4.5B Pipeline Contract: Ijaw Youths Take Lori-Ogbebor To The Cleaners Over Opposition To Tompolo.
WARRI – Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), umbrella body of Ijaw youths Worldwide has taken Chief (Mrs.) Rita Lori-Ogbebor, rights activist and prominent Itsekiri leader to the cleaners over her opposition to the award of N4.5bnillion surveillance contract awarded by NNPC Limited to ex-leader of Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), Chief Government Ekpemupolo also known as Tompolo.
The IYC, Western Zone made up of Edo, Delta and Ondo States in a statement signed by Dr. (Comr.) Doubra Collins Okotete, Comr. Omaghomi Olu-Derimon, Secretary and Comr. Luggard Izoukumor, Information Officer insisted that the contract awarded to High Chief Tompolo would bring stability to the Niger Delta region rather than division or crisis
They maintained that no anarchy would arise as a result of the contract as insinuated by Chief(Mrs.) Lori-Ogbebo, they recalled that a similar exercise was executed by late Captain Hosa Okubor of Edo State in the past without any incident whatsoever.
It could be recalled that Chief(Mrs.) Rita Lori-Ogbebor had earlier cautioned the Federal Government against igniting war in the oil-rich region and called for the immediate revocation of the pipelines surveillance contract awarded to the former leader of Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo..
The Ijaw Youth Council disclosed that their reaction is to put the records straight as they are the ones who wears the shoes and knows where it pinches them most.
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According to the youths, “we saw a publication credited to one Itsekiri Chief; Chief Rita-Lori Ogbebor. Ordinarily, we ought to have ignored her, but considering how the public will be misled, we, therefore, need to put the records in the right context and perspective.”
Ijaw Youth Council(IYC) added, “first, contrary to the wrong impression created by Chief Rita Lori, there is no anarchy that would arise from the award of surveillance contract to Tompolo instead it would bring stability to the Niger Delta region and increase Nigeria’s oil production”.
“We make bold to say that Chief Ogbebor lives in Lagos and Abuja, hence she is not aware of the current state of affairs in the region. Furthermore, if Chief Rita Lori is asking for Tompolo’s contract to be revoked, but what about the one allegedly awarded to her Traditional Ruler, the Olu of Warri?”.
The IYC wondered why Chief Ogbebor did not asked for the revocation of the contract when it was being executed by the late Capt. Hosa adding, ‘this clearly explains her ulterior motive which is her age longed hatred for her Ijaw and Urhobo neighbors”.
They accused the Itsekiri leader of displaying pathological hatred against people from neighbouring ethic groups and wondered why Chief Ogbebor did not call for the revocation of the surveillance contract awarded to the Olu of Warri in Rivers and Akwa Ibom States.
“The Ijaw people will not call for the revocation of the contract awarded to the Olu of Warri. It is not our style of activism and way of life, rather we will celebrate and commend it, whereby pleading for an holistic engagement from the Olu because we believe sustainable community development must be a bottom to top approach where critical stakeholders such as Tompolo, the Olu of Warri and others must be engaged to stem economic development”, they added.
The group therefore urged Chief (Mrs) Rita Lori Ogbebor and others that are claiming leadership in the Niger Delta region to proffer ideas and closely work with Tompolo on how everyone can win rather than these charade, narcissistic and divisive comments.
“Going by her outbursts, we make bold to say that; Chief Rita-Lori Ogbebor and her camaraderie of hate and jealousy are not aggrieved with the contract, they are just scared of Tompolo’s capacity and continuous meteoric rise to win where others have failed. Reason being that if the pendulum had swung in their favors, they won’t be crying foul play.
“Chief Mrs. Rita-Lori should also be aware that there are implications to the anarchy she is inviting for the instability of the Niger Delta because of the N4.5bn pipeline contract awarded to Tompolo. This is a threat to national security and security agencies must swing into action. The contract would definitely usher in peace and security instead of anarchy that Chief Ogbebor is predicting”, IYC further noted.