Ex-President Jonathan Denies Sponsoring Niger Delta Avengers
Former President Goodluck Jonathan has dismissed as malicious a statement linking him to the militant group, Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), which has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks on oil facilities as well as employees of oil companies in the Niger Delta.
A splinter group, Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA), which recently split from the NDA, had issued a statement earlier today alleging that former President Jonathan was the “grand patron” of the violent group, NDA.
Speaking briefly to our correspondent from Zambia, where he is scheduled to monitor elections next week, Mr. Jonathan dismissed the list released by Cynthia Whyte, an alias for the spokesman of RNDA.
Former President Jonathan said he would soon issue a formal statement, but clarified that he was in no way tied to the NDA. Asked if President Muhammadu Buhari had invited him to help broker peace in the oil-producing zone, Mr. Jonathan said he had received no formal request from his successor. However, he said he was aware that Ijaw elder, Edwin Clark, was working informally to help restore stability in the area.
Former President Jonathan said he did not wish to trade words with “Cynthia Whyte.” He stated that the names of those listed as alleged sponsors and supporters of NDA suggested that a political agenda informed the composition of the list. He asserted that there was absolutely no truth to the allegation that he was backing the NDA or any other militant group in the Niger Delta or anywhere else.