Former President, Goodluck Jonathan has said that a list which named him as one of the sponsors of the Niger Delta Avengers was another attempt by the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) to eliminate him.
A group, which split from the NDA – Reformed Niger Delta Avengers – had named Jonathan as the grand patron of the NDA.
In a statement by its spokesperson, Cynthia Whyte, the RNDA had listed ex-President Jonathan and some notable Nigerians, including Governors from the region as sponsors of the separatist group.
However, in a statement on Sunday by his media aide, Ikechukwu Eze, Jonathan said the list by the splinter group was political, adding that it was part of an attempt to assassinate him.
The statement read in part, “Since it is not in our place to speak for all those named in the obvious fabrication, we are only intervening to the extent that its hidden intent poses a violent threat to the life of former President Goodluck Jonathan, a committed patriot.
“We are seized by the feeling of déjà vu occasioned by the resurrection of one dim character masquerading as Cynthia Whyte, who had in the past served as the spokesperson for a notorious group that had all along shown its hand to be going after the life of former President Jonathan.”
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.
He said, “Do we need to remind anybody that the so-called Cynthia Whyte is the self-declared spokesperson for the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, a violent and murderous underground group led by one Henry Okah, which has not hidden its intention to destroy the former President?”
He stated, “We have no doubt in our mind that MEND, as a group contracted to go after Jonathan with the mind of assassinating him, has yet to abandon this criminal and ignominious craving. It is in this light that we view the purported statement issued by Cynthia Whyte as not only a sadistic continuation of this sick desire, but also a futile attempt to instigate the Federal Government to needlessly go after the former President.
“Those who have been following the unsavoury developments in some parts of the country since the last general election would have noticed that MEND, its paymasters and other unscrupulous elements in the South-South region have been striving fruitlessly to exploit the ensuing confusion by surreptitiously working for the fulfilment of its yet-to-be declared political agenda.
“We are not under any illusion that more accusations and allegations of this nature would not be hurled Jonathan’s way in the future. But we are very positive that he can never be fazed by such negative energy.”