By Soni Daniel
Immediate past Presidential Amnesty Programme Media Head, Dan Alabrah, has denied reports linking him to the dreaded Niger Delta Avengers, describing it as a shock.
“A report published by the news portal, SaharaReporters, of Saturday, August 6, 2016 linking me to the nascent militant group, Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), came to me as a surprise,” Alabrah said on Sunday.
The report with the headline: “Former President Jonathan, Tompolo, Akpabio, Wike, Dokpesi, Others Named as Sponsors of Niger Delta Avengers,” mentioned my name as one of its sympathisers.
The report was attributed to one Cynthia Whyte, who is the so-called spokesperson of a specious and shadowy group, Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA).
Alabrah said: “The claim is not only false, spurious and lacking substance, it is also the figment of the imagination of the authors and their sponsors. The intention is to distract the Federal Government, the security and intelligence agencies from the task of uprooting the latest scourge of militancy from the Niger Delta.
“While it is an honour to be named among such great Nigerians, let me remind those behind the report that militancy is not the only means of a livelihood in the Niger Delta that virtually every respectable and responsible person from the region would be tarred with that infamous stigma.
“I therefore state unambiguously and without any equivocation that I am not sympathetic to the agitation of the Niger Delta Avengers just as I am not given to violent methods to espouse a cause.
“My mode of dissent as a journalist and media-minded person had always been within the ambits of the law and through avenues that are professionally and legally acceptable.
“I do not know if my modes of expressing my views on national or Niger Delta issues have now constituted a threat to national peace. If that is the case, then this is an attempt to stifle free speech, democratic values and my inalienable rights.
“As a former appointee, who served as Head of Media and Communication of the Presidential Amnesty Programme for three years, I contributed in no small measure towards ensuring and sustaining peace in the Niger Delta as well as in moulding the lives of youths from the region. I cannot now toe a dishonourable and discredited path.
“I therefore urge the sponsors of this malicious report to repent of their evil ways as the wrath of God awaits them,” Alabrah said.