Soldiers invaded Oporoza community, the traditional headquarters of Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State and home base of ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, at the early hours of Monday, in two gunboats in search of members of Niger Delta Avengers, the militant group bombing oil installations in the state.
The military men, who came at about 12.30 am while the people were asleep laid siege at the community until about 5.00 am when they departed. A source said the army reportedly acted on intelligence information that the militants had secretly converged on the community.
However, the Pere (traditional ruler) of Gbaramatu Kingdom, HRM Oboro-Gbaraun II, Aketekpe, Agadaba, who was scared stiff with his subjects during the invasion, offered, Monday, to mediate in the face-off between the Federal Government and Tompolo despite his dissatisfaction with the neglect of the kingdom by government.
But the rampaging Niger-Delta Avengers, which earlier claimed that it had no link with Tompolo and in fact, issued him a three-day ultimatum for denouncing the group, remained unperturbed, as Vanguard gathered that it had concluded plans to extend its attacks to Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Calabar.
A source said leaders of the militant group reviewed their operations at the weekend and were satisfied that group was able to effortlessly cripple oil operations in Delta state and was willing to continue with the bombings if President Muhammadu Buhari fails to address their demands.