The former Special Adviser on Niger Delta Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Kingsley Kuku, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint the right coordinator for the Amnesty Office.
Kuku, who also doubled as chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, said Buhari must source a credible person acceptable to the riverine people to man the office.
The ex-presidential adviser spoke on the sideline of the Nigerian Athletic Golden League at the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Ondo State, at the weekend.
Commending the 30,000 ex-militants benefiting from the Amnesty Programme for being peaceful despite not receiving their allowances for two months, Kuku urged them to give the Buhari administration time to settle in.
He said: “I have appealed to the delegates (the ex-militants), to be patient with the present administration concerning the affairs of the Niger Delta people.
“It was quite an experience working in such office. These are groups of people, former agitators that can turn the nation upside down if their payment is delayed for two days, they can block the Niger Delta highways and do more. But for over two months, they have been disciplined and calm.
“For me that shows the level of discipline I was able to instil in the programme and that is what the present administration is enjoying. We must not push our luck.
“However, this is a transition period for President Muhammadu Buhari’s government. It is not going to be easy for it to come on board just to announce anybody to run the Amnesty Office. So it will take him sometime. I have definitely left a big shoe in that office. If you just bring in anybody, there will be more crisis.
“So, I think Mr. President is taking his time to look for the appropriate person to replace me so that there won’t be destruction but continuity.
“I think there will be a better time for the programme but I encourage the 30,000 delegates to continue to endure a little while. I think Mr. President respects and adores the Niger Delta people. That is why in his inaugural address to the people, the Niger Delta was dwelt on”.
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