Godswill Akpabio, minister of Niger Delta affairs, has arrived in Delta state to plead with Government Ekpemupolo better known as Tompolo over a seven-day ultimatum he had issued.
In May, Tompolo said President Muhammadu Buhari should constitute the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) or face a complete breakdown of law and order in the region.
“He is about to be awakened to the rage of the Niger Delta region,” the former militant had said in a statement.
His ultimatum came after that of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) in April. The youth council said they would shut down the Niger Delta region if the president failed to constitute the board of the commission within a month.
Akpabio, who was received by Kingsley Otuaro, Delta governor; Dennis Otuaro, a traditional ruler, and top military officers, is expected to meet with Tompolo in Gbaramatu, an area located in the creeks.
In January 2019, Buhari ordered a forensic audit of the operations of the NDDC from 2001 to 2019.
The president had said the level of development in the region is not commensurate with the huge resources made available to the NDDC, hence the audit.
The commission has had two interim management committees (IMC) led by Joi Nunieh and Kemebradikumo Pondei — they were both expected to oversee the audit.
But they were both sacked after fraud allegations were levelled against them.
In December 2020, Buhari appointed Effiong Akwa, acting executive director of finance and administration of the commission, as the sole head of the agency.
Many have criticised the action, saying the law establishing the commission does not provide for such an appointment.
This is how the State stop being a State. Non State actors creating their own space within the state. Government Ekpemupolo better known as Tompolo is a Fugitive from the State which declared him wanted for banditry and theft. Yet a Minister of state goes to plead with him to uphold safety of the state.