It was earlier reported today that Ateke Tom alongside some other Niger Delta Militants endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2019 re-election bid. Tom’s denial is coming a few hours after that of another Niger Delta warlord, Government Ekpemukpolo alias Tompolo.
PoliticsNGR gathered that in a statement signed by a spokesman, Chief Tamunokonbia L. O. Akaluogbo JP, Tom disclosed;
“My attention has been drawn to an online publication in some media outlets, Premium Times in particular that, I, king Ateke Micheal Tom, Sekuro of Niger Delta, Amanyanabo of Okochiri kingdom has endorsed the candidature of President Buhari.
I want to state here that there is no element of truth in the said publication. It is never in my character to cheapen myself to such act for the purpose of anything. More so, as a traditional ruler loved and respected by my people, I will not betray the respect and love they have for me on the altar of partisan politics let alone endorsing a candidate.
My disposition as a traditional ruler is to advise my people and indeed my millions of admirers to stay out of violence and peacefully cast their votes for their preferred candidates in this election.
I am directly using this medium to warn the author and all those behind this misleading publication to desist from it.
I am advising politicians to be mindful of jobbers who would stop at nothing to fill their pockets and media outlets should also be professional enough to verify claims from sources before publishing.
I also used this medium to draw the attention of Nigerians and the international community to be aware of the Nigeria army’s unprovocative intimidations and militarization in my kingdom.
Today about 12 noon almost Fifty truckloads of soldiers besieged my palace and home. This is unacceptable, I call on the Nigeria army to play by the rules of the game because their militarization is causing panic and fear around Okrika which has been a judged as the most peaceful local government area in the country.”