Ex-Militants Regroup In Bayelsa, Threaten War If Jonathan Loses Election


A group of ex-militants in the Niger Delta, led by Government Ekpemopulo
(aka Tompolo), on Friday met in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, and
threatened war over what they described as coordinated attacks on the
campaign team of President Goodluck Jonathan in some Northern States.
The group vowed to resort to violence and engage in armed confrontation
with anyone or group plotting to derail Mr. Jonathan’s second term
ambition.
Those who attended the meeting, held at the Banquet
Hall of the Bayelsa State Government House, included Kingsley Kuku, a
special adviser to the president and chairman of the presidential
amnesty program, Mujahid Asari Dokubo, Mr. Ekpemopulo, Victor Ben
Ebikabowei (aka Boy Loaf), Eris Paul, also known as General Ogunboss,
and Pastor Reuben. 

Addressing the gathering in Ijaw language, Mr. Ekpemopulo, better
known by his nickname of Tompolo, said he would not dwell on the recent
cases of intimidation and attacks on President Goodluck Jonathan, but
called on the youths and the political figures from the region to
forgive one another and forge a united front. “Let us unite and within
seven days, you will see what will happen,” he said.


The participants acknowledged that various issues had polarized
members of the Ijaw ethnic group since Mr. Jonathan’s ascension as
president, but they urged the youths of the region to work towards the
re-election of President Jonathan in the February 14 presidential
election.

Mr. Asari Dokubo, an unrepentant militant who has often
invoked war if Mr. Jonathan was voted out, told the gathering that the
recent stoning of President Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign convoy by
youths from some Northern States was an open declaration of war. “This
action is calling the Niger Delta youths to war,” he said.

Mr.
Dokubo added: “Every Niger Delta youth should go and prepare for war.
For the past four days, I have not slept well nor have I had a change of
clothing. I have not been to my house. This is the time. The Northern
youths are trying to know how important you are. After this time, no one
will play with us. After the 2015 [election], no governor will play
with us. We are saying we will fight with anything and everything that
we have. Ijaw people cannot continue to suffer while other people
enjoy.”

In his speech, Victor Ben Ebikabowei, the former deputy
commander of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta
(MEND), declared that his recent decision to resign from the
administration of Governor Seriake Dickson as director general of the
state’s Youths Development Center, was based on the anticipated “call to
war.” “All of us are strategists. I am not a politician and no
politician can I intimidate me. I resigned my appointment because I know
this day will come,” he said.

He added: “They want to use the
issue of insecurity along the waterways of the Niger Delta to keep us
busy. And today, they are intimidating our own [Jonathan]. I am Boy
Loaf. I have retired but not tired. I will go back to the creeks if
possible. Whether they like it or not, President Goodluck Jonathan will
win. Now that the oil is below $50 per barrel, they want to use Boko
Haram to take power. If they take power, we will demand for all the
years of benefiting from oil. Nobody can intimidate the Niger Delta.
Gone are the days you [could] intimidate people with the rifle.”

Mr.
Kuku, who read the resolutions of the meeting, announced that the
youths of the region had resolved to support the re-election of
President Goodluck Jonathan and would not take lightly any attacks on
the campaign entourage of the president.

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