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Tompolo escapes death

By Emma Amaize & Chinyere Amalu

WARRI—The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), continued to talk tough yesterday, threatening to resume attacks on oil installations as a unilateral three-month ceasefire ended last night.

The movement, however, said the Federal Government can avert the resumption of fresh hostilities in the region if it opens discussion with the Aaron team, appointed by the militant group on the root issues of the struggle, which is true federalism.

Meanwhile, the French Government has welcomed the amnesty programme offered by President Umaru Yar’Adua’s administration, saying the result has provided hope for return of stability in the region just as repentant militant leader, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, was said to have narrowly escaped death yesterday on his way to Oporoza community in Gbaramatu kingdom, in a Passport 19 speed boat when soldiers on escort duty randomly opened fire at members of his entourage but nobody was injured.

Following the end of the three month ceasefire by MEND, its spokesman, Jomo Gbomo, said a resumption of its armed campaign was “most likely, but it will be confirmed after midnight tonight (yesterday)”.

On Tompolo, the  Commander of the Joint Task Force (JTF) on the Niger-Delta, Major-General Sarkin Yarkin-Bello, who was contacted at 6.30 p.m. by Vanguard said he was not aware of any such incident.

He said JTF was not carrying out any offensive against Tompolo or any other ex-militant and was surprised that some people were insinuating that the task force was carrying out attacks, adding that Tompolo knew his number and should have called him if there was any such incident.


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