…this is damning enough. Former President Jonathan has to come out fighting to defend whatever integrity he has left. His international legacy as a man of peace is also being threatened with this allegation. – Jide Salu
Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, has been revealed as the grand patron of Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), a splinter group, Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA) has alleged.
The Reformed Niger Delta Avengers which allegedly broke away from the Niger Delta Avengers, in a statement released on Wednesday by its unseen spokesperson, Cynthia Whyte, alleged that Goodluck Jonathan came up with the name “Avengers”.
In the statement, the elusive Cynthia Whyte revealed that Jonathan was the arrowhead in the formation of NDA, adding that the NDA was created to counter the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), because the Okah brothers failed to support Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election bid.
Goodluck Jonathan had recently alleged that Henry and Charles Okah were determined to assassinate him, in response, the Okah brothers vowed to sue the former President within 60 days over the allegations of assassination against them.
“Like every sponsor, sympathizer and operative earlier mentioned who has equally denied links with the Avengers, we can understand the wisdom behind their decision; as their participation was always meant to be covert.
“Mr. Kingsley Kuku and Mr. Gordon Obuah, [Special Adviser] on Niger Delta and Chief Security Officer to President Jonathan, respectively were selected to visit Charles Okah in Kuje prison.
“Mr. Daniel Alabrah was given the assignment to draft an endorsement statement for Charles Okah to go through and pass on to MEND.
“It therefore came as a shock when MEND did the opposite and endorsed Buhari. Mr. Jonathan was livid with anger and swore that the Okahs would rot in prison.
“It was around that period the idea of forming the Niger Delta Avengers was conceived. In fact the name “Avengers” came from the lips of Goodluck Jonathan.
“As election day approached, certain stakeholders were mobilized to form a force to standby and ensure total anarchy in the South-South and South-East within 24 hours if the election results were not favourable to Jonathan.
“It took everyone by surprise to learn that Mr. Jonathan had conceded defeat even before the final results were released. The standby force who were to attack specific targets were told to stand down. They were all compensated in US dollars cash.
“MEND was aware of this plot through a spy that could not be identified, and the group began its campaign to counter every effort of the NDA and the Biafra agitators to this day.
“If former President Jonathan provokes us further with denials of this revelation, we will reveal more sordid details. The prison authorities in Kuje who witnessed the closed door meeting from the outside can attest to that night visit of November 2014.”, the statement read in part.
The group further alleged that the Avengers then decided that it would be used as a tool to make things difficult for the Buhari government by vandalising oil facilities and causing economic hardship.
“MEND was aware of this plot through a spy that could not be identified, and the group began its campaign to counter every effort of the NDA and the Biafran agitators to this day,” the group said.
All those listed by the group, including Tompolo and Kuku, had in separate statements denied membership or involvement in the NDA.
A former Head of Media and Communications of the Presidential Amnesty Office (PAO), Alabrah, also denied allegations linking him, Kuku and others with the formation of the Niger Delta Avengers.
Alabrah, who was reacting to Wythe’s allegations that he purportedly wrote an endorsement letter to Charles Okah to enable MEND to support Jonathan’s re-election, said rather than the militant group casting aspersion on innocent people, it should go ahead and disclose the true identities of those behind Niger Delta Avengers.
He challenged the spokesperson for the splinter NDA to also produce the letter he wrote for Charles Okah to sign for the defunct MEND to support the ambition of the former President.
Alabrah, a former journalist who spoke on the phone with one of our correspondents, also dismissed the alleged prominent role played by his former boss, Kingsley Kuku, in the formation of the group prior to the 2015 presidential election.
“These allegations are very laughable. There was no time I wrote a letter to be endorsed by Charles Okah prior to the 2015 general elections. The way RNDA are going shows that the same people who run MEND are behind the RNDA.
“If Cynthia Whyte claims I wrote any letter, the group should produce a copy of the letter. I have never met Charles Okah, let alone writing an endorsement letter for him in prison. It has gotten to a point where they (RNDA) if they are actually splinter group of Avengers to unravel those behind NDA.
“Security forces should ask the new group who are the members of the Niger Delta Avengers. This blackmailing game against innocent people won’t work. They should name those who are members of the Avengers rather than blackmailing everybody.
“The only meeting I know which Kingsley Kuku attended with ex-militants was the peace meeting held in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. The outcome of that meeting was misquoted in the media until Governor Seriake Dickson who chaired the event made clarification to earlier reports.”
Efforts to speak with Paul Benemibo, the spokesperson for the former MEND leader, Chief Government Ekpemukpolo alias Tompolo were unsuccessful.
Repeated calls made to his line rang without answering even at about 9.50pm when this report was being filed.