As a group, we salute High Chief Government Oweizide Ekpemupolo, Aka,Tompolo, on his victory at the Federal high court sitting in Lagos. He was being witch hunt and unlawfully persecuted.We knew the EFCC 40-count charge level against him were frivolous and baseless and were only meant to intimidate him.

These were the reasons we maintain our support for him.The withdrawal of charges against Tompolo does not come as a surprise to IPDI. It only shows that Nigerian government can’t be trusted. His victory is a victory for all Ijaws and Niger Deltans.

But it is a pity that an innocent man could be humiliated for this long time. He was sold out for peanut by his brothers like Joseph brothers in the Bible. They wanted him dead as they see him as a threat. Some are so envious of his position in life and others jealous of his prominence.

It was a sad moment! lots of Tompolo friends abandoned him. Some of his family brothers deserted him. Some of his confidants ran away. Tompolo, we wept! many thought his end has come! His enemies were happy when he was declared wanted for the second time. He lives in the forest for the past 4years without a night sleep.

A selfless man was crucified for nothing. When we say the man was innocent people refused to listen but now every eye has seen. IPDI and few others stood behind him which he described as his new friends in one of his vanguard interviews in 2016.

Truly, we became his new friends. And we never shifted ground for any government agent to continued its blackmail. We were hunted for standing with Tompolo. We ran from pillar to pole. Yet we never gave up. The intimidation was severed but IPDI voice became louder.

Tompolo was declared wanted for the second time. The ancient Gbaramatu kingdom was severally invaded. Tompolo’s father High Chief Thomas Ekpemupolo was brutalized by the Nigerian Military and thereafter his leg was amputated and he died.

Our former spokesperson Comrade Daniel Ezekiel was arrested and detained for one year and five months. Our president Comrade Ozobo Austin narrowly escape arrest and other Tompolo close allies were also arrested. Tompolo was framed up as member of Niger Delta Avengers.

The military became brutal and lawless. IPDI and few others standing with Tompolo became wanted. We suffered in our resolves to stand with Tompolo. All these were caused by personal interest of few friends and brothers of the innocent MAN. Though, we are being exonerated and vindicated by his all round federal high court victory sitting in Lagos.

Ironically, the same “old friends” and brothers who despised and betrayed him to foreigners have beclouded him from taken inventory of his “new friends”. We do not mean he shouldn’t extend hand of fellowship to his “old friends”. But the fact remains that what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Truly, Tompolo is indebted to his new friends.

There is an Ijaw old saying “The man who give you an umbrella during the rainy days, should not be despised. As there is a need to appreciate such a man because the umbrella may still be useful during the sunny days”.It is true that his new friends are exactly not from Gbaramatu Kingdom.

But we don’t think that should be a proper ground for the ongoing segregation orchestrated by some Gbaramatu kingdom fifth columnists. Some came with clanish characters and others came with their hatred for MEIN people to separate the new friends who are largely from the MEIN from the MAN.

The activities of this fifth columnists have not helped in our collective resolves. Tompolo is a national leader. He is no longer Gbaramatu leader alone. But some characters are trying to reducing the man from the global picture to a Kingdom leadership which must be put on check.
Now that he has been freed. He should be mindful of people’s counsel.

He shouldn’t allow teleguided advises to mislead him and ensure that he extend hand of appreciation and fellowship to every desirable person across Niger Delta being rich or poor. The Ijaw or Niger Delta struggle is a collective one, and the collective efforts of every one should be appreciated, and that is the ground for peace and unity amongst us.

Especially, MEIN people were of a great support to Gbaramatu Kingdom at every point and painting them a name which doesn’t belong to them is an act of divisiveness. The struggle has many phases, and we should treat every level of it with all fairness. There are more rivers to cross.

More battles to fight and we can’t go into such wars with discrimination among ourselves. Injustice and descrimination among us as Ijaw people will be seen as the greatest enemy of progress and advancement in Ijaw land.

We should appreciate every little contribution in struggle and treat the poor and and the rich with all fairness.It is our admonition that Tompolo should beware of the antics of the fifth columnists.

He should not over rejoice on his victory but study the situation and unfolding events with all curiosity before take any step. He should use this moment to consolidate on the gains and pains of the struggle and move on.

SignedCletus Itari
BOT Chairman
Ijaw People’s Development Initiative, IPDI.

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