Former militant leader, Oweizide Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompoli, has made his first public appearance after hiding for six years.
The emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 had seen Tompoli go into hiding.
The Federal Government had deployed troops to fish him out, hence the need for him to hide.
The government also declared him wanted through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for ignoring two bench warrants issued against him by the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos following an alleged N45.5bn fraud case.
The court, however, on July 15, 2019, dismissed all the charges against Global West Vessel Specialist Limited, a company linked to the former Niger Delta militant leader.
Tompoli still went into hiding despite the ruling of the court until October 19, 2020, when sources said he made a sudden appearance at the Egbesu Shrine in his Oporoza country home in Gbaramatu, Delta State.
It was reported that the former militant and his friends were spotted dancing, worshipping, and offering Thanksgiving to Egbesu, Ijaw god.
An Egbesu disciple, Bodmas Kemepadei, who confirmed Tompoli’s appearance, said the appearance of Tompolo, who is the Egbesu Priest, would help to facilitate resolutions of knotty issues in the Niger Delta region.
He said: “As Tompolo disciples and proponents of the Ijaw cause, this celebration to our National God Egbesu, is not just about the vindication and freedom of Tompolo, it is about the military invasion and burning of our communities without any provocation.”
“It is about the IOCs that have refused to relocate to the region even after a presidential directive, it is about our people having a fair share of our natural resources, it is about freedom from these Federal Government promoted ailments that our people suffer from.”
“We celebrate Tompolo with confidence that these issues will be addressed, we celebrate with our spirits high knowing that the time for resource control is now, let this be a message to all our brothers in struggle, the days of arms are over, we have to engage the FG with intellectualism, we call on all to be part of the resource control agitations, the time is now”.