Nigerian troops have been accused of widespread human rights abuses in the Delta community of Gbaramatu Kingdom.
Leader of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo, has reacted to the military invasion of his home and Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State in search of him and members of the new militant group, Niger Delta Avengers (NDA).
In a statement issued on Sunday, May 29, 2016 Tompolo denied membership or sponsorship of the Niger Delta Avengers.
He called on the members of the group to “put an end to this act of pipeline vandalism, as it will not do our dear country any good, especially in this critical period of our economic history.
He said: “I still maintain that I know nothing about your group and the destruction of crude oil facilities in the Niger Delta region.
“That notwithstanding, for the love of country and out of patriotism, I wish to appeal to you once again to stop the bombing of oil facilities in the Niger Delta region, and embrace the path of dialogue with the Federal Government of Nigeria, as the government is ready to hear you out on whatever issues you wish to discuss with it.
“You guys know that I do not know you and how to reach you, except through the mass media. If truly as you guys claimed that you are fighting for the well-being of the people of the Niger Delta, then you must adhere to this appeal, otherwise, the world will label you as criminals.
“Come to think of the consequences of your actions in the region so far, particularly as it affects me and the people of Gbaramatu kingdom. Just yesterday (Saturday), the Nigerian Army invaded the ancestral headquarters of the kingdom, Oporoza town, under the guise of looking for members of your group, particularly me, who they have wickedly linked to your group, and unleashed mayhem on the innocent people of the community.
“And this happened in my absence as I am currently out of Gbaramatu kingdom, but what I gathered from some of the victims of the Army invasion is unspeakable. Even pots of soup were not spared. The Army has massively looted resident homes, desecrated traditional places of worship, committed sacrilege, abominations and what have you.”