The leader of the defunct militant group, the Niger Delta Vigilante/Delta Patriotic Forces, Chief Ateke Tom, has condemned the threat by Asari- Dokubo, that himself and his boys would go back to the creeks because of President Goodluck Jonathan’s failed re-election bid.
Ateke, who spoke to journalists in his Okrika home, at the weekend, also congratulated the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari (Retd) and the out-going President, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, for conceding defeat, even before the final results were released. The warlord also commended the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, for conducting what he called, free and fair elections.
He said the people of the Niger Delta were behind Buhari, and appealed to the President-elect not to be vindictive in the course of overseeing the affairs of the nation. He urged the youths to shun calls by some ex-militant leaders to go back to the creeks.
“We are not going back to the creeks. Nobody should follow anybody back to the creeks. Youths should not follow him (Asari Dokubo) to the creeks,” he said.
He, however, appealed to General Muhammadu Buhari, not to abandon the amnesty programme. According to him, only one aspect of the amnesty programme, initiated by the former president, late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, had been implemented.
Ateke therefore, appealed to the in-coming President to fully implement the amnesty programme, as it would help to curb youth restiveness in the Niger Delta region. “Niger Delta is in support of Buhari.
The Niger Delta issue should be addressed, Buhari should do better by implementing the amnesty programme. We believe in Buhari’s capacity to build the nation. We congratulate him for his victory,” he further said.
Ateke Tom also advised Buhari to always meet with those he called, the “core and real leaders of Niger Delta” each time issues affecting the region would be addressed. “We will work with him, we are not going back to the creeks,” he emphasized.