By Eseoghene Emuke
Chief Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo on Monday donated relief materials to victims of the recent flood in Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers States.
The relief materials estimated to worth N150 million was donated by Tompolo through the Tompolo Foundation to help cushion the devastation caused by the flood.
Tompolo, who lamented that level of devastation caused by the flood, said beneficiaries of the items are spread through Ijaw, Urhobo, Isoko, Ndokwa and ethnic nationalities in the three benefitting states of Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers.
Represented by the Executive Secretary of Tompolo Foundation, Dr. Paul Bebenimibo, the former militant leader said the items comprising rice, beans, garri, yam, palm oil and others would be distributed without discrimination.
Bebenimibo, giving breakdown of the relief materials, said the items include 2,400 bags of rice, 100 bags of beans, 200 bags of garri, 5000 tubers of yams, 200 gallons of palm oil, 600 gallons of groundnut oil and others and 2,000 cartons of noodles.
Handling the items to representatives from the various States for onward distribution to the beneficiaries, he said Tompolo was moved by the hardship being currently experienced by the flood victims.
He disclosed that victims in seven out of the eight local government areas in Bayelsa which were massively impacted would get 600 bags of rice and other items.
Bebenimibo, who is also the commissioner representing Ijaw ethnic nationality on the board of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), expressed confidence that the relief items will be distributed to affected persons by their representatives without being diverted.
“We have good tidings from the President and Chairman of Tompolo Foundation. It’s no longer news that our country was greeted with a massive flood and the impact was overwhelming. People have been in serious disarray in Bayelsa State, Rivers State and Delta State.
“The Tompolo Foundation is established to care for the less privileged. We have been on this mission for about ten years. Specifically, sometimes in 2012, a similar flood came. The foundation organised to provide palliatives for the people. And this year we have come again to do our beat.
“I want to inform you that the President and chairman of Tompolo foundation has approved a palliative worth 150 million naira to distribute to the good people of Bayelsa State, Rivers State and Delta State.
“That’s why I had earlier recognised people that are representing these states and we are here to handover items to the beneficiaries so that they can move them to their destinations and distribute them to the affected people over there”, Bebenimibo explained.
Meanwhile, Bayelsa Governor Douye Diri has commended Tompolo for the donation, saying that the gesture will help cushion the sufferings of the people.
The governor, represented by the member representing Constituency 4 at the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Hon. McDonald Igbadiwe, said the state government already spent about one billion naira in providing palliatives to the flood victims.
He added that the initiative by the Tompolo Foundation has further shown the love Tompolo has for the people of the Niger Delta region.
Also speaking at the presentation event, commissioner representing Ughelli South, Udu, Uvwie and Urhobos in Warri and Patani in DESOPADEC, Chief Vincent Oyibode, said the gesture will no small way bring succour to Niger Deltans sacked from their homes by the flood.
On his part, Burutu Council Chairman, Hon. Godknows Angele commended Tompolo for the gesture and called on other leaders in the region to emulate him.