By Davies Iheamnachor
UGHELLI—PEREKPO Finidi, an ex-militant and close aide to hunted former General Officer Commanding, GOC, for the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, yesterday, gave reasons for the delay in talks between the Federal Government and the people of the Niger Delta, noting that the government would prefer talks with Tompolo rather than PANDEF.
Finidi also absolved the Niger Delta agitators of blame in last Thursday’s attack on an army formation at Ogbobagbene community, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, describing it as an “isolated case.”
Denying rumoured reports that the acting president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, met Tompolo during his visit to Gbaramatu, Perekpo said: “No, the acting president has not spoken with Tompolo.
“Osinbajo is not in total control yet and is still being guided by the presidential cabals.”
On talks with PANDEF, he said: “The government is not ready to talk with PANDEF because the group is mostly made up of political and economic jobbers.
“The government will prefer to deal with people like Tompolo, who they believe is straight forward in his agitation for a better living for the people but the political difference is hindering the process as those from the Niger Delta in the government are afraid that he might render them irrelevant.
“The only item the government is attending to is the Maritime University issue which will likely take off in the 2017/2018 academic session because of the facilities they saw on ground.”