His Royal Highness, King Ateke Tom, Amanyanabo of Okochiri Community, Okirika Local Government Area of Rivers State, has noted that the days when youths use arms to agitate for peace are over.
Ateke, who was an ex-militant leader stated this at his palace in Okochiri yesterday while reacting to a video clip released on the social media by a militant group in Akwa Ibom State, seeking him (Ateke) to mediate for peace between them (militant group) and leaders of their state.
Ateke stressed that those using arms to seek government attention are criminals, adding that coordinated dialogue should be employed by aggrieved parties in resolving pressing issues.
He urged on the government not to negotiate with the criminals, noting that every group that bears arms and wants government’s attention is a criminal group and should be treated as such, adding that days of using guns to get attention was over.
He called for an investigation into the released video adding that he perceives the clip has had a political undertone to denigrating and rubbish individuals it is targeted at.
He said: “Ordinarily, I would not have given attention to the clip as I do not identify with criminals, but for the sake of records and integrity, I wish to state that I do not know the hoodlums in that video. As a peace ambassador who ensures peace, love and development among youths, communities and the leaders, I don’t associate with arms bearing individuals.
“I call on the youths not to allow themselves to be used enemies of the society to cause crisis in communities. The time for using arms to get attention is over. If there is misunderstanding the youthes should approach the right channel to settle their problems.”
“Those youths are criminals and should be investigated, fished out arrested and prosecuted for causing panic in the society through their unlawful activities.”
Meanwhile, King Ateke, has said that he would continue to be law abiding and work with security operatives to go after criminals and ensure absolute peace and security in the Niger Delta and Nigeria at large.