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Group flays Buhari over plot to imprison Tompolo

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From PRINCE MONDAY WHISKEY, Regional Editor South-South


THE leadership of the Alliance for the Preservation of Nigerian Democracy (AFPND) has raised alarm that the unending harassment and intimidation of High Chief Government Ekpemukpolo, (a.k.a Tompolo), former Commander of the dreaded Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), is a well calculated decoy by the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government to cajole the freedom fighters in the oil rich Niger Delta region into submission to their oppressive governance.
In a strongly worded communiqué issued at the end of an emergency meeting and signed by two front line human rights activists, Comrade Bolarinwa Ajayi, Convener and Comrade Damilola Alade, Director of Research, the group said that the Buhari administration is clearly targeting High Chief Government Ekpemukpolo, aka. Tompolo, directly, alleging that the stage is merely being prepared by the APC government to pounce on the quintessential hero of Nigerian democracy, former President Goodluck Jonathan, himself.
The Alliance protested that “It is rather very puzzling irony as the transaction in question was not only a legitimate deal of conveyance of developed property between Tompolo and the Federal Government for the take-off of the National Maritime University, the Federal Government found it expedient to purchase an international diving and maritime school, Tompolo had already established and expended a colossal amount in developing to standard.” Interestingly, the school is not even in Okerenkoko community as the APC and the EFCC would have us believe and its purchase is a different kettle of fish altogether from the purchase of Okerenkoko community land as main site of the university, which in its own regard is also a perfectly legitimate transaction as well.
The group explained further that the property the Federal Government purchased from Tompolo is in Kurutie Community more than one kilometer to Okerenkoko in which Tompolo had set up the institution long before the idea of establishing a maritime university in the area ever arose. And in every legally binding sense, it was an absolutely above board transaction of a seller and a buyer agreeing on a price. Indeed, whereas Tompolo, as any investor would have done, had assessed his selling price at his preferred sum, being N15billion, the Federal Government through the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, and subsequently, the Federal Executive Council, FEC, had assessed its buying price at its preferred sum, being less than the aforementioned amount.
At the end of the day, Tompolo merely got a legitimate amount for his personal property within the context of commercial transactions and bargaining power. Already, the Okerekonko community has disowned the likes of Michael Johnny who they revealed got his fair share of the money and thus put a lie to the opportunistic machinations of the likes of David Iwere and Ayiri Emami who are presently playing a most alarming role as ethnic champions in a matter that does not in any way concern them even in the very least.
In the words of the group leadership, “we had warned the electorate in the buildup to the last elections that a leopard never changes its spots and much as we had hoped that things would pan out differently in a democratic dispensation, we are reluctantly compelled to feel vindicated in this regard. We recall that in the wake of his emergence as a military dictator having unconstitutionally overthrown the democratic government of President Shehu Shagari, President Muhammadu Buhari had enthusiastically launched himself into an extra-judicial war on corruption in which absolutely anyone in sight including many who were afterwards completely exonerated became a candidate for globally condemned human rights violations powered by determined victimization, compulsive oppression, obsessive vindictiveness and unbridled vendetta on an industrial scale.
With the unfolding triumphalistic and predatory hounding, vilification, denigration, incrimination and witch hunt of President Jonathan’s men and women, the Buhari led APC government has simply picked up with the Jonathan administration, where it left off, many years ago, with the Shagari administration. At the time of Buhari’s first emergence as a military ruler, he had displayed little understanding or familiarity with the complex nuances, permutations, intricacies and challenges of modern governance. In the alternative, the regime had almost immediately decomposed into a barracks-minded horsewhip dictatorship of demagogues whose core approach to governance can be safely encapsulated within the template of an escapist regimentation of national life and social engagement in place of insightful vision, creative imagination, purposeful verve and progressive drive.
According to them, from event of the recent has apparently shown that the All Progressives Congress, APC, having found itself completely at sea and realizing that it simply lacks what it takes to move Nigeria forward and positively impact the lives of the average citizen, has shamelessly decided that it shall cover up its embarrassing cluelessness by recourse to governance by deafening sound and confusing fury, signifying absolutely nothing.
The obvious problem with the APC is that of a party led by men and women of extreme vindictiveness, inordinate ambition and a cutthroat approach to politics. This is probably not that much of a surprise. Human beings generally tend to do as their parents did and it is generally no surprise, for instance, to find the son of a market woman, behaving true to type and adopting an Iya Loja’s approach to politicking. Thus the modus operandi of the party is to obliterate the competition by decimating all real and imagined opposition in a heinous bid to ultimately foist a one party state on the Nigerian people. In the mindset of the owners and investors of the party, it is either we must all be for them or be branded as being against them and thus be hunted down and hounded into submission or disappearance.
Conclusively, the group said “in as much as the facts speak for themselves, we are well advised that President Buhari never contributed any verifiable thing to the struggle for democracy and we must tell him so in the clearest, least ambiguous and most unmistakable terms. In fact while the struggle was on, he was wining and dining with some of the greatest enemies of democracy such as the late Sanni Abacha whom he served as Petroleum Trust Fund, PTF Chairman and has kept defending till date. We may wonder whether Abacha is a hero where Jonathan is a villain simply because Abacha is a Muslim and a Northerner unlike Jonathan, the stigmatized Christian and not-born-to-rule Southerner. We are nevertheless assuredly convinced that as of now, at least, unlike President Jonathan, Buhari can hardly claim the status of a hero of the struggle for democracy. On the contrary he can be safely categorized as a chief beneficiary of the sweat of others who fought for democracy, many of whom died along the way and never survived to enjoy the fruits of their labour, the very fruits Buhari is now enjoying.
President Buhari must be told that he is not entitled to truncate a democracy he cannot claim to have contributed that much to build. Needless to say, truncating this democracy and dismantling the Nigerian realm can safely be envisaged as the inevitable outcomes of the APC’s utterly bewildering obsession with disgracing President Jonathan, but for whose gentility and forthrightness, the party’s leaders and investors would most certainly had never made it into Aso Rock.

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