A Niger Deltan social commentator and writer, Mr. Anthony Miens Demebide has celebrated G.O.C Oweizide Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo, a man he has described as a gift and true freedom fighter on this auspicious and special day of his Golden Jubilee birthday.
Mr Anthony in a statement sent to The peoplesvoicengr.com commended Tompolo whose antecedents have brought reasonable attention of the government to the Ijaw people across Nigeria, and the targeted freedom from injustice, oppression, and subjugation by the powers.
“It has become a national and an annual event for the entire Ijaw nation to always commemorate the birth anniversary of this living legend in the struggle to emancipate Ijaw nation from the brunts of injustice and oppression.
Today marks the 50th birthday as the world celebrates this purposeful freedom fighter and legend, an exwarlord whose name, Tompolo is now crested on the heart of the earth, a man whose liberation struggle for the Ijaw ethnicity from the precedence of Major Jasper Isaac Adaka Boro has impressively yielded positive results for the Izon-speaking people from the Nigerian government and the international community.
The Ijaw emancipation movement came as a clarion call to late Jasper Adaka Boro, and many marshals of the movement. The movement came down to many others at the expiration of Boro’s reign. It became a collective agendum for all well-meaning Ijaw people across the ethnic group which gave birth to several freedom fighter-groups, tailored to achieving the agitation of the people, giving the fact that the Izon-speaking people were the most oppressed in Nigeria but I shed tears today, many who fought this course could not live to see how elevated and proud the Ijaw Nation is now even though the struggle has some finishing defects; Rest in Peace to my beloved brothers who have fallen asleep during the struggle. My heart also goes out to their wives and children abandoned to their fate, left to be catered for by none.
The constituents of the liberation match were not only those who took up arms against the oppressors, it included the Ijaw musicians and the writers but today these core contributors to the emancipation quest have been forgotten. The writers and the musicians consistently stood their grounds to expose the ills of the oppressors via their crafts to international community and otherwise. Their consistent cry through the pen and the lyrics of songs during and after haven’t been given the recognition they truly deserve.
Moreover, Ayakoromo was actively involved in this push for liberation of our identity but the only major government project suffers lack of interest from Ijaw leaders hence they remained mute about it. Tompolo has failed to use his political influence and otherwise to push for the sincere commitment towards the Ayakoromo Bridge Project. This I thought was for the good of Ijaw nation but our leaders are yet to push for it with all consciousness.
I’m greatly perturbed of GOC’s continuous silence about the Ayakoromo bridge project which has taken too many years to even near completion. This has fathomed mixed feelings as to his muteness probably because the project is not sited in Gbaramatu kingdom. The economic importance of this bridge cannot be downplayed, its connectivity to local government areas in Delta state like Burutu, Bomadi, Udu, Ughelli South, and Ughelli North.
No doubt, Tompolo has engraved his name on the sands of time but there are things he must correct as a true son and leader of Ijaw nation. It must be told to correct the ill of segregation, tagging the “Mein Man” or the other as not a brother or sister. This discrimination is in the upsurge and it is gradually tearing Ijaw nation apart. It is pertinent this Birthday celebrations discuss the quaintessentials of peace, love, unity, and oneness to tie the Ijaw nation as one indivisible ethnic group to achieve Ijaw Agenda if truly we have one. As we preach the gospel of “Ijaw Agenda”, let it be from the depth of the heart to honestly see the pain of one as the pain of all and vice versa in all its kingdoms.
As a peace-loving young leader with touch of humanity, I plead that the dividends of the struggle should as well greet all those that collectively fought for the course, your peace walk today should condemn every discriminative act, and inculcate the brotherly spirit. It’s becoming increasingly clear that a day is coming when an Ijaw man would not be profitably given that brotherly recognition by another because we are not from same kingdom or town.
Let’s see ourselves as brothers and dissuade the inner cracks of selfishness, greed, callousness, wickedness, discrimination so that the house which we collectively synergised to build over the years will not collapse someday. The pen has worked and as such it should be given a place in the scheme of things gainfully as well. You must have thombed but more is humbly needed.
Before I retire my Pen to its Bed, I front your birthday celebrations to recognise deserving musicians and writers who consistently wrote to achieve the peace and nationality we now enjoy by fixing up some of them through employment and otherwise with your influence. By sincere inference, your birthday celebration should also identify the families of the tragic heroes during the massive defence of our identity, and put smile on their faces once again.
In addition, what lies ahead is bigger than what we have today, and so if we are truly ready to achieve the gospel of Ijaw Agenda as we profess, we must have a united front, brotherliness and the spirit of love to conquer the thorns to achieve that dream for Ijaw nation.
As you commemorate your 50th birthday, I pray for God’s continual grace and mercy in protection and wisdom while you remain focus to completely on your capacity build Ijaw national ethnicity as one with the principle of equality of all interests.
G. O. C. Oweizide Government Ekpemupolo!