By Binebai Princewill
An intellectual group in the Niger Delta region operating under the auspices of Educational Rights Agitation of the Ijaws, ERAI and Ijaws in Oil and Gas have informed president Muhammadu Buhari on the need to urgently replace national coordinator of the Amnesty programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, stressing that the programme is dying under his watch.
This was contained in a joint press statement issued to newsmen in Yenagoa yesterday, signed by the duo of Mr. Johnny Ebimienfi, national president, ERAI and Comr. Bibba Warekuromor, Tactical Head, Ijaws in Oil and Gas, a copy of which was sent to The Liberator Newspaper.
The statement while decrying the lack of purpose and vision associated with the Dokubo’ s leadership in the Amnesty office alleged that the level of corruption in the office has become endemic.
The duo noted that Prof. Charles Dokubo’s leadership has become widely known by Niger Deltans as one synonymous with wastage, stressing that as critical stakeholders in the region, they would not continue to watch while the programme is lossing direction.
Mr. Ebimienfi and Bibba asserted that the Amnesty programme is already becoming a joke of the century, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari should act fast before the wind of endemic corruption consumes the entire programme.
Speaking further, the statement had urged President Buhari not to listen to what they described as glorified lilliputians, singing praises of Dokubo for sycophantic reasons, adding that the best way to save the Amnesty programme now is to immediately look for a credible Niger Deltan to occupy the office in order to revitalize the programme.
However, the statement reminded President Buhari and Niger Deltans, alleging that Prof. Charles Dokubo’s tenure as National Coordinator of the Amnesty programme has expired allegedly on the 29th of May 2019, wondering on why he is still not removed when he is obviously leading the programme to what they described as darkness.
Some of the allegations raised against Dokubo include non payment of some Ex-agitators, hijacking of the Amnesty programme by others from different regions, lack of proper empowerment and training of Ex-agitators, qquestionable award of contracts, alleged replacement of Ex-agitators among other disturbing issues.
Nevertheless, they had particularly called on President Mohammadu Buhari to begin the process of considering appointing of an Ijaw from Delta State who knows what the Niger Delta struggle entails to occupy the office.
One of such person that Bibba and Johnny is recommending to the president for appointment into the office as its National Coordinator is High Chief Dennis Otuaro, a PHD holder and a man who fought hard for the peaceful realization of the Amnesty programme in 2009.
According to them, Chief Otuaro understands the main idea behind the Amnesty programme and as someone living within the creeks of Niger Delta would no doubt if given the opportunity redefine the real purpose behind the Amnesty programme.