Former militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo, has deployed dozens of gunboats in Niger Delta creeks to fish out pipeline vandals, illegal refiners and illegal oil installations.
The former commander of the Movement for Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) recently won a N4.5bn monthly surveillance contract from the federal government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited to secure pipelines and oil installations in Delta and some parts of Bayelsa and Rivers states.
Despite the controversies that trailed the contract, Tompolo, it was gathered, has concluded his groundwork and commenced operations.
A source said dozens of speedboats and gunboats comprising operatives of the Navy, Army and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) embarked on their first operation on Monday.
He said the joint operation had over 1000 youths that accompanied the armed operatives on their first assignment in the creeks.
He said the youths involved in the operation were recruited from host communities in the areas of coverage of the contract.
He said: “Tompolo embarked on massive recruitment of youths from the host communities to give the people a sense of belonging. The recruitment is ongoing and the target is to engage about 20,000 youths in protecting oil installations within their domains”.