Ex-NIMASA DG, Akpobolokemi, others deny links with Niger Delta Avengers

A former Director-General of Nigeria Maritime Administration Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi has dismissed a report accusing him alongside others of being the sponsors of the Niger Delta Avengers, saying it is false and malicious. He also described the allegation as an attempt by his traducers to bring him down by every means.

Akpobolokemi, who said this in a statement yesterday, denied having any link or ties with any political, advocacy or militant group anywhere in the world, adding that he is committed to Nigeria’s interest.

He said, “My attention has been drawn to a recent publication by a group named the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA), who purportedly listed “alleged” sponsors of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA); a group that has claimed responsibility for several attacks on oil and gas infrastructure in the Niger Delta. The group is reported to have named me as one of the sponsors of the Niger Delta Avengers.

“I want to say that this claim is false, malicious, defamatory and lacking any iota of credibility. May I remind the generality of Nigerians and the international community that I am currently facing six cases in various courts bordering on my stewardship in the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

“Perhaps, my adversaries may have realized that these charges in various courts lack merit and substance, and have decided to go this length to label me as a sponsor of NDA and its activities.

“I am not a politician nor a member of any political or advocacy group. I also do not have any link or ties with any political, advocacy or militant group anywhere in the world.

“I am well educated with a doctorate degree and became a public servant with interest in the rapid development of Nigeria’s social and physical infrastructure. This is evidenced by my efforts in the establishment of the Nigerian Maritime University.

“I cannot be involved in the destruction of oil and gas infrastructure because this will adversely affect the ecosystem in addition to other negative socio-economic consequences in the Niger Delta region and Nigeria.

“I was at the forefront of the anti-pollution campaign in our waters when I was the Director-General of NIMASA, so I will not be involved in actions that are causing pollution in devastating the already fragile ecosystem in the region.

”I therefore reject the baseless notion and association ascribed to me or implied in any shape or form by the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers as a sponsor of the Niger Delta Avengers and its activities.”

Meanwhile, former President Goodluck Jonathan, a fugitive ex-militant, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, and his media consultant, Paul Bebenimbo, have all denied the allegation by the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers that they are sponsors of the Niger Delta Avengers.

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike; Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio; Chairman of Daar Communications, Raymond Dopes and former Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Kingsley Kuku, have also denied ties with the violent militant group.

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