By Bassey Anthony, Uyo
A socio-political group, Akwa Ibom Democratic Forum (ADF) has praised the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio’s recent visit to Oporoza Town in the Gbaramutu Kingdom, Delta State to meet ex- agitator, Chief Government Ekpemopolo (Tompolo).
Tension had risen in the Niger Delta region following a seven-day ultimatum issued by Ekpemopolo for the Federal Government to constitute a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The group thanked the Minister and his entourage for the courage, patriotic zeal and humility which inform the all-important peace trip to the former militant leader.
A statement signed by the Director-General of ADF Obongemem Ekperike Ekpo and made available to reporters in Uyo Akwa Ibom State further highlighted that the outcome of the meeting has led to the review of the ultimatum and a better working understanding that would advance the progress of the region.
According to Ekpo, who is a former member of House of Representatives, when ADF earlier in the year adopted the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio as our Grand Leader and espoused the philosophical concept of Dependable Leadership as the driving motto of our organisation, some may have seen these decisions as a mere emotive and sentimental overflow of feelings that appeared perhaps not well-distilled.
The group in the statement noted that Thursday, June 3, 2021, acquitted them in that choice they made when Akpabio in the face of growing tension arising from 7- day ultimatum issued by High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, aka, Tompolo, on the constitution of NDDC Board demonstrated dependable leadership by initiating a timely dialogue that has brought truce and ended what seemed as an impending imbroglio in the Niger Delta and indeed, Nigeria.
Parts of the statement read: “Akwa Ibom Democratic Forum (ADF) wishes to place on record the historic effort of the Minister who had to risk his life in an open flying boat for three hours to and three hours from the Gbaramatu Kingdom on the water in search of peaceful resolution to an imminent conflict that had the potential to impact negatively on Niger Delta and stall its developmental strides.
“ADF is proud to be associated with this determined personality who demonstrated such uncommon courage, leadership and sacrificial commitment to peace which saw him departing Oporoza Town at 9:00 p.m. and plodding through the risky waters for three hours to arrive Warri at almost midnight.”