.
This does not mean that he (Tompolo) is a bad person as people may want to think or claim.” It would be recalled that the JNDLF had alleged that: “The Military can’t locate Tompolo but we have identified where he is now.” The group’s claim which came on the heels of its threat that it would test six missiles in the Niger Delta states, said: “Presently, Tompolo is in Libya and we’ll get him dead or alive for betraying us in supporting the Federal Government against us.”
It said: “Nigerian military has weak intelligence gathering mechanism hence they could not identify our modus oparandi. Nigerian military is only good in carrying AK47 to harass innocent people and raping young girls and women.” Though a close source to Tompolo laughed when contacted, he nonetheless said: “I do not know what you want to say, they should leave Tompolo alone.”
In the wake of the bombing of oil facilities, Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), had issued a 72-hour ultimatum to Tompolo to withdraw his comments on the bombed 48-inch pipeline in Forcados or face severe punitive actions. Tompolo had said in a statement signed by his media adviser and consultant, Paul Bebenimibo, that he had no link with the Niger Delta Avengers, which has claimed responsibility for the bombing of the pipeline.