Former Niger Delta freedom fighter, High Chief Ateke Tom, has stated that ex-militants will not return to the creeks despite President Goodluck Jonathan’s loss on the March 28 presidential polls.
High Chief Tom, who is the leader of the Niger Delta Vigilante, NDV, made the assertion during a press briefing at his country home in Okochiri, Okrika in Okrika local government area of the state at the weekend.
The ex-freedom fighter, however, called on Gen Muhamadu Buhari to have dialogues with true leaders of the Niger Delta region in order to ensure that the issues of the region were addressed. According to him, President Goodluck Jonathan was unable to keep to some of the terms of the federal government amnesty programme because the president was more focussed in a united Nigeria.
While congratulating Buhari for his victory, the ex- freedom fighter attributed the post-election peace currently enjoyed across the country to President Jonathan’s decision to concede defeat, saying the president proved even America’s prediction wrong.
He said: “I am here to congratulate Buhari for his victory and to say that want good leadership in Nigeria. We, the Niger Delta freedom fighters are ready to work with him, but we expect him to address the issues of the Niger Delta seriously.
“Let him not forget the federal government amnesty programme because we know what led us into the creeks that led to the amnesty. The amnesty did not just come so there is need for him to continue with the amnesty terms. We want him to dialogue with true leaders of the Niger Delta region for a way forward.
“Some people are saying they want to go back to the creeks, I will never go back to the creeks and nobody will return to the creeks. I am one of the freedom fighters and I am saying no one will return to the creeks and I am advising the youths not to allow themselves to return to the creeks. We don’t have to return to the creeks because Buhari won.
“It is true that our brother, Jonathan did not implement all parts of the amnesty as set out by late president Yar’Adua, because he was more interested in the unity of the country, so it is important that Buhari implements them.
“I also congratulate INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega for ensuring a peaceful, free and fair election. I also commend President Goodluck Jonathan for that bold step he took, which I believe is the reason why we are enjoying peace in Nigeria today because I don’t know what would have happened by now, if Jonathan never made that call. Jonathan’s action proved America and all those who predicted that Nigeria will split in 2015, wrong.”

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