By Emma Amaize & Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN—THE Iwere Peace Movement, a group made up of Ijaw professionals and youths in the Niger Delta, yesterday, alleged plans by the Federal Government to kill former militant leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo, if he was arrested and detained.
They warned that the continued militarilization of the Niger Delta in the name of searching for the ex-militant leader, will plunge the region into another bloody war, appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari to sustain the prevailing peace in the region by calling the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and the military to order.
Also, there were no indications, yesterday, that Tompolo will appear for trial at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, today, despite the bench warrant issued for his arrest, as his whereabouts are unknown to security agents saddled with the task.
The court ordered his arrest penultimate Monday while the EFCC, declared him wanted last Friday , four days after.
However, there was calm, yesterday in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State, despite apprehension that security agents hunting for the former Niger Delta militant leader may bombard the communities.
Residents in the area who spoke to Vanguard on phone, said there was no fresh deployment of troops to the area yet.
In Benin, Edo State, Iwere Peace Movement in a statement by Mr Merie Oritsejolomi and Johnbull Omadeli, said: “We see the EFCC charges against Tompolo as a ploy to arrest him and keep him in detention like the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Mr Nnmadi Kanu and the former National Security Adviser, NSA, Sambo Dasuki, and murder him in detention.
“The Buhari government is in shadow chasing as it sees anyone that stands by the truth as an enemy of the government. This action will not take this country anywhere other than destruction. The government has practically abandoned serious and weightier issues such as creation of employment opportunities and rejuvenation of the economy in pursuance of perceived political enemies.
“This cannot be regarded as the change the All Progressives Congress, APC, promised Nigerians during its campaign for votes in 2015. The APC-led administration is only interested in the crude oil from the Niger Delta.
“Now, the only project, the gas city and deep sea port project in Escravos that would have created thousands of jobs for the people of the Niger Delta and Nigerians in general have been abandoned. We want to advise the government to be careful in the case with Tompolo so that it will not plunge the Niger Delta region into crisis while exploiting the crude oil from the region.”