Why Ex-Militants Are Battling Amaechi

It is not in doubt that governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State is having a running battle with some ex-militants from the Niger Delta region.

And their no love lost relationship dates way back to a period before the Federal Government entered into a general amnesty with the militants. Amaechi was known for his tough stance against the militants.

And now, in the reckoning of the militants, it is pay back time. Whereas the ex-militants might not have openly said that whomever Amaechi anoint as his successor would not contest in the 2015 elections in the state, their actions appear to be saying so.

The point, from all indications, is that some of the ex-militants view the governor as a betrayer of the collective dream of the Niger Delta region.

This follows their argument that Amaechi has abandoned President Goodluck Jonathan, who hails from the region, and has embraced Atiku Abubakar, former vice president whom they have declared an anathema in the region for nursing an ambition to contest the presidential position against Jonathan in the coming elections.

Commenting on the issue, Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, leader of the Niger-Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, NDPVF was quoted to have said that since governor Amaechi has joined forces with the North to work against President Goodluck Jonathan, he has betrayed the people of the Niger Delta.

“If Amaechi has singled himself out as a traitor, he will be treated as a traitor; there is nothing anybody can do about it. Now that we have come out of slavery, nobody can take us back into slavery… If they like, let them settle him and Goodluck, but we, the people of the Niger Delta, will not settle and allow a traitor in our midst.”

As a way of getting even with Amaechi, some of them have resolved to contest in the gubernatorial elections in the state in the hope of splitting the votes of the governor’s favourable candidate for the position.

This, perhaps explain why posters of Ateke Tom, one of the ex-militants, were said to have dotted almost every available space on the streets of Port Harcourt, indicating his ambition to contest the gubernatorial elections in 2015.

Though it is yet to be confirmed whether Tom is still interested in the governorship elections, as nothing has been heard from him recently on the issue, Sobomabo Jackrich, popularly known as Egberipapa, also an ex-militant leader, appears to be deeply involved in the politics of the state.

With his group reported to have secured a Federal High Court judgment in Port Harcourt, in February, which nullified the appointment of Justice Agumagu as acting Chief Judge of the state by Governor Chibuike Amaechi, Egberipapa was said to have been visited in April by Nyesom Wike, supervising minister of Education and a Peoples Democratic Party, PDP governorship aspirant in the state, to drum up support for the re-election of President Jonathan.

As the 2015 general elections draw nearer, citizens of the state and indeed the entire country, are watching to see how far the ex-militants would go to scuttle Amaechi’s plan to win over the state for the All Progressives Congress, APC.

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