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We’ll soon overrun Port Harcourt – Ateke Tom

Posted by By EMERSON GOBERT, Jr, on 2008/09/21 | Views: 3997 |

We’ll soon overrun Port Harcourt – Ateke Tom


End may not be in sight yet for the feud between Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State and Comrade Ateke Tom who doubles as leader of the Niger Delta Vigilante and Niger Delta Patriotic Force.

End may not be in sight yet for the feud between Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State and Comrade Ateke Tom who doubles as leader of the Niger Delta Vigilante and Niger Delta Patriotic Force.

If the utterance of the militant leader is anything to be taken seriously, the recently declared Oil War by another group – Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) - aka ‘Operation Hurricane Barbarossa’ - might spell doom for Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

In fact, it would be a matter of time before the insurgents, now working in concert, overrun the Garden City, leaving blood and tears in its trail.
While the Truth and Reconciliation Commission set up by Amaechi is working towards finding peace in the state, assuring Tom that he was safe to go and testify, the militant leader has described it as a petty trap that he would not fall into, all in the name of appearing to testify.
With fire literally oozing from his mouth, Ateke spoke exclusively to Sunday Sun in ‘Special English’, promising to cause the Rivers State government so much pain that the nation would shake to its very foundation.
Excerpts:

Now that the Inspector General of Police (IGP) has said that you are not a wanted man and the chairman of the Rivers State Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Justice Kayode Eso, has also said that he is interested in hearing your own side of the story, do you intend to appear or do you think they are setting a trap for you?

But everybody, even the least small pikin supposed to know say this one na trap now. Na big trap and I no go fit fall inside that kind trap. If dem wan me to testify, make dem come my camp. I go talk, express my annoyance and how this thing take start. I go give my own instance to them but for me now to appear, and right now, we dey talk about peace but dem dey attack the people and my boys. How I go take get confidence come come out say I dey come testify?
Dem fit allow me go inside go testify, after when I de comot, dem fit hold me. So, that kind trap, I no go fit fall am. If dem want me to testify, make dem come my camp.

So since this your disagreement with Rivers State governor started, the state government never reached out to you to make peace?
You know say that governor, this Rotimi Amaechi, him think say him be the first governor for Rivers State or for the whole world. Him no know say if him finish, him go comot back. The guy no want peace. Na problem, problem him dey beg for and I go give am problem. I go give am problem because now I don ready to give am problem. I think him think say dem get mind. After all these things we we go destory finish, we go enter the Port Harcourt township.

Do you think that the creation of the Niger Delta Ministry by the Federal Government will solve the problem of the Niger Delta?
That one, we no go allow governors to appoint person or put any governor there. Wetin we go do be say, we need somebody we go understand all the issues. Na that kind person we want.

How we go take get this kind person now?
Na we go talk. We go arrange. We go talk. We wey dem dey fight, we know where our problem dey from come. We know who and who fit talk to us but if the government bring out somebody for us, you know say the president no go fit get peace because may be, na somebody wey go dey come run message for am.

Do you think that the new Technical Committee set up by the Federal Government on Niger Delta situation is necessary?
The committee wey dem appoint, dem no go talk pass the whole people wey know the story. We don dey talk about this thing for so many years. So, these ones wey dey come now and many of them no even know wetin dey go on. Dem no go talk pass the whole people. The way we see am, na the people wey dey dey for the struggle wey know about everything, na dem supposed to go or they ask us, we appoint people but the way dem just take do am sef, we no understand. We just dey watch. We just dey look them. We no worry but I no think say this thing go hold ground.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has declared oil war in the region and we are having daily clashes with the JTF; oil flow stations are being blown up and casualties recorded on both sides. How do you see this situation?
They should blow up. I support that one now. You now say I be leader of the Niger Delta Patriotic Force and na two groups I dey lead. We dey in support. Let all the oil companies close if dem no want stay and if dem no want stay, na Rotimi Amaechi dey cause am. Make dem close because we go blow the area. We go scatter everywhere whether they like am or not.

But the Chief of Defence Staff is in Port Harcourt right now and to meet with the Joint Task Force whether for peace or whatever. How do you see that one?
Later, we go know now if na peace wey him come for or na to fight, but we thank God say dem be human beings like us. Wetin dem hold na him we hold, so we go fight if na fight, if na peace, we go follow the peace.

When you say you will soon take this war enter Port Harcourt city, what would you want government to do make you people to stop this war?
Make them comot Rotimi Amaechi, the governor then we fit get peace. Peace dey before. We dey make peace, him come dey hit people for their back. When dem dey come tell am lies; dem dey come tell am wetin our people say, him no know say dem dey take am comot money for him hand? Na so dem dey do their work.

As it is now, does it mean that all the militant groups in the region are speaking in one voice now?
Yes, I don settle everybody. Everybody dey together. The time dem dey use money deceive us don pass. Dem dey use money deceive us – collect this person’ collect this person – make we fight ourselves. Now, we don know. We no dey fight ourselves again. Instead, we go fight them.

So, in summary, you are saying that government should remove Governor Amaechi?
Yes, make dem comot am!

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Comments (3)

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown