Philantrophy TODAY.......Ateke Michael Tom : A Silent But Dangerous Philantropist From Niger Delta.
The advance Oxford learners dictionary describes a Philantriopist as * Someone who donates substantial resources, often including time and expertise but always including substantial financial resource, to a particular cause, area or social issue.
People often ask who is the greatest philanthropist of all time?
Globally speaking Sir Warren Buffett " The Sage of Omaha" is rated as the greatest philantropist alive and has given more than any other human dead or alive
With an accumulated lifetime giving of US$46.1 billion, the nonagenarian pledged to give away more than 99 per cent of his wealth and this is considered done for he has a reputation of being a man of his words
Here in Africa, when lists of top philantropists is being mentioned not much is heard about the Niger Delta strong man called Chief Ateke Michael Tom,who is the Sekuro 1 of Niger Delta
* And just as it is written in the Book of Corrintians " We all should give what we have decided in our hearts to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver'"
Ateke Tom is no doubt a cheerful giver who have touched the lives of many widows, orphans, disadvantage students with several scholarship initiatives both at home and abroad
A first grade traditional ruler and the first Amanyanabo of Okochiri Kingdom
King Ateke was the former leader of the Niger Delta Vigilante, an ethnic Ijaw militia in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
In August 2007, following days of gun fights between various militia groups and security forces in Port Harcourt, Ateke Tom wrote to the then Governor of Rivers State Celestine Omehia, requesting amnesty in response to an offer of clemency and rehabilitation the government had offered to militia who surrendered.
On 1 October 2009, the 49th anniversary of Nigerian independence and three days before the closing of a government amnesty program, Tom willingly surrendered to then President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua at the Government House, Abuja. The presidential jet was sent to fly Tom to Abuja, and the President stated, "Today, Chief Tom Ateke you have given me my 49th independence anniversary gift and I cherish it so much."
On 25 November 2017, Ateke Tom was crowned as the first Amanyanabo of Okochiri. The coronation was attended by then Governor, Barr Nyesom Wike
And speaking to us about his experience with greet silent philantropist Ateke, a Port Harcourt boy but now domiciled in Canada, King Ebi Shidi-Spiff ,quoted Pope Francis words Thus
" Lke the Good Samaritan, may we not be ashamed of touching the wounds of those who suffer, but try to heal them with concrete acts of love"