The Truth About Ni­ger Delta Avengers and Goodluck Jonathan – Ijaw Youth Council

by on May 16, 2016
Former President Goodluck Jonathan has been absolved of forming the new Ni­ger Delta Avengers (NDA) to frustrate the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), the umbrella body of Ijaw youths worldwide, which on Sunday exonerated Jona­than of any involvement in the creation of the new group, said that the former leader’s accus­ers were lying on the issue.
An alleged former militant leader, Israel Akpodoro, who claimed to be the National President of the National Co­alition of Niger Delta Ex-Ag­itators, had last week alleged that Jonathan founded the Niger Delta Avengers to work against President Buhari.
In a statement issued in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State on Sunday, IYC spokesman, Mr. Eric Omare described Akpo­doro as an unknown ex-mil­itant and had no pedigree in the Niger Delta region.
He said: “The allegation that the Niger Delta Avengers was formed by former Presi­dent Jonathan in a meeting he attended in January 2015 pre­paratory to the 2015 election to make the country ungov­ernable for his successor is ab­solutely untrue. It is nonsen­sical to imagine that former President Jonathan who con­ceded defeat and congratulat­ed his opponent even before the final result was announced would make such a plan.
“In the first place, the Jan­uary 2015 meeting of ex-agi­tators and stakeholders in the Niger Delta region was not attended by former President Jonathan and the meeting never resolved to make Nige­ria ungovernable for President Buhari.
“The IYC leadership also attended the meeting and the President of the IYC, Udengs Eradiri, was one of the speak­ers at that meeting. The meet­ing was called to calm down the youths of the Niger Delta who were aggrieved with the attack on former President Jonathan in some northern states during the campaign for the 2015 presidential elec­tions,” Omare said.
He recalled that when President Buhari came to the South-South during his pres­idential campaign as the can­didate of the All Progres­sives Congress (APC), he was warmly received by his party supporters and traditional rul­ers, adding that the IYC even provided extra security for his campaign team when he came to Bayelsa State to avoid em­barrassing Jonathan and the people of the state.
Omare continued: “How­ever, the reverse was the case when former President Jon­athan went to the North to campaign as he was stoned and attacked by hired youths and thugs sponsored by oppo­sition politicians in the region. This situation made youths of the South-South to be ag­grieved and it was in this state of affairs that the then Presi­dential Adviser on the Niger Delta, Hon. Kingsley Kuku, in conjunction with the Gover­nor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Se­riake Dickson, took the proac­tive step to call a stakeholders’ meeting where the attack on President Jonathan in the North was condemned and the youths of the South-South asked to give peace a chance. It was never resolved at this meeting to setup the Niger Delta Avengers and to make Nigeria ungovernable. The in­itiators of this historic meeting deserve commendation rather than condemnation.
“For the records, the said Israel Akpodoro was never an ex-agitator; hence he could not have been selected to ad­dress such an important gath­ering of stakeholders in the Niger Delta region. The issue of his being moved out of the meeting because he opposed the idea does not arise as even the press who were in the meeting can attest this fact. Israel Akpodoro was not an ex-agitator but was involved in questionable activities in Delta State and was only in­corporated into the second and third phases of the Am­nesty Programme to rehabil­itate him and take him out of those questionable activities,” he said.
The Council therefore calls on the general public to ignore the wild and un­founded allegations of Akpo­doro against former President Jonathan as he is seeking for relevance.
IYC noted that it is now the stock in trade of people from the South-South who are seeking for relevance from the Federal Government to casti­gate leaders from the region, especially those who served in the immediate past adminis­tration.

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