The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide has hailed Niger Delta freedom fighter, High Chief Government Oweizide Ekpemupolo (alias Tompolo) on the occasion of his 47th birthday coming up April 12, 2018.
In a statement signed by IYC President, Eric Omare, the body said “As High Chief Ekpemupolo clocks 47 and heads towards the golden age of 50, the IYC state that Tompolo has made indelible mark in the struggle for the betterment of the Niger Delta region at the risk of his life and family.
“In the view of the IYC, Tompolo is a true hero in the class of late Major Jasper Isaac Adaka Boro, Harold Dappa-Biriye, Ken Saro Wiwa and other Niger Delta heroes who gave everything towards the emancipation of the people of the Niger Delta region.”
In a similar development, the IYC decried the lukewarm attitude of the federal government towards handling of the demands of the Niger Delta people.
It would be recalled that at the peak of the renewed Niger Delta hostilities spearheaded by the Niger Delta Avengers, the federal government made far reaching promises, including relocation of the corporate headquarters of multinational oil companies to the Niger Delta region.
The IYC noted with dismay that “this very sensitive presidential pronouncement which was made by then Acting President Yemi Osinbnajo is almost going the way of previous promises by the federal government to the Niger Delta people.
“We also note that key projects that were ongoing in the Niger Delta region have been relegated to the background such as the deliberate non-funding of the East West Road by the federal government despite assertion of increased capital funding of projects.
“The key demand of the Niger Delta people for a federalism where they would have control of their resources have not also been attended to.”
The IYC, however, commended the federal government for fulfilling its promise to kick-start academic activities at the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State.
As at the time of filing this report, the IYC said more than two hundred pioneer students have resumed for academic activities at the university.
“We commend this display of good faith by the federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari and call on him to remobilize contractors who were working at the permanent site of the university to go back to site.
It would be recalled that construction activities were massively ongoing at the permanent site of the university before they were put on hold because of purported EFCC investigations.
Now that the university has started academic activities, the IYC strongly urged the former Governor Timipre Slyva led governing council of the university to facilitate the recommencement of construction activities at the permanent site.
The IYC urged that the charges against Chief Government Ekpemupolo by the federal government in relation to the sale of the temporary site of the Maritime University should be dropped.
Omare said the charges amounted to great injustice for the federal government to be using the former Mekadive Diving School, Kurutie, Delta state which NIMASA acquired from High Chief Ekpemupolo as kick-off campus of the maritime university and at the same time trying High Chief Ekpemupolo in court for the sale of the same property.