By Soni Daniel
Immediate past Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Kingsley Kuku, has strongly condemned the attempt to link him with the nascent militant group, Niger Delta Avengers (NDA).
Kuku, in a press release issued in Alabama, United States of America, where he is still undergoing therapy after a knee surgery, said he is not a sponsor of the militant group as claimed by a faceless Reformed Niger Delta Avengers in a report published by New York-based news portal, SaharaReporters.
“This is yet another attempt to discredit my hard-earned reputation and defame my person after the earlier plot to rope me with terrorism by another fictitious Kano-based group, National Security Watchdog. If that attempt failed, this too has surely fallen flat.
“Since the 90s, 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, Presidential Amnesty Programme. But what cannot be disputed is the fact of an indelible mark my team and I achieved in ensuring and stabilizing 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 accusing fingers at a man like me that has committed 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 effort 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 alone just as thousand others have equally performed excellently well in other parts of the world and in Nigeria. These are youths that were privileged to be enrolled in higher institutions abroad and in Nigeria under the Special Scholarship Scheme initiated by my team and I 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.”