From Joseph Obukata, Warri
Agitators drawn from the oil mining lease (OML 28 and 30) cluster 5 and 6 from different Delta communities of Isoko, Delta State have threatened to bomb oil installations in their domain if they are not included in the pipeline surveillance contract awarded to former militant leader Government Ekpemupolo also known as Tompolo.
The pipeline protection contract awarded to a company linked to Tompolo and a few other stakeholders in the Niger Delta has been a subject of controversy in recent times.
Several groups, including community-based youth groups, have been agitating for their inclusiveness in the multi-billion naira deal which promises to fetch Tompolo N4 billion naira monthly.
The latest threat is coming a few weeks after another ex-militant leader Asari Dokubo threatened not to allow Tompolo access to his Kalabari kingdom in Rivers state.
The aggrieved militants, who spoke to some select reporters in a remote Delta rural area in Isoko land, said that they are ex-agitators from the oil mining lease OML 28 and 30 clusters 5 and 6 from different Delta communities of Isoko.
The leader of the group, who simply gave his name as ‘General’ Do-Good, flanked by his foot soldiers, issued a twenty-four hour ultimatum to the relevant government agency responsible for the award of the contract to address their concerns, failure to do so they threatened to blow-up pipelines in their communities as from Monday 10, 2022.
“We in oil mining lease (OML 28 and 30) cluster 5 and 6 from different communities of Isoko, are being marginalised. We have pipelines crisscrossing nearly every community in our area but Tompolo has hijacked our surveillance job so we are doing this to send a warning that we need our share of the pipeline job. We need our share now or we blow our lines off. We have been marginalised for too long.
“We will blow everything that has to do with oil in Isoko land if these issues are not addressed within 24 hours. Tompolo cannot come to Isoko to control our oil,” they warned.
Continuing, ‘General’ Do-Good said, “We have been marginalised too long. It is not only Ijaws that have oil in the Niger Delta region. We, the Isokos have some of the largest oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta region but we are usually marginalised and treated with disdain. Even in the Presidential Amnesty program, we were treated shabbily and in every other thing coming to the Niger Delta region, we are not well treated.
“Even in this pipeline surveillance contract we have been schemed out so we are giving them 24 hours to call us and address our needs otherwise, every pipeline and oil facility in Isoko will be blown up. We are waiting for Tompolo to enter our territory to guard any pipeline here, we are not afraid of him. We are not against him getting his share of the pipeline surveillance contract but he should not come here to lord over us, we want our own pipeline surveillance job to be given to us otherwise we will seize all the oil facilities and shoot all of them down.”