The Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA) a splinter group claiming to have broken out of the Niger Delta Avengers on Sunday released a new statement allegedly containing names of some sponsors of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA).
In the statement released by Cynthia Whyte, the group claimed that the former President Goodluck Jonathan was the grand patron of the NDA.
The group also listed the following people:
- Governors Nyesom Wike of Rivers State
- Governor Seriaki Dickson of Bayelsa.
- Senator Godswill Akpabio, a former governor of Akwa Ibom State
- Government Ekpemupolo (alias Tompolo), ex-militant
- Chief Raymond Dokpesi, the founder of African Independent Television (AIT),
- the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB),
- Kingsley Kuku
- Kimi Angozi
- Patrick Akpobolokemi
- Olisa Metuh, former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Spokesman
- Oyege Nimi Brown
- VIP Timothy Joshua
- Macaiver Paul Bebenimibo
- Udengs Eradiri, President of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC)
- Chief Edwin K. Clark
- Tony Uranta,
- Daniel Alabrah
- Annkio Briggs
But those named have all denied the allegation:
Governor Nyesom Wike
“Our attention has been drawn to yet another false media propaganda wherein it was claimed that Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike is one of the sponsors of the militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers. We nequivocally deny this false report which was fabricated with the aim of diverting attention from the superlative performance of Governor Wike.
“Any close observer of this propaganda machine would have noticed that all they do is concoct lies about Rivers State. We urge all well-meaning persons to disregard this current falsehood credited to a faceless splinter group of NDA .
“This falsehood may not be unconnected to Governor Wike’s speech at the just-concluded conference of the Nigerian Guild of Editors where he publicly declared that he and other stakeholders in the state have prevented militant groups from sabotaging oil installations as is the case elsewhere. Not happy with this declaration, they resolved to concoct another ill-conceived report trying to mislead the people.
”Nigerians already know what these propagandists represent. They represent retrogression , deliberate falsehood, under-development and biased unprofessional journalism.
”Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike is a patriotic leader, committed to the sustenance and improvement of the nation’s democracy and economy. He is a promoter of security and good governance. He cannot be disparaged by concocted publications from APC media agents.”
Senator Godswill Akpabio
“It is a fabrication from the pit of hell from those who are profiteering from the crisis in the Niger Delta and would wish no end to it”
“For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state categorically that Senator Akpabio has no link with the Niger Delta Avengers or any other militant group for that matter.
“Contrarily, the position of Senator Akpabio as a foremost advocate of dialogue in resolving the Niger Delta crisis is well known. He is of the strong belief that blowing up pipelines and causing further environmental pollution of the Niger Delta is not in the interest of the region as it would take over 100 years to remediate the effects of such environmental degradation.
“Neither does he believe that economic sabotage at a time of economic recession that the nation is presently passing through can be an answer to the Niger Delta problem.”
“I don’t know who is giving that report; I don’t have any idea; I have never met any Avenger in my life I have no connection, association and I don’t know who they are. I have been committed to strengthening the unity and stability of the country.
“I don’t k know anything pertaining to any Avenger, I don’t know anything about any militant group. I have no connection, no association with any militant group, either on earth or anywhere in the world.”
“My attention has been drawn to a false and misleading report circulating in a section of the media, heinously listing my name as one of the sympathizers of the Niger-Delta Avengers.
“Ordinarily, I would not have responded to this given that I have since chosen to conduct my affairs with the decency and comportment of someone involved in a well-celebrated trial and with a severe spinal problem. I am also not unaware of the series of false reports against my person in the past few months. However, on this occasion I have chosen to respond, as this particularly borders on matters affecting national security.
“Indeed, I believe this is a wicked, cruel and devilish plot to link me with such activities and at this very time, especially as the claim is outrightly false. “For the avoidance of doubt, I hereby state categorically that I do not have any relationship or association whatsoever either as a sympathizer or sponsor of any militant group, including the Avengers.
“I therefore find it very cruel that any person would in any manner whatsoever attempt to associate my name with anything to do with this group or its operations and I still wonder what the motive behind this sinister plot is.
“While I restate my decision not to be drawn into any controversy at this time, it is pertinent that I reiterate that my only preoccupation now remains matters concerning my health and extant court trial as I continue to conduct my affairs with dignity and single-mindedness.
“Finally, I call on the Federal Government and security agencies to immediately investigate and arrest Cynthia Whyte, who purportedly circulated the report and ensure that they get to the root of this matter. This is a security issue and nobody should be allowed to play politics with it.”
Udengs Eradiri, President of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC)
“I have no business whatsoever with the Niger Delta Avengers. I am the President of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), the largest youth organisation in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria and not the spokesman of the Niger Delta Avengers.
“Since the splinter group of the Niger Delta Avengers said they have broken away and repented from their old ways, I call on them to come out in the open and identify themselves openly instead of still using pseudo-names such as Cynthia Whyte to issue statements.
“Any discerning mind would know that the said statement purportedly naming sponsors of Avengers was issued by the promoters of the Aaron 11 MEND negotiation with the federal government.
“Their grouse against me is because I said in my recent interviews that MEND Aaron 11 team does have the mandate of the Ijaw and other Niger Delta people to negotiate with the Federal Government. They are desperate because of the lack of credibility in what they are doing”.