:: Cover Story...

Friday, November 14, 2014.

Billionaire Ex Militants Tompolo, Ayiri Emami At War Over $16bn Govt Project
...adopts ethnic colouration to achieve personal agenda.

Billionaire ex militants, Government Ekpemupolo widely known as Tompolo and ex comrade in arms, Ayiri Emami are estranged.

They have been for a while now.

The duo transformed big players in the money circle when they laid down arms in the struggle for resource control in exchange for government patronage.

Their rivalry has roots in fight for influence and bigger share of the pie.

And the situation has degenerated to open fight.

But they are coating their war in the guise of protecting ethnic interests.


Though from the state (Delta), the duo belong to different ethnic group.

While Tompolo is Ijaw, Ayiri is Itsekiri.

And at the centre of their battle for is threats of major violence and growing skirmishes of $16bn community project.

The thrust of the issue the duo hide behind to perfect personal agenda lies in siting of the mega initiative.

Labelled Escravos Export Processing Zone (EPZ) Project, the $16bn project is situated in Ugborodo, specifically located and named after ‘Ogidigben’ - and Itsekiri area.

'Which judging by simmering rivalry between the duo and their supporters, a good thing for Ayiri and his people but not too good for Tompolo and his crowd' a source analysed.

Another source analysed further ' going by the thinking of this people, it means Ayiri and his people automatically have better edge in relating with investors and making bigger claims of them as time goes by...but despite the fact it is situated in an Itsekiri area, if the Tompolo and his people force a change that reflects their own identity, then they see themselves as coming as close as possible to their perceived rivals in making claims of investors'.

Information revealed to show how serious he views the situation, Tompolo hyped up the ethnic card to the point of leading massive protest against the commissioning of the project by the President Goodluck Jonathan.

Sources confirmed that the situation has become so volatile that the military has been deployed to keep the peace.

Against the backdrop of denials, death are said to have been recorded in the unfolding explosive affair.

While Ayiri and his people resist the move at renaming the project to suit the wishes of the other side, Tompolo and his crowd are becoming more intense at achieving their goal.

And information filtering out revealed, the situation on ground has forced the President to shift the official commissioning twice, based on 'unfriendly security' report.

Tompolo and his backers threaten to unleash mayhem if the project is commissioned as it is named.

The latest 'indefinite postponement' was announced barely 24hrs to the event, on Thursday November 13 2014.

This move is seen as a temporary win for Tompolo and his ethnic sentiment backers,
Ayiri Emami
but whether the might of the federal government will succumb to their demand remains to be seen.

'But away from all the ethnic charade, the whole drama boils down to individuals playing ethnic cards for personal agenda...the two major players in opposing sides are ex militants that supposedly came to limelight and wealth via agitation for the common good of their people in general...if this is the true of their agitation, what stops them from finding a common ground, especially working together to achieve a compromise for the general good?' a keen observer noted.

Summation here and there reveal, the personal war blown into out of proportion ethnic fight is about wealth, influence and clout at amassing power to control affairs of the region.

The EPZ project at the heart of the explosive development is defined as a joint effort between the Federal Government and some corporate entities.
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