Prominent chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Delta State, Chief Ayiri Emami, has denied speculations in some quarters that he has an axe to grind with former militant leader, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo.
Tompolo, who has a warrant out for his arrest, had accused Emami, who is Chairman of the Itsekiri Regional Development Council, IRDC, of being behind the plot to implicate him in the recent bombings of vital crude oil and gas pipelines in Delta State, an allegation the Itsekiri multi-millionaire denies.
Chief Emami, who spoke to Saturday Vanguard on phone said no amount of blackmail by pockets of sponsored persons from Gbaramatu (Tompolo’s hometown) or threat to his life will intimidate him.
The APC chieftain, who was reacting to the request by an Ijaw group to the Olu of Warri, HRM Ikenwoli I, to call him to order, said: “It amazes me how sometimes some group of persons make statements as if they have monopoly of violence, mistaking Nigeria to be a banana republic”.
“The President Muhammadu Buhari administration has shown the capacity to crush any form of insurrection, sabotage and lawlessness as experienced in the battle against Shi’ites, IPOB and Boko Haram. As what obtains anywhere in the world and even in Nigeria in the case of local vigilantes assisting the military with intelligence, I have every right to offer intelligence to the military whenever called upon”, Emami added.
He reminded those criticizing what he termed his ‘noble assistance’ to the military when the “massive economic sabotage was carried out for three days through the bombing of vital crude and gas pipelines located in Itsekiri host communities, Warri South West Local Government Area, which led to the loss of 600 megawatts of electricity, shutting down of Kaduna as well as Port-Harcourt Refineries and the loss of billions of naira to our economy” that he was once the chairman of Delta Waterways Security Committee and current chairman of the Chevron established IRDC.
“Criminality has nothing to do with ethnic or personal interest and I do not need to be an appointee of the Federal or Delta State Government to contribute my quota to the fight against economic sabotage.
“I must stress that my position against bombing of pipelines will not cause any crisis between Ijaw and Itsekiri, so nobody should hide criminality under the guise of blackmailing Chief Ayirimi Emami”, he stressed.