FORMER president Dr Goodluck Jonathan has raised the alarm that his life is under threat after revealing that the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (Mend) has added him to a hit list of people it wants to assassinate.
Over recent months, militancy has returned to the Niger Delta with the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) at the forefront of the battle, blowing up oil installations and facilities. Other groups like Mend have agreed to enter into dialogue with the federal government to end the crisis and several leaders like Dr Jonathan have said that talks is the only way forward.
However, certain militant groups have threatened to take action against those who are proposing peace with the government calling them traitors. According to Dr Jonathan said a list, which named him and other south-south leaders as NDA sponsors, was another attempt by Mend to eliminate him.
Already a group, which split from the NDA known as the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA), has named Dr Jonathan as the NDA’S grand patron. RNDA spokeswoman Cynthia Whyte, also listed the Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike and Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson, as NDA sponsors.
Others mentioned in the list include Chief Edwin Clark; a former Governor of Akwa Ibom State Senator Godswill Akpabio; ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo; the founder, African Independent Television, Raymond Dokpesi; Kingsley Kuku; Kimi Angozi, and Patrick Akpobolokemi. According to the group, NDA sympathisers include Daniel Alabrah, Tony Uranta, Daniel, Annkio Briggs, and a former spokesman for the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh.
In addition, the RNDA also named Oyege Nimi Brown, VIP Timothy, Joshua Macaiver, Paul Bebenimibo, among others, as the main operatives of the NDA. It added that the President of the Ijaw Youth Council, Udengs Eradiri, known as Brigadier Murdoch Agbinibo, served as the NDA’s chief spokesman.
However, Dr Jonathan said the list by the splinter group was political, adding that it was part of an attempt 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.