The Nigerian air carrier, Air Peace, has discredited reports identifying one of its pilots, John Nku, as a former militant.
A few online media reports had described Mr. Nku as one of the repentant Niger Delta agitators who benefited from the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) after a Facebook user, Wabiye Idoniboyeobu, posted pictures of the pilot and the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Paul Boroh.
A statement issued by the airline’s Corporate Communications Manager, Chris Iwarah, said that the pilot was erroneously tagged a former militant.
Mr. Nku, the airline explained, was one of the more than 5,000 non-agitators the PAP sponsored to acquire different skills in response to the yearnings of the Niger Delta for development of its people.
“On Thursday, June 29, 2017, a member of our flight crew, First Officer John Paul Nku was the co-pilot of our Abuja-Owerri service,” the airline said.
“When the flight landed in Owerri, he was introduced to the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme and Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Brig.-Gen. Paul Boroh, who was on board the flight, as one of the beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
“Excited, Boroh took some pictures with Nku. A Facebook user, Mr. Wabiye Idoniboyeobu later posted the pictures of the pilot and Boroh in support of his opinion that the PAP was achieving its aim of addressing the challenges of the Niger Delta.
“Unfortunately, some social media platforms latched onto Idoniboyeobu’s comments to tag Nku a former militant simply because he was identified as a beneficiary of the PAP.”
The airline, therefore, said it felt compelled to set the record right and correct the wrong impression being created about Mr. Nku’s personality.
“It is public knowledge that besides the more than 30,000 former militants who have reportedly benefited from the PAP, over 5,000 non-agitators from Niger Delta communities impacted by oil exploration and exploitation have been trained under the presidential project,” it said.
“(Mr.) Nku was one of the non-agitators who were fortunate to be trained by the PAP.
“It is, therefore, improper to describe Nku as a former militant simply because he was identified as one of the beneficiaries of the PAP,” the airline said.