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“Don’t Be Fooled, Olu Of Warri Is A Pipeline Contractor”: Egbesu Fraternity Tells Itsekiri Youth Leader



Apostle Bodmas Prince Kemepadei, Chief Superintending Officer (CSO), Supreme Egbesu Order, has retaliated against Edema Oritsetimeyin, the outgoing president of the National Association of Itsekiri Graduates, who launched a vicious attack against the revered monarch of Gbaramatu Kingdom and High Chief Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo.

The Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III, was identified in a media report as the owner of Pipeline Infrastructure Nigeria Limited, one of the three companies that recently received multi-billion naira contract from Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited for pipeline surveillance. 

Oritsetimeyin had lambasted Tompolo for the report.

In an effort to defend the position, Oritsetimeyin bears his fangs against the Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom, whom he referred to as the “Gbaramatu Juju Priest King,” alleging that Tompolo, a former commander of the disbanded Movement for Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), was “trying to disparage the integrity and the person of the Warri monarch, through various publications.”

Oritsetimeyin further asserted that the Itsekiri people had been rather gracious to Tompolo and his King, despite the fact that the people of Gbaramatu are officially recognized as the Warri Kingdom’s customary tenants in Suit Nos. W/30/1962 and SC 294/1970.

But in his responses, Prince Kemepadei in a statement made available to, on Wednesday, said that Oritsetimeyin should spend more time urging his monarch and the Palace to be as charitable as Tompolo in order to use the advantages of his throne to better the lives of the numerous Itsekiri people rather than wasting energy trying to mislead the public by distancing the Itsekiri palace from the Surveillance Contract. 

He claimed that the Olu had “kept as secret and personal” the pipeline surveillance job that he and his late father-in-law, Captain Hosa Okubor, had been in charge of for the past seven years, refusing to consult stakeholders, his kin, or host communities like Tompolo.

Prince Kemepadei asserts that Oritsetimeyin ought to be ashamed of the fact that the failure of Olu and his father-in-law to effectively perform on the surveillance job resulted in a high rate of oil theft and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta, a development which according to him forced the Federal Government to review the contract and distribute some portions to other regional stakeholders.

The statement reads; “Let me express my reactions to your misrepresentative, demeaning, and misconstrued boy-king sponsored reports that have been trending on some national dailies.” 

“Edema Oritsetimeyin, you continue to be an outcast to the Itsekiri people, a cursed stray dog that has wandered very far from home, displaying signs of frustration, who should be called to account for dishonest behavior.

“First and foremost, let your boy-king know that anyone seeking equity must do so with clean hands and that the stories in the national dailies amount to misleading your kin, the Itsekiri people, in order to preserve your reputation and divert public attention. 

“According to an African proverb, “if you see a child in the street dancing naked, the drummer must be nearby or he was raised by lunatics.”

“Why then is there a pointless attempt to tie Tompolo’s name into a dispute involving the Itsekiri palace when there is no public record of him making any statements linking the Olu of Itsekiri to any pipeline surveillance job?

“The fact that you brought up Tantita Security Services indicates that you must have received information about the firms handling the surveillance job. If it won’t destroy the Itsekiri Nation and reveal selfishness coming from what is supposed to be an exalted Traditional Stool, Edema should be instructed to reveal to the public the owners of Pipeline Infrastructure Limited and its financial records. 

“Let me also remind you that the Olu of Itsekiri and his late father-in-law oversaw the surveillance job for the past seven years, but instead of consulting stakeholders, his kin, and host communities like Tompolo, it was kept a secret and personal. This led to significant oil theft and pipeline vandalism, which prompted the FG to review the contract and allocate some fractions to other stakeholders in the region.

“I also read the slanderous and disparaging remarks made about the Pere of Gbaramatu, referring to him as a juju priest, with contempt. It is obvious that you are ignorant of traditional history and institutions if you believe that a purchased lawsuit will alter the course of the Gbaramatu’s history. When your forefathers were determined to wipe out the existence of your ancestors (ginuwa), who fled to Oporoza Toru, now known as escravos rivers, out of fear for their lives, people like the Ijos provided you with a home. Any litigation you rely on is also refuted by anthropological evidence about the people.

“But it is clear that the Olu of Itsekiri’s current settlement lacks the shared history and symbiotic existence of their ancestors. There is no such thing as an Olu of Warri; rather, there is an Olu of Itsekiri, who lacks traditional recognition in comparison to other monarchs in the Niger Delta and Nigeria. Up until this point, the Olu has been compared to an errand throne operating on rented land and has become a king in absentia. The original palace should be in Ode-itsekiri rather than Warri. 

“The more actions Edema takes to distance the Itsekiri palace from the Surveillance Contract, the more they will be judged in accordance with the adage, “Nothing secretive lasts forever,” and he should be aware that a guilty conscience fears no accusations.

Therefore, I suggest that he use fresh tactics and urge the Palace to be as charitable as Tompolo in order to use the advantages of his throne to improve the lives of the numerous Itsekiri people. 

“Last but not least, I suggest that all companies in charge of this surveillance project adopt Tompolo’s kind action and extend their hands to young people, women, and Niger Delta leaders. More importantly, the Olu must ensure that his subjects and the members of his cabinet are fully on board”.


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