GEJ said MEND has been seeking to kill him even while he was vice-president of Nigeria
In a statement made by his media aide, Ikechukwu Eze on Sunday August 7, Jonathan said the list of sponsors by the splinter group Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA) was political, adding that it was part of an attempt to assassinate him.
The former President recalled that in 2007, after he emerged as the running mate of the late President Umar Yar’Adua, the group invaded Yenogoa in an effort to assassinate him. He added that the members of the group later bombed his compound in Otuoke, Bayelsa state, on a night he was scheduled to attend to an important matter in his country home.
Jonathan said that the list, which named him and other South-South leaders as Niger Delta Avengers sponsors, was another attempt by the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), to eliminate him. According to him, the bombing that took place on October 1, 2010 at the Eagle Square, Abuja, showed that the group was violent.
A group, which split from the NDA – Reformed Niger Delta Avengers – had named Jonathan as the grand patron of the NDA.
An online medium, Sahara Reporters, reported that in a statement by its spokesperson, Cynthia Whyte, the RNDA also listed the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and the Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, as sponsors of the NDA
Others mentioned in the list were Chief Edwin Clark, a former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godswill Akpabio; ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo (alias Tompolo); the founder, African Independent Television, Raymond Dokpesi; Kingsley Kuku; Kimi Angozi, and Patrick Akpobolokemi. According to Sahara Reporters, the group said the NDA sympathisers are Daniel Alabrah; Tony Uranta, Daniel; Ms. Annkio Briggs, and a former spokesman for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh. The Reformed Niger Delta Avengers also named Oyege Nimi Brown, VIP Timothy, Joshua Macaiver, Paul Bebenimibo, among others, as the main operatives of the NDA
It added that the President of the Ijaw Youth Council, Udengs Eradiri, aka Brig. Gen. Murdoch Agbinibo, served as the NDA’s chief spokesman. Also, Clark, who spoke through his lawyer, Mr. Dotun Sowemimo, wondered why he would be mentioned as one of the sponsors of such a heinous crime against the nation.
On his part, Wike, who spoke through his Special Assistant on Electronic Media, Mr Simeon Nwakaudu, said the list should be ignored by the members of the public.
Dokpesi, also distanced himself from the Niger Delta Avengers. Dokpesi in an interview with The Punch on Sunday in Abuja, said he remained committed to strengthening the unity and stability of Nigeria. He said, “I don’t know who is giving that report; I have never met any member of the NDA in my life, I have no association with them and I don’t know who they are. I have been committed to strengthening the unity and stability of the country.”
A former spokesman for the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, also denied being a sympathiser of the NDA. Alabrah said in a statement on Sunday that the report was a product of mischief designed to distract the Federal Government from decisively addressing the resurgence of militancy in the Niger Delta. The Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, denied being a sponsor of the Niger Delta Avengers or any other militant group.
In a statement on Sunday by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr Anietie Ekong, the former Governor of Akwa Ibom state described the allegation as “baseless, reckless and senseless.”
Source: Sahara report