BY EGUFE YAFUGBORHI & AKPOKONA OMAFUAIRE
WARRI – EX-MIIITANT leader, Chief Government Ekpemukpolo, also known as Tompolo, has denied reports that he hijacked contracts from the Nigeria Maritime Safety and Administration, NIMASA, to build a maritime university in Okerenkoko, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.
In a protest letter to President Goodluck Jonathan on the matter, a group, the Okerenkoko Federated National Development Forum, ONDF, had accused Tompolo of assuming supremacy and sidelining other leaders, over who benefits from contract opportunities coming to the oil bearing Ijaw communities.
In the letter, the group accused Tompolo and his cronies of hijacking the construction of maritime university in the community to the exclusion of other interests in the Gbaramatu community.
Responding to the allegations through his media consultant, Mr. Paul Bebenimibo, Tompolo dismissed same, describing them as unfounded.
Bebenimibo said, “The mood in the community does not suggest any protest. In any case, the accusations are baseless and cheap blackmail. Tompolo does not have any project in the school. NIMASA and the Federal Ministry of Transport, the supervising agents on the contract had a mutual understanding to award the project to qualified contractors and that local contractors would benefit as sub-contracts. To the best of our knowledge, this position is being followed.
“It is cheap blackmail to claim that Tompolo has deployed even one soldier, not in the least over 150 in Okerenkoko to force himself on anybody over the contract.”