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After Jonathan's Exit: Ex-Niger Delta Militants Tone Down Lifestyles- Leadership

Less than four months after the end of the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, the robust and millionaire lifestyles of known ex-militant leaders from states of the Niger Delta has changed tremendously.

Gone are those days when monetary rewards and multi-million naira contracts in various forms came their way. It was not uncommon to see some of them flying private and chattered flights and living larger than life while Jonathan held sway as president. Theirs was more a replica of the new kids on the block who came into sudden wealth and decided to flaunt it with careless abandon.

A drive to the home of a typical ex-militant leader would reveal the
presence of scores of armed mobile policemen as security aides, escort vehicles and exotic cars in abundance. One was also bound to meet a lot of their boys hanging around their bosses and enjoying choice drinks while elderly people in need of one favour of the other thronged the house. But with the exit of Jonathan from power
following his defeat at the polls, a lot of the
ex-militants' lavish lifestyle has tapered off, especially those among them who failed to plan for the future; they have seemingly returned to the pre-Jonathan era when they had nothing except their monthly allowances from the Presidential Amnesty Office.

However, few of them decided to plan ahead. Some ventured into businesses like sand dredging while others ventured into
politics. Bayelsa ex-militant leaders such as the
second-in-command in charge of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), Dr Ebikabowei Victor- Ben, known along the creeks as BoyLoaf; Pastor Reuben Wilson, known as Pastor Reuben; Comrade Eris Paul, known as General Ogunboss, and Africa Ukparisia, known as General Africa, who hitherto enjoyed a robust lifestyle of millionaires, have adopted quieter lifestyles.

Investigation by LEADERSHIP showed that the defeat of the Jonathan administration, which was the major source of revenue and patronage, and the cancellation of the million-dollar pipeline surveillance contracts awarded by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) may have got them to realise that they have to tone down on their lavish lifestyles.

Mujahid Asari Dokubo

The Leader of the Niger Delta People's Volunteer Force (NDPVF) has been one of the most prominent latter-day militant leader to champion the cause of the Niger Delta people.

The emergence of the Jonathan presidency was like a payback for the ex-militant leader as a lot of financial windfall came his way through various means. He was a strong advocate for the continuation of the Jonathan presidency beyond 2015.

It got to a stage he and Edwin Clark were competing to be the major voice agitating for Jonthan to win the 2015 elections. However, with the defeat of Jonathan, sources close to LEADERSHIP Weekend said he has almost faded out of the public glare, same with the robust lifestyle he was indulging in.

In fact, it was gathered that he now spends more time in Benin Republic where he owns the Amachree African University, KAAU, in addition to the soccer academy he runs in the West African country.

Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo

Having been reduced financially by
President Muhammadu Buhari through
revocation of most of his lucrative contracts, especially the one to Global West Vessel Specialists Nigeria Ltd (GWVSNL) which he is the chief promoter, Tomplo has also reduced his lavish lifestyle. Though, he's still being looked at as
"warlord," sources said hundreds of his
followers have allegedly dumped him as
they search for other means of sustenance.

It was reliably gathered that the ex-militant leader can longer use his private jet because of high maintenance cost.

Unconfirmed sources also said the many
women that flocked around him have thinned out. An aide who did not want his name in print said: "Oga Tompolo is not all that broke as people see him at present, though he has stopped the lavish lifestyle he was used to when President Goodluck Jonathan was there (Aso Villa)."

Ebikabowei Victor Ben, alias Commander Boyloaf

Boyloaf works hand-in-hand with Gen Africa to coordinate MEND activities in Bayelsa State though his area of operations is in the Ekeremor and Southern Ijaw axis of the state.

With his education and exposure, BoyLoaf is said to have gotten a better deal out of the Amnesty Programme and was able to build houses in Abuja and Port Harcourt. He also has business in shipping and dredging.

Even though he has always kept a low profile, the exit of Jonathan has
further forced him to cut down on his public exposure.

High Chief Ateke Tom Ateke,

popularly known as the 'Godfather,' was one of the field commanders of MEND. Now a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),

Godfather contested the governorship ticket of the party but later withdrew due to pressures from the former First Lady, Dame Patience Faka
Jonathan. Ateke's contribution to the success of the PDP in the last general elections, which
led to the emergence of Governor Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike, has made him one of the decision makers within the party.

It is an open secret that Ateke's nominees made the list of members of the newly inaugurated caretaker committees for Port Harcourt City, Ogu/Bolo and Okrika local government councils of the state. He has become an institution of sorts in Ijaw politics, has strong influence in Okrika land, and is a leading figure in the sponsored media campaign which discouraged youths in the state from violence and criminality.

Others that have also toned down are:

Hon Fara Doctor Dagogo,
Eris Paul alias Ogunboss,
Pastor Reuben Wilson alias Gen Pastor and Commander Ukparasa Africa Owei, alias Gen Africa.

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