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Niger Delta: Ateke Tom Demands Amnesty

Posted by By Okafor Ofiebor /Port Harcourt on 2008/11/19 | Views: 2469 |

Niger Delta: Ateke Tom Demands Amnesty


Leader of the Niger Delta Vigilante Group and one of the most wanted militia leaders in the region, Ateke Tom, has said that he is ready for a ceasefire, but would want the Justice Kayode Eso panel to meet him in his hideout in the creeks, being the only place where he can confess why he is up in arms against the federal government.

Leader of the Niger Delta Vigilante Group and one of the most wanted militia leaders in the region, Ateke Tom, has said that he is ready for a ceasefire, but would want the Justice Kayode Eso panel to meet him in his hideout in the creeks, being the only place where he can confess why he is up in arms against the federal government.

Ateke, who spoke on a local radio station in Port Harcourt, said he does not trust the Nigerian security forces and the Rivers state government that declared him wanted, adding that the only condition he could come out of hiding to surrender his arms, is for the state government to grant him and his boys amnesty.

Ateke, who seems to be scared of governor Chibuike Amaechiís stand on militants when he called them criminals, said he does not want to fall into the trap set by the Rivers state government and the security forces, by just coming out to surrender.

It would be recalled that Ateke Tom and other militant leaders in the state had been declared wanted over their alleged involvement in mass murder, kidnapping, illegal oil bunkering and carrying of arms against the federal government.

Ateke Tom and Asari Dokubo were granted amnesty in 2003 by former president Olusegun Obasanjo, while Dokubo has distanced himself from bearing arms, Ateke Tom is accused of reneging in terms of the amnesty earlier granted him.

Governor Amaechi had declared him wanted due to security reports that Tom and his boys had been involved in the kidnapping of the entire management staff of the Eleme Petrochemical Industry now called Indoroma Petrochemical Company, robbery of Oceanic Bank, Trans Amadi branch, where over N300 million was carted away, illegal oil bunkering and sundry offences. Despite all appeals for Ateke to appear before the Eso Truth and Reconciliation Committee, he has refused for fear of being arrested.

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