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Militants accuse ex-president of sponsoring Nigeria oil attacks

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WARRI, Nigeria: A splinter group of Nigerian oil militants accuses former President Goodluck Jonathan and other politicians in the oil-rich Niger Delta of sponsoring attacks on oil installations that have slashed the West African nation’s petroleum production.

Jonathan denied the allegations and, through a spokesman, said the militants want to kill him.
On Sunday, the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers published names of 20 alleged sponsors of the Niger Delta Avengers, the group it broke away from, including former and current governors of southern states.

Politicians long have been accused of backing the oil militants. Southerners are accused of trying to destabilize the government.

Nigerian government last week resumed the payments and said it is negotiating with the Movement for the Emanicipation of the Niger Delta, which negotiated the amnesty.

But that group has been denounced as corrupt by the Niger Delta Avengers, a new group responsible for this year’s devastating attacks that have cut oil production by up to 45 percent. It has refused to negotiate without foreign mediation.

The Avengers want the withdrawal of multinational oil companies responsible for massive pollution and want locals to control production.

In a separate development, residents of Jonathan’s home state of Bayelsa said unidentified men dressed as priests Monday gunned down three soldiers at a military checkpoint in Nembe town. A farmer and a trader spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

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