Bayelsa Supplementary Poll: Ex-Militant Leaders Warn Tompolo, Asari-Dokubo To Steer Clear Off Southern Ijaw
Ahead of the January 9 supplementary election in Southern Ijaw local government area of Bayelsa State, concerned ex-militant leaders from the state have expressed reservations over the alleged involvement of foremost ex-militant leader, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo also known as Tompolo and leader of the disbanded Niger Delta People Volunteer Force, Alhaji Mujaheed Asari-Dokubo in the violence witnessed in the December 5 and 6 governorship elections in the state.
Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had to reschedule the polls in Southern Ijaw and about 101 other wards across the state following widespread irregularities and violence.
Speaking under the aegis of Niger Delta Peace Yoke Leadership Initiative led by Comrade Excel Toriomo, the ex-militant leaders noted that while the effect of the political tussle between the All Progressives Congress APC (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa is having on the Ijaw race is known, the involvement of none-Bayelsans like Asari-Dokubo and Tompolo, has made the issue more grave and volatile.
According to Toriomo, “Our group strongly warn Tompolo and Asari Dokubo to stay clear from the collective decision of the Bayelsa people. They should be saddled with the challenges of facing the EFCC rather than coming over to Southern Ijaw to foment non-existing troubles and crises in Bayelsa State”.
In what appears a direct challenge to Tompolo and Asari Dokubo to come to Southern Ijaw if they are willing on January 9, the ex-militant leaders of Bayelsa State warned that “history may not forget that date because the world would know that it is not business as usual”.
Why urging those who have ears to “not only hear but listen”, the ex-militant leaders quoted a popular Nigerian adage that says “who the gods would destroy, they first make mad”.
The group claimed that the APC candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva, fought for the relative peace enjoyed by the Niger Delta people today, adding that “The amnesty programme introduced by the late President Umara Musa Yar’adua was made possible by the effort of Chief Timipre Sylva”.
It further stated that the amnesty programme remains the only benefit from the federal government where education, skills acquisition and training was made possible for the youths and ex-militants of Bayelsa State.