I Don’t Expect Asari Dokubo To Say Tompolo Cannot Work In Kalabari – Michael Johnny - Mc Ebisco I Don’t Expect Asari Dokubo To Say Tompolo Cannot Work In Kalabari – Michael Johnny - Mc Ebisco
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I Don’t expect Asari Dokubo to say Tompolo cannot work in Kalabari – Michael Johnny

A Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State High Chief Michael Johnny, in this interview wonders why Asari Dokubo is saying Tompolo cannot work in Kalabari.

Chief Michael Johnny, who is a former Senatorial aspirant of All Progressives Congress (APC) for Delta South Senatorial District in 2019 and also former Chairman of Egbema Gbaramatu Communities Development Foundation said that, Gbaramatu kingdom, and Tompolo has contributed immensely and played vital role in the Niger Delta and Ijaw Nation struggle.
Excerpts
The award of pipeline surveillance contract to Tompolo is generating mixed feelings. Few days ago in a video, another Niger Delta leader, Alhaji Asari Dokubo threatened that Tompolo will not work in Kalabari and also insinuated that Tompolo was fighting for only Gbaramatu and never fought for Ijaw struggle. You are from Gbaramatu Kingdom, what can you say to that?

First of all, I want to thank every Niger Deltan for the prevailing peace in the region. For sometime I have been off from the media space on national issues for personal reasons best known to me. On the issue of pipeline contract awarded to Tompolo, I have been watching and observing happenings, some of things that are playing out after the NNPCL awarded the contract to him. The question is, what is the aim and objective, the main reason why NNPCL awarded the contract at this period of time again, probably because of the alarming oil theft resulting to drop in daily production. The government has come out to confirm that crude oil are stolen, the question again, by who and how? On the purported face off or dispute between Tompolo and Asari over the contract, I do not think both of them have any problem. Asari is a leader and an elder brother, I Chief Michael Johnny don’t expect Asari to say Tompolo cannot work in Kalabari. If for example, that Asari is awarded a contract in Gbaramatu, Tompolo will not go against Asari, I too cannot go against Asari. We cannot stop him from doing his job. So, I want to assume that Asari made that statement in that video in provocation. But, it is very unfair for Asari to denigrate Gbaramatu Kingdom because of whatever issue he may have with Tompolo. In that video Asari said Tompolo never fought for Ijaw struggle. I totally disagree with Asari. Let me also say that those persons attacking and sponsoring protests against Tompolo because of this pipeline surveillance job awarded by NNPCL, they should desist from such mischievous act. Tompolo did not award the contract by himself to himself, the Federal Government through the NNPCL did, after a successful bidding and procurement processes. Yes, I have always had my differences with Tompolo, but I don’t see any reason anyone or Asari to fight Tompolo for the contract he won and awarded to him.

Tompolo and I are cousins from same family and community, but we have disagreed and had issues. I am not expecting Tompolo to call me and I am not expecting him to give me any slots, however, Tompolo should be allowed to do his pipeline surveillance job. I will say it is quite unfortunate and unnecessary the protest and media attacks against Tompolo because of the pipeline surveillance job. Tompolo is a contractor and if he is awarded a job, I do not expect anyone or a fellow contractor threatening Tompolo not work in his community, that is unfair and unreasonable. I, Chief Micael Johnny, being a contractor too will not attack a fellow contractor for a job he won through due process.

As a contractor, you cannot stop anybody or another contractor from working in your community or area, because tomorrow you might be given a contract to execute in another person’s community or area. So, those saying Tompolo cannot work in their community because he got pipeline surveillance contract, I advise them to have a rethink.

For instance, my very good friend of blessed memory, late Capt Hosa Okunbo, a Benin from Edo State, got same pipeline surveillance contract from NNPCL. Up till now, Capt Hosa Okunbo’s company is still doing the job in some parts of Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta. Was Capt Hosa Okunbo from Rivers, Bayelsa or Delta state? Or was he from Kalabari? There are things one does and people will insinuate. I am a contractor too, so, if I get a job to do in Okrika, will Asari stop me, if he tries to stop me, I will not be happy and I may fight back because it is my right as a contractor to work anywhere or any part of the country, which is why we are registered with Corporate Affairs Commission CAC, qualifying a registered contractor to work anywhere in Nigeria.

Asari knows very well that even Chinese and Isreali are everywhere in the country working, has anybody stopped them, so what is all the noise about pipeline contract awarded to Tompolo. What is really in the pipeline surveillance job awarded to Tompolo? I still want to believe that Asari has no bad motive or angry because NNPCL awarded the job to Tompolo. Because I expect him ( Asari) to tell the Federal Government or NNPCL to award him another contract.

Pipeline security or surveillance is not the only job in NNPCL. There are plenty of jobs in NNPCL that can be awarded and Asari can get any of them. People from the North and South West and South East are the major contractors in our oilfields in Niger Delta, particularly even in Rivers. Have we stopped them, no because they have the right to work there. Asari is an elder brother, I will advice Asari not to allow himself to be deceived or instigated into fighting his brother Tompolo, over the surveillance job.

As a contractor, if I need a job, I should look for my own job, and not to be fighting another contractor for his job. More so, I don’t expect Asari to narrow Tompolo’s efforts in the struggle to only Gbaramatu. It is not true that Tompolo had never fought for Ijaw Nation. Asari also said the only fight Gbaramatu and Tompolo have fought was the Ijaw and Itsekiri crisis. I want to believe that Asari is not in any way trying to insult Gbaramatu Kingdom, it will not be accepted. I Chief Michael Johnny and others were also actively involved in the struggle. Souls were lost and buried to get the attention of the Federal Government. Asari know it as a fact that Gbaramatu kingdom and Tompolo contributed immensely and played major role in the Ijaw struggle and Niger Delta.

Nobody should instigate Ijaw and Itsekiri to fight again, we are living in peace and would not fight anymore. Even though I am not in good terms with Tompolo, it is very unfair to say Tompolo never fought for Ijaw struggle and Niger Delta. I can confidently say that Gbaramatu is the defense headquarters of Ijaw Nation and I stand to be corrected. Gbaramatu kingdom paid the supreme price for Ijaw and Niger Delta struggle, even Asari cannot deny this fact. Despite the sacrifice made by Gbaramatu kingdom to the struggle, we have only produced a Deputy Governor. We have not produced House of Representatives, Senator or even Presidential Adviser to Mr. President.

Asari should not denigrate Gbaramatu kingdom, it will not be accepted. I advice him to tow the part of peace with his brother Tompolo. Asari also said Tompolo has never helped him, that is not true, because when Asari had issues with Ateke Tom, now King, Asari was chased out of Rivers State, he ran to Warri, and he was embraced by Tompolo who provided and gave him security. Asari should emulate Ateke Tom, who is now being respected nationally and internationally. Tompolo is respected in Gbaramatu, Ijaw Nation and Niger Delta. So, I will tell my elder brother, Asari to rather fight for the constitution of the substantive board of Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC and appointment of substantive Amnesty Coordinator. Both the NDDC and Amnesty office have become platform to empower non Niger Deltans to our very detriment.
You are a member of the ruling APC, what do you think is delaying the constitution of the substantive board of NDDC?

I do not know exactly why it is delayed. Also, I do not understand why President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to constitute the NDDC Board. But, let me say this very clearly and sound, if the APC wants to win election in Niger Delta in 2023, then President Buhari should constitute the NDDC Board before commencement of campaigns because we do not have anything to campaign with to our people in Niger Delta.

The interim arrangement in NDDC and Amnesty office is a source of concern and the people are wondering why this strange Interim thing in Amnesty and NDDC while there is a substantive board in the North East Development Commission. Our people are not happy that these two major agencies created for direct benefit to the people of Niger Delta had been hijacked and mismanaged.

I want to believe or assume that some persons around the President have wrongly advised him not to appoint substantive Amnesty Coordinator and Board of NDDC. President Muhammadu Buhari should appoint substantive Amnesty Coordinator and Board of NDDC, because that is the only thing we can use to campaign and convince our people in Niger Delta to vote for our party APC.
Your advise to people of Niger Delta?

Yes, the pipeline surveillance contract has been awarded to Tompolo and other contractors are also handling pipeline surveillance across the Niger Delta. As a people we must collectively join hands to fight and stop oil theft and illegal bunkering. The activities have destroyed our lands and source of drinking water. Our health also affected and our people are dying daily in Niger Delta because of air, water and land pollution from the illegal bunkering activities.

Though, I doubt any ability to stop oil theft totally or 100% due to the high level of poverty in the region. The pipeline surveillance job is just a temporary measure that will also come with consequences. The oil theft business is done by the rich. I trust Tompolo for what he can do and the Federal Government also know his capacity to stop the oil theft. But, let me advise Tompolo, he should be diplomatic and carry everybody along because this new job will fetch him some enemies.

I will also advise Tompolo to call Asari for discussion. Both of them are brothers and should settle whatever differences they have amicably and work together.
The 2023 general election is five months away, do you think your party APC will win the Presidential election?

Yes, our party APC will win the Presidential election because we have reputable, formidable and sellable Presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Vice Presidential candidate, Alhaji Kasim Shettima. APC will retain power at the centre in 2023. Tinubu should work with everybody and shun those busybody persons who would tarnish others image before him. The duo of Tinubu and Shettima would perform and transform the country.

Also back home in Delta State, as a party, we are working very seriously and with the divine help from God, the APC will win the Delta state governorship election. And Senator Ovie Omo-Agege will become next Governor of Delta State.

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