Ateke: Sekibo Dismisses Amaechi’s Ultimatum

ONE-time Transport Minister, Dr. Abieye Sekibo, dismissed, yesterday, as mere shadow-chasing the two-week ultimatum given the Okrika community in Rivers State by Governor Rotimi Amaechi to produce warlord Ateke Tom.

The governor handed down the ultimatum on Wednesday following Ateke’s statement, claiming responsibility for the New Year day’s attack in Port Harcourt in which 16 people including seven policemen were killed by gunmen.

Former Transport Minister, Abiye Sekibo 

But as Dr. Sekibo who also once served as Secretary to the Rivers State Government spoke in Abuja, the state government vowed afresh to ensure Ateke’s arrest and make him pay for his crimes.

Governor Amaechi is also threatening to arrest parents of suspected militants to deter attacks on oil instalations and public buildings, while the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta denied that its attack on Ateke Tom has political motives.

Dr. Sekibo speaking in Abuja condemned the governor’s directive that the warlord be produced because, according to him, it makes no sense for government, which has at its command all security apparatus to apprehend Ateke, to issue such ultimatum.

His words: “You have all heard the news of Governor Amaechi’s visit to Okrika on Wednesday.  Nothing is wrong for a governor to visit his people. But when the governor went there, what did he say?  He went to threaten the people. He went to give them an ultimatum to produce Ateke Tom.

“Here is a governor of a state who has all the security apparatus under him. He is the Chief Security Officer of the state. He could not arrest Ateke Tom. How can he give an ultimatum for the Okrika community to produce Ateke Tom? Ateke Tom is armed, the people are innocent unarmed people, how does the governor want them to arrest Ateke Tom?

The governor is just chasing shadows.
“The threat was not meant to achieve any objective. The threat was meant to score a political point. It was not meant to resolve the security problem. That is the point I am making. If the governor wants Ateke Tom, the way to do it is not to go and threaten over a million indigenes of a community. That is not the way to go about it,” he said.

Dr. Sekibo said the governor’s comments were not only capable of causing internal problems in the Okrika community but also capable of causing disaffection between the Okrika people and the Ikwere community, from where Mr. Amaechi hails.

“When you hear some of the things he said as a governor, there were statements that were unbecoming of any governor, which will not only inflame sentiments within that community but will also inflame sentiments between the Okrika Community and his own Ikwere community.

“I will want to believe that it was out of frustration, but I will also want to believe it was out of political frustration. Not security frustration. Our security agencies are more than able. If Amaechi opens up to the security agencies and tells them what he knows about the crisis … he knows more than he is telling them,” Dr. Sekibo said.

The former Transport minister said he was convinced that Gov Amaechi knew how to solve the security problem in Rivers State if he sincerely wanted to do so.

“He was close to Chief Ada George as governor of Rivers State, who incidentally is from Okrika. And he saw how Ada George ran that state the short period he was governor. He was very close to him, he should have learnt something from Ada George. He was very close, in fact he was the Speaker, the closest person to Dr Peter Odili. He saw how Odili ran that state. He should have learnt something from there.

“Celestine Omehia, the person he took over from, is his first cousin and both of them have been close politically. No matter the difference this governorship thing brought, he should have seen within the period how Celestine went about things. He has been there from the beginning.

“This problem has been there and Ameachi has been there from the beginning. So he cannot say he does not know where this problem is coming from and how it can be solved,” he said.

According to  Sekibo, Ateke Tom was not an Okrika phenomenon, saying: “Ateke Tom  phenomenon is not an Okrika community phenomenon, it’s not like the Okrika people held a meeting and set up Ateke Tom. You cannot hold the community responsible.”

On the way forward, he said: “I have been to several fora  like any other person even Amaechi. I have constantly said we should condemn all the activities of militants, all cultists. You know that is not the way to go. The problems of the Niger Delta should be resolved on a round table talking with our brothers and sisters.

“I have always held that view, those who know me, know that has been my position because in this age, it is no longer the time for muscle flexing, it is more of the brains and in Rivers State and the Niger Delta, we have young men and women who have the brains to match their colleagues from other parts of the country at a round-table and discuss and reasonably come to a conclusion in the interest of everybody,” he said.

– Vanguard


5 responses to “Ateke: Sekibo Dismisses Amaechi’s Ultimatum

  1. Thank God Abiye is coming out to say something. He knows Ateke Tom is not an Okrika phenomenon because he was the one who armed the young man for his selfish reason to be relevant in Rivers politics. How did Odili and Omehai run the state? Is it right to develop and pay militants? Abiye should remember that he destroyed Okrika unity. In fact Amaechi should ask him to produce Ateke because he knos where Ateke is. After all during the Odili reign, was Odili not calling Abiye Ateke in Government House? Please people like Abiye should not destroy Rivers State because of their desire to be relevant.

  2. What is happening i Rivesr State. Please let give peace a chance. I believe all hands should be on deck to route out unnessary kilings.

  3. Well, The former governor of Rivers state set up the Niger Delta vigilante force which was adopted by the house headed by Chief Amaechi. The gang was well armed by the Government of River state and TOM ATEKE made its leader. How then did ABIYE COME in when the whole world knows Tom Ateke was set and armed by the Rivers state government .Abiye Sekibo could not have been directly involved and Tom Ateke was not an OKRIKA issue. Tom Ateke might have hijacked the gang to settle Okrika problems but the members of that gang cut across all communities and ethnic groups of Rivers state and beyond. Those who set and armed the Tom Ateke gang must be brought to book..

  4. The present Governor of Delta Stae is talking rubbish and if I were close to him, I would personally tell him to shrt-up his dirty mounand polish his twisted childish-mind.
    If the said Governor actually thretened to arrest
    any family member of Ateke Tom by mere allegation of a crime which the said family members had no participartion on, the said governor is not only a fool but a dangerous man
    serving the present Federal Government of Nigeria. Why should a man of such staus reason
    so primitively like an idiot ? Whe you have people like him in any council, nothing positive
    results. Tell this so called Governor to kiss my
    ass ! He is too childish and stupid too while we all
    condemn violence ! By the way, what is this governor’s exposure to civilization and whos
    interest is he representing ?

  5. well what i have to say hi peace should come to stay. an ther present gov should not forget those who fought for him to become the man who is now, i mean those who stayed in tonye harry houe that night the decision was made. and i want to use this medium to ask Gov amaechi about his campaign manager, i mean Chief Anabs Sara Igbe. its been a long time he spoke. well i think sara igbe speech can resolve all this problem at hand. let the younger give way for the elder like sara igbe to interfair.

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