A group that recently split from Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), a militant organization that has claimed responsibility for bombing numerous oil facilities, has claimed that former President Goodluck Jonathan was the grand patron of the NDA. In a statement issued today by Cynthia Whyte, an alias for a male spokesman, the splinter group also 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.
Mr. Whyte also identified 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, Kimi Angozi, and Patrick Akpobolokemi as other sponsors.
The splinter group, which renamed itself Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA), had recently declared its opposition to NDA’s destruction of oil infrastructure in the region, warning that it would disclose the names of individuals and groups backing the militant group.
Mr. Whyte’s statement revealed that the NDA’s sympathizers included Edwin K. Clark, Tony Uranta, Daniel Alabrah, Ms. Annkio Briggs, and Olisa Metuh, a former spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Reformed Niger Delta Avengers named Oyege Nimi Brown, VIP Timothy, Joshua Macaiver, Paul Bebenimibo and others as the main operatives of the NDA, adding that Udengs Eradiri, the president of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), also known as Brigadier General Murdoch Agbinibo, serve as the NDA’s chief spokesman.
Following the release of the list, a source close to former President Jonathan told SaharaReporters that there was “no iota of truth to the claim that former President Goodluck Jonathan has a hand in the violence in the Niger Delta.”
The source, who asked not to be identified, said he was in touch with Mr. Jonathan, adding that the former president was considering issuing a formal statement to dismiss the claims made by Mr. Whyte.
“If former President Jonathan wanted chaos in Nigeria and the Niger Delta, he would have refused to concede the election to General Buhari and the APC,” the source said.