By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN â€”THE General Assembly of the Federated Niger Delta Ijaw Communities (FNDIC), met in Benin City suspending its chairman, Chief Bello Boko, and one of its officials, Chief Godspower Gbennekeama.
The duo were accused of allegedly frustrating the success of the amnesty programme of the Federal Government by working contrary to the position of the Ijaw nation.
Consequently, the secretary of FNDIC, Mr. Kingsley Otuaro was mandated to act as president of the group.
Meanwhile, Niger Delta militant leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, has hailed the suspension, stressing the need for the Ijaw to be united and focused in the amnesty deal of the Federal Government.
The meeting, which was attended by delegates from Ondo, Bayelsa,Edo,Rivers, Delta and Cross Rivers states, reviewed what it described as the recent activities of Chief Oboko and passed a unanimous vote of confidence.
In a communiquÃ© signed by Comrade Emmanuel Peterside, and made available to newsmen in Benin City shortly after the meeting, the group alleged that the duo â€œ have been involved in self- centered leadership, unpopular decisions, lack of purposeful leadership and uncommitted to the cause of the Ijaws as far as this amnesty programme is concerned.
â€œConsequently, the General Assembly of FNDIC has lost confidence in them because we can no longer entrust the future of Ijaws in their hands. They are hereby suspended from office and we urge the general public not to deal with them because they no longer represents us. They no longer enjoy the backing of this group.
â€œThe Secretary of FNDIC will act as president for the mean time. It is our resolve that this amnesty works; therefore, we will not allow few persons due to their selfish interest to truncate the efforts which the federal government and our great Ijaw Freedom fighter, Tompolo, are making to ensure that militants surrender their arms.
â€œThe amnesty programme is commendable but it must be executed to the general interest of the Ijaws and the entire people of the Niger Delta.â€
Speaking on behalf of Tompolo, one of his aides who craved anonymity, told Vanguard on telephone that â€œ our leader is fully in support of Obokoâ€™s suspension because his utterances so far is against the position of the Ijaws and we will not sit down and allow these people destroy the amnesty programme.
â€œSo, I want to tell you authoritatively that Tompolo is happy with the on going reforms in FNDICâ€.