Chief Ateke Tom
Following the low performance rating of President Goodluck Jonathan in the handling of the affairs of the nation by some prominent ex-militant leaders recently, Ebikabowei Victor-Ben aka Boyloaf and Chief Ateke Tom Friday said that they have been under pressure to clarify their position on the issue which has been generating heat in the country.
The duo in a statement in Yenagoa said that their position was not targeted at discrediting the President, but to draw the attention of the neglect of the Niger Delta which is still yawning for development despite the fact that one of its own is the president.
They said that the outcome of a meeting of notable ex-militant leaders held in Lagos last weekend under the auspices of Izon Ikemi was to draw attention to the needed development in the Niger Delta region.
According to the statement titled "We Are Not Party To Blackmail" and signed by both Boyloaf and Ateke Tom, they alleged sponsored attacks on their persons and members of the Izon Ikemi by some persons on their position on the completion of the East-West road.
"When we read the papers and hear what people say, we cannot but laugh. How can anybody think we can be party to any form of blackmail or try to ridicule the President or his administration? We are both from Bayelsa and Rivers states, and should be considered as the closest to Mr. President. We will be the happiest to see the President succeed in his transformation agenda."