by Iyobosa Omoregie
Former Commander, Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, MEND, Chief Ateke Tom, says the defeat of President Goodluck Jonathan will not lead to a resumption of hostilities in the Niger Delta region.
This is contrary to the recent statement of another Niger Delta militant leader, Dokubo Asari, who stated that the end of the tenure of President Goodluck Jonathan, may signal the relaunch of the struggle of the people of the Niger Delta region.
Speaking in Okrika Local Government Area, Rivers State, on Monday, Ateke said the region will enjoy peace and anyone who attempts to threaten the peace should be treated as a common criminal.
He said: “I heard some people saying that youths in the region might go back to the creeks soon. Well, I want to say that nobody will go back to the creeks because there is no reason for anybody to resume hostilities in the region. Anybody who makes any move to threaten the peace should be treated as a common criminal because there is no reason for that in the region again.”
Speaking further, Ateke advised the President-elect against revoking the pipelines surveillance contracts awarded to youths in the region.
He maintained that the youths were in a better position to secure the pipelines from vandalisation.
“My advice is that Buhari should not cancel it. We are taking care of the pipelines and we are taking care of them very well. If he cancels the job, I don’t see who else can do it better. We are the owners of the area and are more familiar with the terrain. So, he should allow us continue to do the job for the country.”