Tompolo’s meeting: Police take over venue


A team of armed and riot policemen, on Saturday took over Izon Wari (Ijaw House), venue of the proposed controversial meeting of former commanders of the Movement for Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

The meeting which generated security concerns in the region and attracted condemnations from stakeholders was called by former militant commander, Government Ekpemupolo popularly known as Tompolo.

The Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Seriake Dickson, advised the ex-militants to shelve the gathering and meet with him later on a separate day.

Notable ex-militant commanders such as Victor Ebikabowei Ben fondly called Tompolo, Africanus Ukparasia famously called ‘General’Africa and others also condemned the proposed meeting and asked their supporters to stay away from the gathering.

Africa specifically said: “We will not allow any individual to disrupt the peace and progress in the Niger Delta region in the name of ex-agitator. We warn against such attempts because we will resist and seriously deal with it”.

Investigations revealed that the police deployed a detachment of armed security operatives within and around the Ijaw House, a building dedicated for activities aimed at promoting the Ijaw nation.

A truckload of mobile policemen supported by five patrol vans of fully armed operatives were sent to the area.

It was also observed that strategic junctions leading to the Sanni Abacha Expressway where the Ijaw House is located were manned by security men.

As at 11am, the security operatives were seen monitoring the activities of motorists and commuters plying the area.

But when The Nation returned to the area at 2pm, the the scheduled for the meeting to kick-off, there was no sign that the gathering would hold.

The motive behind the deployment of policemen was unknown.

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