An Itsekiri pressure group in Warri, Delta State, on Wednesday justified why their kinsmen would rather vote for the presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), in the February 14 presidential election despite intense lobby by former militant leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo for them to support President Goodluck Jonathan.
The Itsekiri Consolidated Movement (ICM), at a press conference in Ubeji-Warri on Wednesday evening, addressed by Chairman, Ortisegbegbemi Besidone and Public Relations Officer, Franklin Metsese, noted that the overbearing influence of Tompolo and other Ijaws in Delta State showed that their interests would be better served in the APC.
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They noted that the peace shuttle by Tompolo and other emissaries of President Jonathan would no longer sway the Itsekiri people because of perceived tribal politics of the president and his kinsmen.
“In as much as we believe Tompolo has the constitutional right to campaign for President Goodluck Jonathan and Senator Ifeanyi Okowa/Kingsley Otuaro, his cousin, we want to assure Tompolo that his voyage is set to hit the rock, particularly on Jonathan’s re-election bid, unless he puts the following politically damaging records straight:
“Why did Tompolo lead the killing of hundreds of Itsekiris during the Warri crisis and forcefully took over Itsekiri God-given communities without any remorse or apology till date?
“Without prejudice to party or personality of Itsekiri candidate (s) for Warri South-West Chairmanship in the October 25, 2014 local government poll, why did Tompolo with the backing of the Presidency threaten and hoodwink Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan into handing the Chairmanship of Warri South-West to his sibling, Hon. George Ekpemupolo 48 hours to the election against the gentleman agreement of single tenure rotation between Ijaw and Itsekiri in the local government?
“Tompolo has to explain why he and his Gbaramatu brothers are laying claim to lands belonging to Itsekiri (Omadino and Ugborodo Communities) particularly the area where the EPZ is situated and till date, despite claiming not to be waging war against Itsekiri.
“Tompolo is yet to tender apology to the 14 abducted journalists, including a Channels TV camera man, Itsekiri born Senior Correspondent of Daily Independent Newspaper, Mr. Emma Arubi and six Ugborodo indigenes, who were humiliated as well as tortured almost to the point of death by his militants on his order on their way from Escravos, where they went to perform their legitimate duty of letting the world know the Itsekiri’s angle of the true owner of the land hosting the EPZ”.