Furore Over Invasion Of King Ateke, Asari
Some Niger Delta leaders have criticized the invasion of the homes of the Amanyanabo of Okochiri, King Ateke Tom and a former President of Ijaw Youth Council, Alhaji Mujaheed Asari Dokubo.
Speaking on an AIT network programme monitored in Port Harcourt, Niger Delta crusader, Ms Ann Kio-Briggs said soldiers should be very professional and not be subject to the control of any partisan interest.
The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide said the invasion of the residence of its former President Alhaji Muhajid Asari Dokubo by the military was an invitation to war.
In a statement by the IYC National President, Barrister Oweilaemi Pereotubo, said the Ijaw Nation viewed the above actions as a deliberate declaration of war, adding that as a people with rights they would not watch their people continue to be killed.
Oweilaemi said the “unprovoked, unnecessary and illegal arrest of our leader will not be accepted by the Ijaw people.”
IYC therefore called on the President Muhammadu Buhari to call the Nigerian Army to order and restore a civil administration of justice as clearly enshrined in the constitution.
“Only a few days ago, the residence of King Ateke Tom in Okochiri, in Okrika local Government area was invaded and one shot dead with several injured and properties destroyed. Within the period of these elections Ijaw people have lost over fifty people and everyone of it has been caused directly or indirectly by the cheer desperation of the All Progressives Congress led Government,” the statement reads.
IYC added that as a peace- loving people they have orchestrated and accepted the proclamation of the Amnesty programs as a means and vehicle towards the cessation of arms conflict and violence to enable the region have its fair share of aggressive government attention.
The group added at the same time the amnesty has given the federal government the avenue to deal with the age long issues of deprivation marginalisation and underdevelopment which has led to the relative peace enjoyed in the region.
“However let it be on record that if anything happens to Alhaji Muhajid Asari Dokubo, the Ijaw Nation will take steps that will not be convenient to the Nigerian Nation. We have bled too much to keep the unity of this Nation. Enough is enough. We want to use this medium to inform the Nigeria people and the international community that the peace of our region is being destroyed and the implications will be grave.
Meanwhile, Asari Dokubo, has raised alarm over alleged arrest of two of his cousins by the Nigerian Army. Dokubo, said his cousins were arrested from his Opuama home in Harris Town, in Asari-Toru local government area of Rivers by soldiers and taken away to the Port Harcourt barrack of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army.
He said the Army has already prepared, “trumped up charges against one of my cousins as being one of the Boko Haram insurgents who escaped from the North East region of the country. They took two of my cousins away. Now I sent somebody to the Barracks, but he was told that they are charging Muhammed Asari as somebody who escaped from Boko Haram. How can an Ijaw man be a member of Boko Haram? I am sending my Lawyer again to meet them. I learnt they have handed them over to military Police.”
But it would be recalled that the Nigerian Army has always maintained a stand that the institution under the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen. Tukur Yusuf Burutai is “apolitical, neutral and insist on ethics of the profession and globally accepted best practices “.
The Elders’ Forum of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide, Eastern Zone, has condemned the harassment, intimidation and reported embarrassment on two sons of Ijaw land, HRH King Michael Ateke Tom and Alhaji Alabo Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, in the past six or seven days by unidentified officers of the Nigerian Army.
In a statement signed by Comrade Jim Opiki, Media and Publicity Committee, Elder’s Forum, IYC, Eastern Zone, cautioned: “For the records, HRH Michael Ateke Tom, the Amanyanabo of Okochiri Kingdom in Wakirikeland of the Ijaw Nation is the Sekuro of Ijaw land, while Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari is the Edi-Abali of Kalabari. Asari was the National Vice and later President of IYC Worldwide. This duo deserves to be treated respectably.”