– Former militant commander, Government Ekpemukpolo, aka Tompolo, has handed over the cottage hospital he operated for two years to Delta state government
– His handing over to government is predicated on the fact that there is no more fund to operate the hospital
– He said for the two years he operated the hospital, he spent not less than N400million to provide medical services to the people of the coastal communities
Former militant commander who has been on the run, Chief Government Ekpemukpolo (Tompolo) has offered explanation why he was handing over the ultra-modern Okerenkoko cottage hospital, Gbaramatu Kingdom to the Delta state government.
LatestNigeriaNews.Com.Ng reports that the cottage hospital was built by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), commissioned by former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta state on January,15, 2008 and DESOPADEC took over its running after its inauguration, but not for long.
Representative of Tompolo, Paul Bebenimibo, with Delta state commissioner for health, Dr. Nicholas Azinge at Okerenkoko, Gbaramatu Kingdom
Tompolo, explained to the state commissioner for health, Dr. Nicholas Azinge, when he inspected the abandoned hospital that he single-handedly managed the hospital for two years in order to bring free medical services to people in the river communities of the state.
The ex-militant leader who spoke through the Executive Secretary of the Tompolo Foundation, Comrade Paul Bebenimibo, disclosed that he injected over N400 million into the running of the hospital for two years, revealing that the foundation provided free medical services for the people for two years.
He revealed: “After it was built and commissioned and handed over to the state government and it was operated by DESOPADEC on behalf of the state government it became abandoned after the 2009 invasion of Gbaramatu Kingdom by the army and in 2013, the Tompolo Foundation took over the operation.
“From 2013 to August 2015, the foundation spent over N400 Million running the cottage hospital and at a point we were unable to continue as a result of funds and the foundation wrote to the Government to take over the running of the cottage hospital.”
Comrade Bebenimibo, who was accompanied by the Director of Health Project, Tompolo Foundation, Dr. Clarkson Agagha, added: “In August 2015, we wrote a letter to the Delta state government that we could no longer run the hospital and we asked the government to take over the responsibility.
Tompolo speaks from hiding, handover cottage hospital to Delta state government
“That is what the government has just responded to and they have come to inspect the place. And from their comments, they have confirmed that the Okerenkoko cottage hospital is a good one that cannot be abandoned.”
He also said: “I want to call on the government to match words with action and come in immediately to bring a relief back to the people because this community is in a very difficult terrain and for people to be able to have access to health care is a very difficult task.
“For instance if someone is having a health challenge, the nearest place from here is Warri. The finance is not even there to take care of such problems.
“So it is a good thing that the government has decided to listen to the people by coming to access the cottage hospital and we hope that very soon we are going to gather here once again in a ceremony to witness the hand over to the state government by the Tompolo Foundation.”