A group under the aegis of Niger Delta Youth Leaders Forum (NDYLF), on Monday, May 16, 2016, called on one Israel Akpodoro, a former militant, to recant his statement and tender an unreserved apology to former President Goodluck Jonathan over his statement, blaming the resurgence of militant activities on Goodluck Jonathan.
Akpodoro, the national president of national coalition of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators (NCNDE-A) has alleged that those loyal to former President Goodluck Jonathan, are the sponsors of the new militant group, Niger Delta Avengers.
The ex-militant leader also said the Niger Delta Avengers is a creation of Jonathan aimed at thwarting any efforts made by successive administration especially that of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC )administration.
He alleged that President Jonathan’s special adviser on Niger Delta Affairs and head of the Amnesty Program Mr. Kingsley Kuku, in a meeting with ex militant leaders, organized by the Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson, at the Bayelsa Government House, told them to remain in the creeks pending the announcement of the election results.
He said “I was bundled out of the meeting but then that is realities of what Nigerians are witnessing today. Former President Jonathan created the monster-Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, and he alone can call them to order and that is what my group is asking him to do.”
Akpodoro added that “Nigerians should hold the Ijaw leader-Jonathan responsible for any possible collateral damage that may be incurred in the process of exterminating that destructive rag tag group with all its sympathisers in the region.
But the NDYLF in the statement said that Akpodoro’s comments are not only preposterous but insulting, and a figment of his imagination, hence called on him to apologise to Jonathan for linking the militant group to him.
A statement by the national co-ordinator of the group, Ogidi Bara Ben, said that Akpodoro’s statement is an indication of a man that is seeking relevance in the Niger Delta, and favour from the Buhari-led federal government.
The statement, said “Dr. Goodluck Jonathan who is a peace-loving democratic par excellence cannot stoop so low as to convene a meeting that would sabotage our economy, or divide Nigeria.
“We call on Akpodoro to stop making unfounded stories against our father, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, as that is not the best way to gain favour from the center. It’s unfortunate that Akpodoro is making such unwarranted statements at a time when the Niger Delta region is supposed to have a single voice.
“We call on Akpodoro to as a matter of urgency tender an unreserved apology to former President Goodluck Jonathan for making such claims against him,” he said.