The attacks were claimed by the Movement of the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), the main militant group in the nation’s southern oil heartland, but Jonathan — who is from the region — has said the group’s name was used as a cover.
Former MEND field commanders and scores of their followers, among the thousands to have accepted amnesty last year, met Jonathan in the presidential villa and condemned the bombings.
“We are not part of the incident … MEND is not involved,” said Government Tompolo, one of the group’s former commanders.
MEND has always been factionalized and some die-hard militants have dismissed those who took amnesty as sell-outs.
Prosecutors in Johannesburg on Monday charged Henry Okah, long a senior figure in MEND who now lives in South Africa, with conspiracy to commit a terrorist act and the detonation of explosive devices in Abuja. His lawyer denied his involvement.
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