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NDA splinter group vows to go after those blackmailing Jonathan

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FILE: A Niger Delta militant PHOTO: AFP

FILE: A Niger Delta militant PHOTO: AFP

A splinter group from the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), going by the name Reformed Egbesu Avengers (REA), yesterday, threatened to go after those behind what it referred to as “smear campaign” against former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The group, which said it was parting ways with the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA), an offshoot of the NDA, said those linking Jonathan with the ongoing militancy in the region, would soon be visited with their wrath.

The new group’s latest outburst is coming on the heels of reported growing tension in the camps of the ex-militants warlords, as politics, personal interests and disagreements have contributed to factionalise the original group.

The allegation from the RNDA that Jonathan formed the NDA, as a political tool to bargain with the present government, did not particularly go down well with most ex-militants, who felt betrayed by the statement.The former president and some other dignitaries from the Niger Delta had been listed by the RNDA as sponsoring the attacks and bombing of oil facilities by the militant groups in the Niger Delta.

There were earlier reports that the Presidency had commenced a probe of Jonathan and his wife over their alleged involvement with the group, but this was denied by Information Minister, Lai Mohammed.

In an electronic mail statement issued in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, by the group’s Spokesman, ‘General’ Columbus Okolobo, the REA specifically pledged to hunt down the leadership of the RNDA, which it said had become the mouthpiece of politicians, who are bent on ruining the ex-president’s “rising profile.”

It described the purported security/intelligence report linking Jonathan to the rising militancy in the area as a cover for its sinister motives and advised the group to return to the original tenets of the struggle.

“The lid has blown open over Cynthia Whyte, as Nigerians now understand that same person is the spokesperson for MEND and the RNDA. We urge them to quit acting scripts because they can no longer masquerade; the carpet is off their feet.

“The cordial relationship between RNDA and other militant groups with security agencies points to the fact that there is a romance to hatch devilish allegations and machinations against perceived political foes,” the REA alleged.

In a related development, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Brig. Gen. Paul Boro (rtd), said that the Presidential Amnesty Programme has transformed the lives of former Niger Delta agitators.Boro, who spoke at the graduation of 80 ex-agitators at Innoson KIARA Academy in Enugu, yesterday, said the Federal Government was impressed with the response of the participants.
He added that government would ensure that none of the graduates missed their track, but drive to prosperity following their participation in the nine months course.


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