Ateke Calls Avengers Desperate Criminals, Warns Militants To Stop Worsening Plight Of Niger Delta
Erstwhile Niger Delta war lord, High Chief Ateke Tom has warned the newly formed militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA to stop causing more harm to the region through their criminal activities, stressing that the blowing up of oil installations can only bring pains and suffering to the people of the region.
The Okrika high chief, who spoke on Monday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, described the Avengers as desperate criminals whose criminal act should not be supported by any Niger Delta youth.
He warned that if the group continues with their criminal activities, it would once again expose women and children in the region to serious hardship, adding that he is ready to offer assistance to the Federal government to negotiate with the NDA if the group is ready for peace talks.
Ateke however called on the security agencies to unmask the criminals and prosecute them in line with the law if they refused to lay down their arms and become responsible citizens.
His words, “As one of the peace ambassadors in this region, I want to state it clear that any responsible Niger Delta youths would not support the criminal act being perpetrated by the so-called Niger Delta Avengers. I condemned in totality the activities of this frustrated, faceless and desperate masked group called the Avengers.
“I am also pleading with the ex-war lords not to use the issue of the avengers to hit up the polity by causing trouble in the region, either by name calling or by insulting our elders and chiefs. Bombing and destroying our oil installations and government properties in the region is only exposing children and women to another hardship.
“I want to call on the elders and chiefs in this region to talk to their children; there is no gain in violence and trouble making. We must see ourselves as one and learn how to support the government at the centre whether we are in support of it or not. In my state I have since started sensitization campaign against kidnapping and vandalism.”