Former Niger Delta militant leader, Chief Government Ekpomukpolo alias
Tompolo, and other Ijaw youth leaders have warned President Goodluck
Jonathan to stay away from the groundbreaking
ceremony of the $16
billion export processing zone project scheduled for Friday at
Ogidigbenm Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.
Ekpomukoplo and his kinsmen issued the warning on Wednesday at Oporoza,
his country home, where they addressed a world press conference to
express their protest against the naming of the project after Ogidigben,
an Itsekiri community.
They threatened to resort to self-help if steps were not taken to rectify the anomalies with the naming of the project.
At the venue of the press conference, angry Ijaw youths, with white head
scarves, drove a convoy of speed boats recklessly to show their naval
Some of the placards they carried read, ‘Gbaramatu may resort to self
help.’ ‘EPZ Escravos, Gbaramatu youths says no,’ ‘Inaugurate Gbaramatu
Kingdom EPZ Interface Committee,’ ‘we welcome EPZ project but call for
fairness,’ ‘Don’t mistake our peaceful disposition to weakness’ and
‘Gbaramatu Kingdom says no to the naming of EPZ after Ogidigben.’
At the press conference, Ekpomukpolo said the Ijaw want President
Jonathan to stay off the ceremony until their demands were met.
Chief Godspower Gbenekama, who read the address of Gbaramatu Traditional
Council of Chiefs, said they were drawing the attention of the
Presidency and the world to the injustice and unfair deal being meted
out on the Ijaw people of Gbaramatu Kingdom on the on-going EPZ project.
He called on the Federal Government and the Nigerian National Petroleum
Corporation to address their demands to avert another bloody crisis in
He noted that the Ijaw, had through formal means, made their grievances known to the various organs of government.