Kuku: I’m Not Lobbying To Remain As Presidential Amnesty Adviser
Immediate past Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme and Special Adviser on Niger Delta, Mr Kingsley Kuku yesterday denied claims that he is lobbying to be retained in that post.
Kuku, who spoke following protests by some former militants in the Niger Delta that he is adopting a sit tight posture told journalists in Abuja that he has since completed his assignment and that there was no way he could have plotted to stay back at the Amnesty office after giving his valedictory address to staff and the media and having clearly stated where he was returning to even before the handing over of baton on May 29, 2015.
According to him, “Kuku has not, is not and does not intend to lobby anyone directly or subtly to remain in office beyond what has been provided for under the Nigerian law.
Having served as a Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, who handed over power to his successor, Muhammadu Buhari, on May 29, 2015, it is inconceivable that Kuku would still be lobbying either President Buhari or anyone in his yet-to-be formed cabinet to stay back as the Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Office.
There is no truth whatsoever in the claim by the so-called ex-agitators that Kuku is lobbying some unnamed top Government officials to stay back as Chairman of the PAO.”
Kuku noted that with the completion of his national assignment with President Jonathan, he would be returning to his village in Orogbo Ijaw in Ondo State and accordingly addressed a valedictory press conference in Abuja to say goodbye to those who worked with him and made the PAP a success now being celebrated within and outside Nigeria.
Dismissing some of the claims of ex-agitators, the Niger Delta activist said having been at the forefront of the struggle for many years to improve the lot of the Niger Delta and his people, it was uncharitable for some persons seeking cheap publicity to describe him as a stranger to the Niger Delta cause.
Kuku also dismissed as a figment of political jobbers and fortune-seekers the claim that he ran the amnesty office as his personal estate, insisting that the office was regularly scrutinised by relevant government agencies and the National Assembly, which has oversight duty over it.
Kuku also denied allegation that the May salary for the ex-militants had been take away, saying that the salary was paid into the Amnesty Office Account by the Central Bank of Nigeria on the eve of the change of government on May 28, 2015 and there was no way he could have tampered with the money even though he is a major signatory to the account.
“The truth is that the May salary for all the beneficiaries is intact. No one has touched it since it came in on May 28 via the CBN Single Treasury Account, TSA, and it will be paid to them as soon as a new SA is appointed by the President,” Kuku explained.
“Contrary to the claims by some uninformed ex-agitators, I have even written to Mr. President to quicken the appointment of a new Chairman for the Amnesty Office so as to pave the way for the immediate payment of the salary already in the account of the PAP,” he said, adding, “I have no intention to stay back having finished my assignment.”
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