The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has discredited the claim by ex-militant Israel Akpodoro who alleged that former President Goodluck Jonathan founded the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) responsible for the recent bombings of oil installations in the Niger Delta region.
According to PUNCH, the IYC made this known in a statement by its spokesman, Eric Omare on Sunday.
The IYC debunked the allegations made by Akpodoro that Jonathan formed the militant group in a meeting of Niger Delta stakeholders in January 2015, and directed all ex-militants from the region to return to the creeks in preparation for action should General Muhammadu Buhari win the then coming election.
The statement read in parts:
The attention of the group has been drawn to a statement by one Israel Akpodoro, who claimed to be the National President of the National Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators, alleging that former President Jonathan founded the Niger Delta Avengers.
The allegation that the NDA was formed by Jonathan in a meeting he attended in January 2015, preparatory to the 2015 general elections 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, current President Muhammadu Buhari, 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 region was not attended by 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 election.”
This situation made youths of the South-South to be aggrieved and it was in that state of affairs that the then Presidential Adviser on the Niger Delta, Kingsley Kuku, in conjunction with the Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, took the proactive step to call a stakeholders’ meeting, where the attack on Jonathan in the North was condemned.
They asked the youth of the South-South to give peace a chance. It was never resolved at that meeting to set up 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 Akpodoro was never an ex-agitator; hence he could not have been selected to address such an important gathering of stakeholders in the region. The issue of his being moved out of the meeting because he opposed the idea does not arise as even the media personnel, who were at the meeting, can attest this fact.”
It is now the stock in trade of people from the South-South, who are looking for relevance from the Federal Government, to castigate leaders from the region. We call on such characters in the class of Akpodoro to have a rethink as their antics may not take them far.