Jonathan parleys with Tompolo, Ayiri, others

President Goodluck Jonathan is scheduled, last night to meet with ex-militant leader, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo and Itsekiri leader, Chief Ayiri Emami, at Asaba, Delta State. The president, who is on a two-day working visit to the state met practically all day and night with the various ethnic groups and leaders.
Saturday Vanguard gathered that at the meeting with Itsekiri leaders, Jonathan explained for the umpteenth time why the groundbreaking of the Export Processing Zone, EPZ, project. was not performed.
He restated that it was not because of fear of militants, but concern about outbreak of fresh hostilities between Ijaw and Itsekiri ethnic groups. Our source said the president agreed it was possible to perform the groundbreaking before the March 28 presidential election and directed the Minister of Petroleum Resources to fine tune the arrangement.
“He specially directed that Tompolo and Ayiri should wait to see him,” our source hinted. After a courtesy call on the Asagba of Asaba, Prof Chike Edozien, the president held marathon meetings with the Anioma, Itsekiri,Urhobo, Ijaw and Isoko ethnic groupsn as well royal fathers in the state.
It was gathered the president took time to listen and address the challenges and fears of the respective groups with a clear aim of mustering the votes of Deltans for his party. According to our informant, “He came to bridge the gap between the presidency and the groups.”
He was also scheduled to hold a session with PDP leaders and candidates of the party. Before addressing the Arewa community at noon today, he would also meet with other relevant VIPS in the state. The closed-door meetings, which were going on peacefully, last night, were facilitated by Governor Uduaghan, who is eager to deliver the state for Jonathan and other PDP candidates.