Niger Delta warlord and king of the Okochiri Kingdom in Rivers State, Ateke Tom has backed the seven-day ultimatum issued by Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo on the inauguration of the substantive board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Tompolo, a former dreaded militant leader, in an ultimatum that expires on June 7th, warned of negative consequences if the Federal Government failed to constitute the board after seven days.
Ateke, a former Leader of the defunct Niger Delta Vigilante Force, in a statement signed by his Chief of Staff, Chief Tamunokonba Akaluogbo, said he backed the ultimatum because of “the continued insincerity and open deceit adopt by the Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio in handling the affairs of the NDDC and the region at large.”
The king called on President Muhammadu Buhari to listen to the cries of the people and heed the clamour for immediate inauguration of the substantive board despite the unending forensic audit.
Ateke said the stakeholders in the region desired to sustain the existing peace in the region despite the rising insecurity in the Southeast and other regions.
He said the constitution of a substantive board was not too small to ask by a region disposed to keeping the peace and rejecting secessionist pressure.
He said: “It is clear that Akpabio is deceitful and he means no good to the Niger Delta region particularly the Ijaws given his attitude towards reconstituting the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC). Time and time, the minister has failed in his promises and he is using the forensic audit as a decoy for his selfish aims.
“I urge him to do the needful before the region tint towards upheaval of break down of law and order again because his ineptitude and lack of genuine concern for the demands of people are capable of degenerating into violence which I don’t pray for.”