Former President Goodluck Jonathan has again denied allegations that he is sponsoring the Niger Delta Avengers. Jonathan said he was being linked to the violent group because of his rising profile.
The Eagle Online reports that the former president said the allegation was being sponsored by those who were intimidated by his rising profile in Nigeria and abroad.
In a statement by his spokesman, Ikechukwu Eze, on Thursday, Jonathan said: “It is sad that the publications wore the cloak of 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 the society.
“There is no doubt that there exists 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 profiles have continued to rise despite their recourse to endless muck-raking character assassination. Such people will 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.
“From what we know about intelligence gathering, there is no responsible government agency that would rush, as claimed in the newspaper stories, to adopt the accusations of a questionable rebellious organisation as its own findings, without applying the professional processes of rigour and due diligence.
“Our media houses should be careful not to make the country a laughing stock by being hoodwinked into passing off the perverted voices of irritant groups as that of our well-respected official and security authorities.
“Apart from toying with the serious issue of libel, those newspapers lending themselves to be cheaply used by miscreants are also doing gross disservice to our collective good and the image of the country.”