…Octogenarian’s death heightens tension in Delta region
08 September 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Eighty-four-year-old Chief Thompson Ekpemupolo, father of the embattled former Niger Delta militant leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, also known as Tompolo, has died.
Ekpemupolo died on Wednesday morning at a private clinic in Warri where he had been receiving treatment for injuries he sustained on one of his legs after his home was invaded in May by the Nigerian army.
His death is said to have led to heightened tension in the creeks given the circumstances.
Tompolo’s father’s personal residence at Kurutie community in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State was, in May, raided by military personnel from the Joint Task Force in search of his son, Tompolo.
He was said to have sustained severe injuries during the attack, leading to one of his legs being amputated.
According to reports, Gbaramatu strongman died from the injuries sustained during the military invasion of the community in the early hours of May 29, 2016.
Tompolo had accused President Muhammadu Buhari of unfair treatment and alleged molestation of his 84-year-old father in a recent letter to the President from hiding since he was declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on allegations of corruption and fraud.
On his father’s travails, he noted that “The military went to Kurutie Town in search of my 84-year-old father and brutalised him. We managed to rescue him to Warri and hospitalised him.
He claimed that his octogenarian father lost a lower limb to amputation following his encounter with troops of the Federal Government who invaded Kurutie, Warri South West Local Government Area in May.
“Sadly, one of his lower limbs was amputated two weeks ago. From the doctor’s report, it will be a miracle if he survives this incident. Is this 84 years old man also a member of the Niger Delta Avengers, that he was brutalised to the point of death?
“Will your Excellency accept this in good faith if this was done to your father or someone of this age in your family? I have not heard of anyone that was treated like this even in the volatile North-Eastern part of the country,” he added
He urged the President to take a keener interest in the affairs of the region and investigate allegations against him instead of judging him by what politicians say about him.
He said, “As it stands now, you are not abreast with things happening in this part of the country, perhaps you are only abreast with crude oil exploration activities in the Niger Delta region.
“I do not need to remind Your Excellency that, the primary duty of any government is to seek after the welfare and security of the citizenry,” he said.
Tompolo, who dwelled extensively on his case with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission as well as the N13 billion NIMASA University land acquisition debacle, urged the President to deploy his trusted aides to the area to ascertain the true state of affairs.
He hinted that the issue of his alleged fraud was being used as a tool of blackmail and political vendetta, stressing that if the president took the time to investigate the matter the truth would be revealed.
Nevertheless, he maintained his decision to adopt lawful means always and not violence to prove his case with the EFCC.
He said, “Your Excellency sir, I have been wondering since the beginning of my travails at your instance, and I wish to ask whether is this part of the fight against corruption in Nigeria? Or was it because I supported my kinsman, former president Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 general elections? I thought everyone in Nigeria has the liberty to support whoever he or she deemed fit in an election.
“And as Dr. Jonathan bravely accepted the outcome of the election, which brought you in as President of Nigeria today, I thought you will heal wounds as the father of the Nation. And it was on this premise that I visited you immediately after your swearing-in ceremony to pledge my loyalty and readiness to work with your administration.
“I am yet to be told the reason for all these shenanigans exhibited by your security agencies and party members. I really want to know whether this macabre dance is being declared by you or is it out of their own volition to perpetuate this high level of hatred on my person and close associates? It has really gotten to a worrisome dimension as the situation is getting deteriorated by the day.
“That was not all, the military men stormed the house of one of my younger brothers and harassed his pregnant wife with guns pointed at her. This has led to complications because of the closeness to her full time of delivery.”