Stay Away From Bayelsa Politics, Ex-Militant Warns Tompolo

A former Niger Delta militant leader in Bayelsa State, Mr. Africanus Ukparasia, a.k.a ‘General’ Africa, has warned Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as ‘General’ Tompolo, to stay away from Bayelsa politics.

He said this in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, on Wednesday while reacting to reports of plans by Tompolo to interfere in the December 5 governorship election in the state.

According to Ukparasia, intelligence report at the disposal of former fighters in Bayelsa State indicate that Tompolo has allegedly set in motion a strike squad to attack parts of Bayelsa during the election, with the aim of hijacking election materials and using them to rig for a particular candidate.

He also recalled instances when Tompolo had in the past attacked parts of Bayelsa State.

He noted that Tompolo had on April 20, 2007 attacked the Government Jetty area of Yenagoa and attempted to   bomb the Government House before he was repelled by the military who had been alerted of the attack.

He also alleged that Tompolo’s foot soldiers attacked and destroyed the home of former President Goodluck Jonathan on May 17, 2007.

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He said Tompolo equally deployed some of his boys in the state to disrupt the recent All Progressives Congress governorship primary election in Bayelsa, noting that three of the ex-militant’s boys were arrested by the Department of State Security in a hotel in Yenagoa.

Ukparasia, therefore, warned Tompolo ,who is based in Delta State, that the purpose of their agitation was not to attack sister states and communities.

He warned that he (Africa) also had the capacity to interfere in the politics of Delta State if Tompolo would not desist from his alleged meddlesomeness.

He warned of dire consequences if Tompolo attempted to attack Bayelsa State before, during and after the December 5 governorship poll.

He called on the police, the DSS and all other security agencies to place Tompolo under security watch to avert any conflict.

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But, Tompolo, who spoke through his Media Adviser, Paul Bebenimibo, said Africa was talking rubbish and did not make any sense.

Bebenimibo questioned Africa’s relationship with Bayelsa election, wondering why he should make “wild, unsubstantiated and spurious allegations” against Tompolo, whom he described as a peaceful man.

He said, “Who is Africa? What are his roles in Bayelsa election? Is he a contestant in the election? Is he a Federal Government, police, DSS, military or what?

“Who is he to get a report about High Chief Government Ekpemupolo (Tompolo)? As far as we are concerned, we do not understand what he is saying. He is not making any sense at all.

“My boss has nothing to do with Bayelsa election. We do not know his (Africa) relationship with Bayelsa election and for such a person to allege that Tompolo is planning to disrupt Bayelsa poll is senseless, unfortunate and unthinkable. The allegation does not make any sense to us.”

-punch