The Rivers State chapter of the Action Congress and Prince Tonye Princewill has condemned the New Years’ Day militant attack in Port Harcourt that killed over 18 people including civilians and policemen.
The Niger Delta Vigilante Movement, led by Ateke Tom claimed responsibility for the attack saying it was retaliation for the attack at his base last week by Nigerian security forces.
W“e condemn unambiguously without mincing words the ugly incident arising from the activities of the militants which resulted to sending some innocent souls of our people to their early graves on the first day of 2008. Some of the victims got their lives cut short while coming back from Church programmes to usher in the New Year. It is saddens our heart the more when our own son Tom Ateke the Leader o the Leader of the Niger Delta Vigilante Movement (NDVM), claimed responsibility of such a hilarious act of causing such a mayhem to his own State. Is this act demonstration of heroism or what?” said a statement signed by Eze Chukwuemeke Eze.
“To us this is one of those ploys by the enemies of the State to destabilise the government of Gov. Chibuike Amaechi, scare away investors and portray our people as people without souls and human feelings.
“We must commend Governor Rotimi Amachi for his tireless and patriotic efforts to restore normalcy to our State and strategy to uproot the evil menace of militancy from our State. We urge him not in any way be deterred by some misguided elements that have sworn that Rivers State and her people will never know any peace expect the old order is reinstated for them to continue with their looting of our common patrimony and sustaining this act of militancy. We urge our people not to despair but arise in unison to condemn and support the government and the security agencies to stop this madness of blackmailing our State and our people before the International Community and Nigerians as a lawless lot.
“We sincerely commiserate with those that have lost their dear ones and property praying that God will console and grant them the fortitude to bear this unfortunate loss of their dear ones.
“Finally, we pray and plead with our brother Tom Ateke and others to go back to the negotiating table with the Peace Committee set-up by the Federal Government and denounce violence in the interest of our people and State as act leading to loss of lives of both the militants and innocent souls is to us a misguided venture no matter the level of grievances and those luring us to turn against our State.” The statement concluded.