The President of the splinter group of the Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide, Mr. Elvis Donkemezuo, has called on the security agencies to intensify efforts to fish out real faces behind the Niger Delta Avengers’ mask.
Donkemezuo, who made the call in a statement on Monday, urged the NDA to leave IYC and the Ijaw nation out of their antics.
He said his group had been intimated on reports in an online medium containing a statement from a faceless group, the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers, by a pseudonym, Cynthia Whyte, that named some Niger Delta leaders as sponsors of the NDA.
“Nonetheless, given that our silence would mislead the unsuspecting public and embolden the source of the publication, we have decided to set the records straight.
“For the sake of clarity, we want to state unequivocally that Eradiri is no longer the President of the IYC. IYC is not Eradiri’s private estate. Therefore, we urge those who have personal or business quarrels with him not to drag the name of the Council into their tussles.
“The IYC and the entire Ijaw nation distance ourselves from the NDA and any splinter group from it as well as all their sponsors. Moreso, for the avoidance of doubt, we want the world to know that although we do not know who the NDA are, we are confident that they are not Ijaw people and do not speak for the Ijaw or the Niger Delta region.”
Meanwhile, the embattled President, IYC, Mr. Udengs Eradiri, has distanced himself from an allegation that he was a member and spokesperson for the NDA.
Eradiri said as a leader of the influential Ijaw socio-cultural group, he had on many occasions spoken against a violent approach to achieving the Niger Delta struggle.
He insisted that he would continue to speak against the militant group with a firm belief that only dialogue, with genuine leaders, would resolve the problems in the region.
A NDA splinter group, the RNDA, had in a statement claimed that Eradiri was speaking for the group using the pseudonym ‘Brigadier-General’ Murdoch Agbinibo.
However, Eradiri, who spoke in Yenagoa, on Sunday, said he was not surprised that his name was being dragged in the mire because of his unwavering position on the region’s crisis and the way forward.
The IYC boss accused the promoters of the Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta of deliberate efforts to blackmail him for opposing their “Aaron team.”
Eradiri said, “I have no business whatsoever with the Niger Delta Avengers. I am the President of the Ijaw Youth Council, the largest youth organization in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria and not spokesman for NDA.
“Since the splinter group of the Niger Delta Avengers said they have broken away and repented from their old ways, I call on them to come out in the open and identify themselves openly instead of still using pseudonym such as Cynthia Whyte to issue press statements.
“Any discerning mind will know that the said statement purportedly naming sponsors of Avengers was issued by the promoters of the Aaron II MEND negotiation with the Federal Government.
“Their grouse against me is because I said in my recent interviews that MEND Aaron II team does have the mandate of the Ijaw and other Niger Delta people to negotiate with the Federal Government. They are desperate because of the lack of credibility in what they are doing.”