The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide, the Niger Delta Patriotic Assembly (NDPA) and other Ijaw leaders have warned the Federal Government and some politicians against the ongoing harassment of a former Presidential Adviser and Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Kingsley Kuku.
The groups and the leadership of Izon Intellectuals described the prosecution of Kuku as politically motivated, warning that his continuous persecution would have negative consequences on the peace and stability of the Niger Delta.
In separate statements on Saturday, the IYC Spokesperson, Ebilade Ekerefe; Ijaw Intellectual’s Cordinator, Andaowei Robert and the Convener of NDPA, Okubokekeme Ngbeleowei, said it was high time the government and its agencies left Kuku alone.
Ekerefe said the youths would no longer tolerate the selective harassment of Ijaw heroes and wondered why there had been an attempt by anti-graft agencies to go after Kuku each time the country began preparation for elections.
He said: “But what is even irreconcilable and fascinating is that Kuku is in court with the federal government where he got judgments barring the government from any arrest or prosecution in respect of his stewardship in the amnesty office.
“It is on record that not too long ago policemen went to his house at his community in ancient Arogbo town and forcefully broke into his house in an allegation that it housed guns and ammunition. This act was done in defiance to our laws and no search warrant was issued to that effect. This Kingsley Kuku contested in the court of law and a sanction in form of N5million damages was granted as a relief.
“This present attempt to set up Kuku in a foreign land is another of such politically motivated actions. We condemn, frown and warn that such actions may have multiplier effect on our region.”
Ebilade said Kuku represented an embodiment of courage, peace, patriotism and a dedication to the objectives of Ijaw strug frgle, adding that Kuku had done nothing to warrant any persecution.
“Kuku is an Ijaw son, a Nigerian and a patriot, who has served this nation excellently and should be allowed to enjoy his private life. If the government has a case against him they should follow the due and lawful process and try him in a court of competent jurisdiction.
“It’s our hope that this matter will go away and not to reoccur again in the near future. Council will watch and take appropriate steps to safeguard our hero and son.”
On his part, Ngbeleowei, described as unethical and illegal the continual attempts by some politicians to smear the image of Kuku.
He said: “It is on record that while Kingsley Kuku headed the Amnesty office, his performance was excellent to the admiration of everyone and even the international community.
“Since his exit he has remained and lived a private life educating himself abroad. It is therefore sad, unsavory and unpatriotic for senior agents of the present government to attempt to set him up and harass him even in his abode outside the shores of this country.
“We are knowledgeable of the fact that every time we move close to electioneering season, these characters will begin their acts given his very towering political profile and reach.
“We wonder what these characters will benefit in their unethical acts. Kuku is a Nigerian, a patriot who gave his all to the service of his country.
“In our estimation and the estimation of men of good conscience, what the man deserves is to commend him and borrow from his wealth of experience in managing the fragile peace in the Niger Delta region.
“It is, therefore, disingenuous for people from his own nation to attempt to keep harassing him. We warn that this continuous attempts to malign, arrest and put a toga of moral deficiency on him will have very negative effect on our nation and the peace currently enjoyed in the region.”
Also, Robert said since the exit of Kuku from the amnesty office, nobody had established any case against him in any agency.
He said: “His audited reports for the period he managed the programme is a pointer to his managerial acumen. Today the history is distinct with unethical practices daily leading to the frequent changes in the leadership of the amnesty office.
“These periodic changes occasioned by petitions and revelations of unethical actions bear witness and credence to his exceptional ability to manage complex situations. In our estimation such a character should be commended and not these unending throes of harassments.
In our opinion such an exceptional character should be rewarded with more opportunities in governance to help salvage this country from the duldrums of leadership failures.
“It is amazing and very unethical for people in government to continue to see shadows and pursue imaginary enemies. Their continued harrasment of our son may lead to unimaginable development that may not be good for this nation. We frown at this and warn that such continued selective prosecution and intimidation will lead to consequences that may not augur well for our nation.”