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Erwin Cifuentes

Erwin Cifuentes

Erwin Cifuentes is a Contributing Editor for Southern Pulse Info where he focuses on politics, economics and security issues in Latin America and the Caribbean.…

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Nigerian Ex-President Accused of Backing the Niger Delta Avengers

A Nigerian rebel group splintered from the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) accused ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and nineteen other politicians of supporting separatist attacks in the oil-rich nation.

As reported by the Associated Press, the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA) claimed on Sunday that the politicos, who include former and current governors of state in the south, have sponsored the NDA as part of the guerillas’ opposition to the current government led by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The mostly Christian leaders in the southern states have been opposed to Buhari, a Muslim from the north, and are upset that he suspended a stipend program to some 30,000 former militants in exchange for their laying down arms. The program was partially resumed last week, and includes negotiations with the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta.

The members of the RNDA have not revealed themselves, though that hasn’t stopped some government critics from accusing Buhari of being behind the statement made via the nom de plume of Cynthia White.

Jonathan denied the allegations Monday, and via a spokesman, said the militants want to kill him.

 

“Nigerians already know what these propagandists represent. They represent retrogression, deliberate falsehood, under-development and biased unprofessional journalism,” read a statement from one of the politicos accused by the RNDA, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike.

The NDA are blamed for a series of attacks against Nigeria’s oil infrastructure this year, and for forcing output of the commodity to plummet by as much as 45 percent as the chart below shows.

Image courtesy: Peakoilbarrel.com

(Click to enlarge)

The separatists have refused to enter in discussions with the Buhari administration unless foreign negotiators are allowed to participate. The NDA has demanded multinational firms to withdraw from Nigeria, and have accused these companies of environmental damage and taking revenue away from locals.

By Erwin Cifuentes for Oilprice.com

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