Nyesom Wike, The Governor of Rivers State and ex-Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, have denied funding the Niger Delta Avengers.
Both men along with ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, and Chief Edwin Clark were among South-South leaders named as sponsors of the Niger Delta Avengers by the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers, a group which split from the NDA.
Others mentioned in the list were Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson; ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo (alias Tompolo); the founder, African Independent Television, Raymond Dokpesi; Kingsley Kuku; Kimi Angozi, and Patrick Akpobolokemi.
Wike, who spoke through his Special Assistant on Electronic Media, Mr. Simeon Nwakaudu, called on Nigerians to ignore the list.
Akpabio, the Senate Minority Leader, On his part, described the allegation as “baseless, reckless and senseless”.
“Senator Akpabio has no link with the Niger Delta Avengers or any other militant group for that matter,’’ a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Anietie Ekong, on Sunday said.
The reaction was similar for Clark, who spoke through his lawyer, Mr. Dotun Sowemimo.
“The allegation is an attempt to undermine the efforts of the Niger Delta leaders to bring true, lasting peace to the region.
Clark and other leaders in the region believe in the unity of Nigeria. The list is a cheap lie, which is meant to distract the peace moves by the elders and leaders in the Niger Delta.”
Dokpesi also excluded himself from the Niger Delta Avengers, stressing that he remained committed to strengthening the unity and stability of Nigeria.
“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. I have been committed to strengthening the unity and stability of the country.”
Also, a former spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olisa Metuh, also denied having anything to do with the NDA.
“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.
This is a wicked, cruel and devilish plot to link me with such activities, especially as the claim is outright false.’’
Another former spokesman for the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, also denied being a sympathiser of the NDA.
Alabrah said in a statement on Sunday that the report was a product of mischief designed to distract the Federal Government from decisively addressing the resurgence of militancy in the Niger Delta.
Also, a former Adviser to President Jonathan, on Niger Delta, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, denied reports linking him with the Avengers, among others.