Air Peace has debunked online media reports identifying one of its pilots, First Officer John Nku, as a former militant.
The airline issued the denial in a statement signed by its Communications Manager, Mr Christian Iwarah, on Sunday in Lagos.
Iwarah said Nku was erroneously tagged a former militant by various online media reports because he benefited from the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP).
He explained that the pilot was however 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.
Iwarah said :“On June 29, a member of our flight crew, Nku was the co-pilot of our Abuja-Owerri service.
“When the flight landed in Owerri, he was introduced to the Coordinator of the PAP 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 PAP.
“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.
” We, therefore, feel compelled to set the record right and correct the wrong impression being created of Nku’s personality.”
According to him, 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.
He explained that Nku was one of the non-agitators who were fortunate to be trained by the PAP which was also confirmed by Boroh himself in an interview interview published in Vanguard on June 15, 2016.
Iwarah said it was therefore improper to describe Nku as a former militant simply because he was identified as one of the beneficiaries of the PAP.