Yesterday, the palace of Ateke Tom, was invaded by soldiers in Okochiri, Okirika local government area of Rivers State.
The soldiers broke into the palace and ransacked the building while looking for the former ex-militant leader who embraced amnesty in 2008 alongside his fighters.
The ceiling in his bedroom was also destroyed as the soldiers searched for him and suspicious items in the palace.
Meanwhile, Ijaw youths have condemned the invasion of the Palace of the Amayanabo of Okochiri, King Ateke Tom by soldiers of the Nigerian army, describing it as an unprovoked assault on the Ijaw nation.
Speaking under the auspices of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide, the youths wondered why King Ateke is being attacked as a build up to the Governorship and State House of Assembly elections in the Rivers State when his domain has enjoyed relative peace even during the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
A statement signed by the IYC Spokesman comrade Daniel Dasimaka called on the Military to maintain high levels of professionalism at all times and “to desist from taking actions like the attack on King Michael Ateke Tom that could bring the name of the force to disrepute.”
The IYC mouthpiece said: “We want to unequivocally condemn the invasion of the sacred palace of an Ijaw Traditional Ruler, King Michael Ateke Tom. We consider this unwarranted onslaught on King Ateke as a needless move to cause unnecessary unrest in yet another Ijaw Community while the homelands of the two major political gladiators fighting for the soul of the state remain peaceful.”
“We are calling on President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari to call the Army to order and to ensure that Ijaw communities are not victims of invasion in a peacetime when like all other Nigerians we should be casting our votes to choose our leaders on peace. ” Dasimaka said.