Military operatives in the Niger Delta region were on Thursday on alert, not knowing what could result from the planned meeting of leaders of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND).
The meeting was called by Chief Government Ekpemupolo, leader of MEND and scheduled for the Izon House in Yenagoa, Bayelsa.
“My dearly beloved Commanders and Leaders of various wings of the Movement of the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), I greet you all,” Ekpemupolo said in the sparsely worded invitation, obtained by huhuonline.com.
“It is my pleasure to humbly invite you to a very crucial and urgent meeting as follows:
Venue: Izon House, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
Date (of the meeting is) Saturday, July 25th, 2015.
Time (is) 2pm Prompt.”
The letter was signed by Tompolo, identifying himself by his traditional title – Izon Ibe-Ebidouwei of Izon nation.
Responding to questions about the purpose of the meeting, Tompolo said the meeting was to deliberate on recent developments in Nigeria as well as the fate of the Niger Delta region in the current political dispensation.
Speaking through his media aide, Comrade Paul Bebenimibo, who did not divulge further detail about the meeting, said the MEND leaders would chart a path for the progress of the region.
However, sources close to the military said the planned meeting is a source of concern for top military commanders in the region.
Tompolo, a known supporter of former President Goodluck Jonathan, was the founder of the deadly group that crippled oil production in the region from 2005.
The military source further revealed that Tompolo had been placed under security surveillance since 28th March, when Jonathan was defeated at the polls.
No suspicious moves had been made by Tompolo since the surveillance began until now, the military source said.