The Council of Chiefs in Okirika Local Government Area of Rivers State has said King Ateke Tom did not reign in the region as a criminal, but as a peacemaker and freedom fighter. The Council of Chiefs in Okochiri also cautioned the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, against attacks on the ruler of Okochiri Kingdom, HRM Tom. Amaechi had recently at the burial of a former Supreme Court Justice, Justice Adolphus Karibi-Whyte in Abonnema, Asari-Turo Local Government Area of Rivers State, claimed that the state had returned to the days of Ateke Tom, when there was no peace in the state. However, Chairman of Okochiri Kingdom Council of Chiefs, Chief Jackson Ibiteinbo, described the comment as unfounded, adding that it was aimed at denigrating the revered throne of the kingdom.
Ibiteinbo said the kingdom was saddened by the comments targeted at insulting the king, adding that it would not take such attacks lightly again, begging the president to call the Minister to order. He said: “As a kingdom, we are appalled at the callous manner Ameachi has exhibited his lack of respect for the Ancient Okochiri Kingdom. “We condemn this in its totality and call for caution as we will no longer entertain such uncultured behaviour which he has exhibited at every given opportunity.”