Ateke denies endorsing Buhari, warns Nigerian Army against causing panic in Okrika

The Amanyanabo of Okochiri Kingdom, King Ateke Micheal Tom has denied endorsing president Muhammadu Buhari for another term in office.

It was reported that the traditional ruler alongside some other Niger Delta Militants endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election bid.

King Ateke Tom’s denial came a few hours after another Niger Delta warlord, Government Ekpemukpolo alias Tompolo denied the purported endorsement.

In a statement signed by Okochiri Palace spokesman, Chief Tamunokonbia L.O. Akaluogbo JP, and made available to theportcitynews, the king said the purported endorsement is the handiwork of political jobbers.

The statement read: “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 an 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 use 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 judged as the most peaceful local government area in the country.”

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