The postponed meeting of the Niger Delta ex-militants which reportedly generated tension in the region has been attributed to the intervention of Jonathan, elder statesman, Edwin Clark and several Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors.
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According to Leadership newspaper, several calls were made to High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, also known as Tompolo to shelve the plans for the meeting.
Jonathan was said to have prevailed on Tompolo to allow the governors of the region meet with Buhari on the issue of Amnesty, which is the main grievance of the ex-militants.
Governors Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo state, Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa state and Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state, Clark and some newly appointed service chiefs also called Tompolo earlier.
Governor Dickson, was subsequently, assigned to issue a statement cancelling the meeting. The statement which was issued by his chief press secretary, Daniel Markson-Iworiso, announced that the governors and the aggrieved ex-militant leaders would meet soon to iron out the issues they raised concerning the amnesty programme.
Comrade Paul Bebeminibo, media aide to Tompolo, when contacted, said the decision to abort the meeting was as a result of pressure by prominent Ijaw leaders.
On Thursday, July 23, Tompolo invited the commanders of militant groups in the oil rich region to what he termed a “very crucial and urgent meeting” that will be held in Izon House in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state.
But, in the early hours of Saturday, July 25, anti-riot policemen blocked the access to the Ijaw House in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state, where the meeting was scheduled to take place.
Meanwhile, some former militants from the region under the aegis of National Council of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators (NCNDE), had warned its members against attending the meeting summoned by Tompolo.
In a statement issued on Friday, July 24, Tompolo stressed that the meeting he summoned was aimed at deepening the prevailing peace in the area, saying the meeting was not meant to restart the war in the oil-rich region.
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