Maritime varsity: Kinsmen accuse Tompolo of nepotism

SOME families and indigenes of Kurutie in Gbaramatu kingdom of Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State, have accused former militant, Chief Ekpemupolo, also known as Tompolo of cornering juicy appointments emanating from the recently approved Nigerian Maritime University (MMU) to his family members and cronies.

The fugitive is also allegedly accused of masterminding every ongoing appointment at the university and dictating to the authorities, who are said to always take approval from him before taking any decision.

A disgruntled lawyer, Demebide Pele, himself an Ijaw whose wife hails from Kurutie, host to the university, expressed anger and displeasure at the development.

In a conversation with TribuneOnline on Wednesday which he also posted on Facebook, Mr Demebide averred that NMU, being a federal institution, should not be subjected to the whims and caprices of one man under any guise.

“I am compelled to bring this to the notice of the public, particularly the government of the federation and the Ijaw nation in general.

“I appreciate the efforts of High Chief Tompolo towards the enactment, establishment, and final kick off of the Nigeria Maritime University at Okerenkoko.

“Posterity will not forgive me if I fail to mention the role played by Senator James Manager and other Ijaw youths and personalities unmentioned.

“The names of those mentioned and unmentioned have been written in Ijaw Hall of fame, but it is also worthy to note that inasmuch as these persons mentioned would be highly respected, we should not forget the fact that the school belongs to the Government of the Federation and also funded with the taxpayers’ money.

“But in a situation where a particular family in Kurutie and/or Gbaramatu Kingdom is teleguiding or controlling or directing the lawful activities of the VC to favour a particular list in the employment of non – academic staff against credibility and qualifications would be totally condemned.

“If that is the position of the Urhobo in Delta State University at Abraka, an Ijaw man would not be the VC of that institution; if that is the position of the Urhobo in PTI, an Ijaw man would not be employed there.

“What is happening now at Kurutie is that a particular family, who claims to have monopoly of violence, is at present, directing who and who is to be employed in Kurutie community, Gbaramatu Kingdom and Ijaw nation in general; it is an unwelcome development and needs to be strongly condemned,” he enthused.

It will be recalled that interviews were, a few weeks ago, conducted for applicants who applied for both academic and non-academic positions in the embattled institution while academic activities are expected to commence in earnest.

The commencement of academic activities in the varsity was one of the topmost agenda marshalled by the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) as part of demands made by various aggrieved militants in the Niger Delta region.

The university was mooted and started by the former government of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014 before the opposition led by Mr Rotimi Amaechi rose against the continuation of the project.


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