Host communities of East Horizon Gas Company Limited in Akwa Ibom have described the award of pipeline surveillance contract to former militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo by the Federal Government as a welcome development.
Addressing newsmen yesterday in Uyo, Cordinator of the Gas Pipeline host Communities Forum, Akwa Ibom State, Comrade Kufre Emmanson, appreciated the Federal government for finding Tompolo fit to handle oil and gas pipeline surveillance in the Niger Delta region.
Emmanson assured that the youths of Gas Pipeline communities in the state would always support Tompolo to succeed in the job to guard the pipelines from being vandalized.
He therefore called on Tompolo to consult with the Paramount Rulers in the State, stressing that the royal fathers from oil and gas communities would assist Tompolo to make proper selection of Representatives from each of the oil and gas producing areas in the state.
His words: “The Nine Local government areas in Akwa Ibom State, consisting of Ukanafun,Etim Ekpo, Uyo, Uruan Abak, Oruk Anam, Ibesikpo Asutan, Etinan and Nsit Ibom, congratulate Government Ekpemupolo a.ka Tompolo for securing the award of Pipeline surveillance contract in Niger Delta region.
“The above nine Local government areas, hosts the East Horizon Gas Company Limited, where natural Gas pipelines constructed in Ukanafun and passes through the Local governments and terminates in Akansoko Akpabuyo Local government area of Cross River State.
“This Forum commends the Federal government particularly, minister of state for Petroleum, Timipreye Sylva for finding High Chief Tompolo fit to handle the protection of oil and Gas pipelines in our region.
“And we advise that the oil and gas host communities be involved in the securing the pipeline in the region. We, therefore, call on the surveillance contractor, Government Ekpemupolo to carry the host communities along and consult with the Paramount Rulers in Akwa Ibom State.
“This would ensure proper selection of Representatives from each of the host communities and local governments. And we appeal to all our youths to support Tompolo to protect our oil and gas assets from being vandalized”
Also speaking, Adviser of the Forum Evangelist Ekong Udom, noted that for Tompolo to succeed in the renewed pipeline surveillance contract he has to engage genuine groups in each of oil and gas producing States of the Niger Delta, and not outsiders.
“When I learnt that Tompolo received the contract to do surveillance on Gas pipelines I said I have to let him know that, when it comes to Oil and gas, Akwa Ibom state plays a very major role, because there are a lot of pipelines in Akwa Ibom state which we have to make sure are not vandalized.
“So the the essence of this interaction is to let Government Ekpemupolo know that he has to be focused. He must engage genuine people and groups such as the Gas Pipeline Host Communities Forum that can guard the oil and gas facilities.” He said.