Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA), a group that recently announced a split from the from Niger Delta Avengers, the leading militant group operating in oil-rich region of southern Nigeria has issued a statement in which it claimed that former President Goodluck Jonathan is the “grand patron” of the Avengers.
In a statement obtained by SaharaReporters, an online tabloid, the group’s spokesperson, Cynthia Whyte named several former and serving governors as sponsors of the Niger Delta Avengers. Those named as “sponsors” included Governors Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and Seriaki Dickson of Bayelsa.
The statement also named Senator Godswill Akpabio, a former governor of Akwa Ibom State, ex-militant turned contractor, Government Ekpemupolo (alias Tompolo), Raymond Dokpesi, the founder of African Independent Television (AIT), the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Kingsley Kuku, an ex special adviser to Jonathan on Niger Delta, and Patrick Akpobolokemi, a former director general of NIMASA as other sponsors.
The group had earlier declared that it does not support the attacks on oil installations by the Niger Delta Avengers and announced that it would be unveiling the names of alleged sponsors of the militants.
Cynthia Whyte also named “sympathisers” of the Niger Delta Avengers. Included in the list are Ijaw leaders Edwin K. Clark, Tony Uranta, Daniel Alabrah, and Ms. Annkio Briggs. Olisa Metuh, a former spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was also mentioned in statement.
According to the “reformists”, Oyege Nimi Brown, VIP Timothy, Joshua Macaiver, Paul Bebenimibo and others as the main operatives of the Niger Delta Avengers. The group also said that Udengs Eradiri, the president of the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, is the man behind Brigadier General Murdoch Agbinibo, the (in)famous spokesperson of the Avengers.
President Goodluck Jonathan speaking from Zambia where is leading the African Union’s election monitoring team told The Trent that he has nothing whatsoever to do with the Niger Delta Avengers or any militant group operating in the country.
Jonathan described the report as “wicked lies” and said that he has always worked for peace and would never get involved with promoting violence of any kind.