Again, Jonathan Denies Links with N’Delta Avengers

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Gboyega Akinsanmi

Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday denied reports that linked him to the renewed militancy and bombings of oil infrastructure in the Niger Delta.

Two national newspapers had yesterday reported that the former president was allegedly involved in the formation and activities of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA).

But in a statement by his media aide, Ikechukwu Eze, Jonathan denied the report, saying there were similarities in the two stories published by the national dailies.

The statement said: “We are convinced that such clear coincidences are only permissible in situations where general statements are issued, but not on matters of intelligence/security reports which do not fly into newsrooms as press releases.

“We are also concerned that the stories did not differ in content and substance from the trite allegations earlier made by the so called Reformed Niger Delta Avengers over the same lies of linking Jonathan to the militants,” the statement said.

It expressed shock that a newspaper would publish such a report, which was said to be “a confirmation of a similar claim by the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND)”, without subjecting such frivolity to any ethical interrogation.

It pointed out that no responsible government agency would rush, as claimed in the reports, to adopt the accusations of a questionable rebellious organisation as its own findings, without applying the professional processes of rigor and due diligence.

 It said the two publications wore the cloak of the deceit from the same misguided characters that “are hell-bent on pulling down the former president, despite his clear record of diligent service to his country and long standing commitment to the good of society.
“There is no doubt that there exist such people who may have scores to settle with the former president but are now feeling frustrated by the fact that his national and international profile has continued to rise, despite their recourse to endless muck-raking character assassination.”

It added that such people would stop at nothing to continue “to throw obstacles, albeit futilely, on his path. We are aware that the same people approached other well-meaning newspapers with the same false information, but they were wise to turn it down on account of its absurdity.”