By Onome Oghenetega
The Ijaw Peoples Development Initiative (IPDI) has come hard on unknown sponsors of spurious allegations against a prominent Niger Delta activist, Chief Dennis Otuaro, warning those behind the group to put an end to the unnecessary name calling over the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
IPDI noted that Otuaro who played prominent role in dousing the Niger Delta crisis was qualified and competent to lead the amnesty office, saying that if President Muhammadu Buhari picked him as the right man for the office, no one could stop him.
In a statement signed by the acting Spokesman of IPDI,Mayor Timi Ogobiri, on Tuesday warned that no one should play politics with the relative peace in the region.
The group, however, dismissed allegation that the Gbaramatu chief is a Personal Assistant to former Niger Delta militant leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo, and reported appointment was meant to compensate Tompolo.
It added that those behind the media attacks were only out to block the chances of Otuaro who has been reportedly picked as the next Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty programme.
The group said, “For record purpose, we make bold to say that High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, aka, Tompolo is not looking for any compensation from any quarter, as the group also failed to mention the grounds on which Tompolo is looking to be compensated.
“We frowned at the report as it lacks iota of truth as it is meant to fan ember of discord among politicians in Ijaw nation and other stakeholders in the Niger Delta region. Dennis Otuaro was never at any point a PA to Tompolo.
“Dennis Otuaro is a critical stakeholder in the Niger Delta struggle, and nobody is better qualified and competent to lead the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) than him at the moment. He’s both intellectually and educationally qualified to occupy the office.”
IPDI stated further that while it is true Dennis Otuaro was formerly a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he had since decamp to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and has been doing his best to make the party popular among Ijaw people in Delta State.
“We want to state as well that we should not play politics with critical issues in Niger Delta region as such will not serve the best interest of the region.
It’s untrue to say that the anticipated appointment of Chief Dennis Otuaro is compensation to former Niger Delta freedom fighter, High Chief Government Ekpomupolo. But it’s the level of Dennis commitment to Niger Delta question that earns him this opportunity.
“We are equally aware that Dennis has given his heart and devoted his time to serve APC and President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration and there is nothing wrong with Chief Dennis being appointed as PAP Coordinator”, the statement added.