The immediate past Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Hon. Kingsley Kuku, has condemned the attempt to link him with the militant group, Niger Delta Avengers (NDA).
The Reformed Niger Delta Avengers, RNDA, had in statement issued weekend by its spokesperson, Cynthia Whyte, alleged that Kuku, alongside prominent Niger Delta personalities, including former President, Dr. Goodlukc Jonathan, were the brains behind the NDA, a militant group that has claimed responsibility for bringing Nigeria’s crude oil production from about 1.8 million barrels per day to a little above 1 million barrels.
All the personalities mentioned as alleged sponsors of the NDA have since issued separate statements denouncing the claim, with the exception of Kuku, whose office as former Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, was in charge of the amnesty programme.
However, in a statement he issued from Alabama, the United States of America (U.S.A) where he is undergoing therapy after a knee surgery, the former amnesty coordinator denied sponsoring any militant group.
The statement reads: “This is yet another attempt to discredit my hard-earned reputation and defame my person, after the earlier plot to implicate me with terrorism by another fictitious Kano-based group, National Security Watchdog. If that attempt failed, this too has surely fallen flat.
“Since the 1990s, I have dedicated a greater part of my life to the service of our dear country. I have been privileged to serve Nigeria and my people in different capacities and have discharged my duties and responsibilities with utmost patriotism and the fear of God.
“The jury is still out on my last national assignment as Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme. But what cannot be disputed is the fact of an indelible mark my team and I achieved at ensuring and stabilising the peace and security of the Niger Delta for four solid years, despite the very grave challenges we faced. Even now, I am willing to join any sincere effort to restore and strengthen the peace of the region, irrespective of party affiliation, in the interest of my people and the nation.
“It is, therefore, the height of perfidy to point fingers at a man like me; after committing so much to guarantee peace and security in the region, to now sponsor acts that are antithetical to my cherished principles. Without mincing words, I am pained by the seeming reversal of the gains recorded while discharging our mandate.
“But no matter the systemic attempts to blur our achievements, there shall be light at the end of the dark tunnel.
“In Nigeria of today, where you are guilty until proven innocent, which is the title of my upcoming book, some of the fruits of our efforts have started manifesting with the graduation of three of our delegates with First-Class degrees and some others with Second-Class Upper degrees in the United Kingdom (U.K) alone, just as thousands of others have equally performed excellently well in other parts of the world and in Nigeria. These are youths who were privileged to be enrolled in higher institutions abroad and in Nigeria under the Special Scholarship Scheme initiated by my team and me under former President Goodluck Jonathan. We invested so much in academics and capacity development of youths from the region and our achievements continue to speak for us.
“As I recuperate from my surgery, I have advised my lawyers to take steps to defend my integrity against negative media reports.
“I remain an unrepentant advocate of the indissolubility of the Nigerian nation as well as the peace and development of the Niger Delta”.