President Muhammadu Buhari’s government has awarded Government Ekpemupolo, otherwise called Tompolo, a pipeline surveillance contract.
The former militant leader was the Commander of the defunt Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND).
The deal is portrayed as a renewal as Tompolo got a comparable deal during the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
The government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited consented to connect with Tompolo to end unlawful bunkering, unlawful refining and oil theft in Niger-Delta people communities.
It is a reversal of the initial position which saw the cancellation of the contract a very long time after President Buhari assumed office.
A source near Tompolo let The Nation know that the ongoing deal is worth over N4billion monthly.
“Before the cancellation of his contract, the arrangements he put in place tackled illegal bunkering and increased production quota to over two million barrels per day.
“But the new government cancelled the contract, declared him wanted and he was later exonerated of all wrongdoings.
“They have realised the need to bring him back because currently, the country is losing over 500,000 barrels per day to illegal bunkering”, he said.
The new deal was facilitated by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva and top NNPC high ranking officials, including the Group Executive Director, Upstream, Adokiye Tombomelye.
After the signing, Tompolo presided over a meeting in his Oporoza home in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Delta State, on Wednesday.
In participation were ex-leaders of Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide, Chris Ekiyor, Udengs Eradiri and Eric Omare
Others were priest of Egbesu, Ijaw religious organisation, led by Apostle Bodmas Kemepadei; leaders of Niger Delta youth groups, heads of cult groups.
The rest were former MEND commanders – Eris Paul, otherwise known as General Oguboss; Pius Wareyal, also known as General Pius; Joshua Macaiver, Pastor Reuben Wilson, Young Shall Grow – and second phase “generals”.
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