The immediate past Special Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan on Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, has denied claims that he is lobbying the Muhammadu Buhari administration to remain in office as Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
The former presidential aide, who made the denial while speaking to reporters in Abuja on Saturday, said he was honoured to have served the nation at the time he did and that he had since completed his assignment and moved on with his life.
Dismissing claims by a group of ex-agitators in the Niger Delta, who took up paid adverts in some newspapers to allege that he had intensified his lobby to be retained in the position, said there was no way he could have stayed back at the Amnesty Office after giving his valedictory address to staff and the media and having clearly stated that he was returning home even before the handing over on May 29, 2015.
He said, “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 in the lobby of 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 said it was unfortunate for the ex-agitators to make spurious allegations against his person, claiming that all the allegations were untrue.
He noted that 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.
He also dismissed allegations that he ran the amnesty office as his personal estate, insisting that activities of the office were regularly scrutinized by relevant government agencies and the National Assembly.
On the issue of May salary for ex-militants, Kuku said the salary was paid into the Amnesty Office Account by the Central Bank of Nigeria on the eve of inauguration on May 28, 2015.
He added that he could not have tampered with the money even though he is a major signatory to the account.