Tompolo Denies Sponsoring Niger Delta Avengers

A billboard in support of then-incumbent Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan

The former governor cautioned against politicizing the Niger Delta crisis.

A splinter group, the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers, had named him, among other prominent Nigerians, including former President Goodluck Jonathan, as the financial of the group that had in the past few months claimed responsibility for the attacks on oil and gas installations in the Niger Delta region of the country.

Also named as alleged sponsors of the group were former Akwa Ibom Governor, Godswill Akpabio, DAAR Communications boss, Raymond Dokpesi and Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.

Both Dokpesi and Akpabio in separate statements made available to our reporter said the claim is baseless, spurious and unfounded allegation that aims at creating distractions to the critical political issues that now engage his full attention.

He said, "The allegation is an attempt to undermine the efforts of the Niger Delta leaders to bring true, lasting peace to the region". It would be recalled that after an attempt to bomb the venue, with the mind of assassinating Jonathan and possibly other high profile local and global dignitaries in attendance, was thwarted by tight security deployment, the terrorists detonated their bombs in other parts of Abuja, resulting in the death of many innocent Nigerians. "The list is a cheap lie, which is meant to distract the peace moves by the elders and leaders in the Niger Delta".

The Niger Delta Avengers have demanded a greater share of Nigeria's oil wealth.

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He said, "I don't know who is giving that report; I have never met any member of the NDA in my life, I have no association with them and I don't know who they are".

He said, "Ordinarily, I would not have responded to this, but on this occasion, I have chosen to respond, as this particularly borders on matters affecting national security".

"Indeed, I believe this is a wicked, cruel and devilish plot to link me with such activities and at this very time, especially as the claim is out rightly false".

A former spokesman for the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, also denied being a sympathiser of the NDA.

Jonathan said Sunday the militants known as the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta have threatened his life.

"Nigerians could recall that in 2007 when Jonathan emerged as the running mate to the late President Umaru Yar'Adua in the People's Democratic Party during that year's presidential election, this very group invaded Yenagoa with hundreds of militants in an effort to assassinate him".