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Amnesty: Ijaw Nation expresses willingness to work with Dokubo



The Presidential Amnesty Programme is set to graduate no fewer than 137 persons trained in different vocational skills, its Official has said.

The Presidential Amnesty Programme has dismissed as mischievous and self-serving, a post on the social media by factional President of the Ijaw Youth Congress, IYC, Mr. Oweilaemi Pereotubo, claiming that the Ijaw nation had passed a vote of no confidence on the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator, Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo.

On the contrary, the Presidential Amnesty Office said highly respected and influential leaders of the Ijaw nation have expressed their willingness to assist Dokubo in refocusing the Amnesty Programme to its original mandate for the sustenance of peace and development of the Niger Delta region.

Mr. Murphy Ganagana, Special Assistant (Media) to Prof. Dokubo said in a statement at the weekend that the IYC factional president’s comments on a social media platform made a few hours after an appeal for a meeting of the Amnesty Programme boss with a select group of Niger Delta stakeholders to be rescheduled for a later date, was tempestuous, malicious, mischievous.

He noted that as a true and patriotic leader of the Izon ethnic nationality, Prof. Dokubo is deeply rooted in the pains, challenges and aspirations of the Niger Delta people and committed to rewriting the sad narrative of the region.

The statement read in part:

“In his quest to ensure that the Presidential Amnesty Programme is moved to the Next Level in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s mandate, Prof. Charles Dokubo has held several consultative meetings with leaders of ex-Niger Delta agitators, beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme and other critical stakeholders.

In furtherance of this effort, he had scheduled a meeting with a select group of Niger Delta stakeholders for Thursday, May 9, 2019, at the Wellington Hotel in Warri, Delta State. Unfortunately, due to exigencies of his duties, his trip was aborted barely an hour to the scheduled time for the meeting and he promptly dispatched a management staff to the venue of the meeting to tender his unreserved apologies to invited guests who he holds in high esteem for his failure to be with them.

After explaining Prof. Dokubo’s unavoidable absence and tendering his apologies, a few top flight Niger Delta stakeholders made brief remarks which were capped by a highly respected leader, Elder T. K Ogoriba, who expressed the desire and willingness of critical stakeholders to assist Dokubo in moving the Amnesty Programme forward.

It is pertinent to state that at no time was a vote of no confidence passed on Prof. Dokubo by the Ijaw nation before, during or after the recent congregation in Warri, and the IYC factional president, Oweilaemi Pereotubo who was in attendance didn’t make a comment while the session lasted.

Therefore, for Pereotubo to leave at the end of a session where no decision was taken, and circulate a post purporting to have emanated from the Ijaw nation on a social media platform is the height of mischief, a display of shallow-mindedness and an unprovoked, unwarranted assault on the office and person of Prof. Dokubo.

As a factional president of the IYC, Pereotubo cannot claim to be speaking for members of his faction; he certainly is not speaking for the larger membership of the IYC Worldwide, but may have only spoken for himself. If he wasn’t speaking for himself, he should state where and when the leadership of the Ijaw nation met and passed a vote of no confidence on Prof. Dokubo, and his source of mandate to make such an unreasonable, provocative and inciting public comment.

The allegation by Mr. Pereotubo that Prof. Dokubo has been undermining leaders of the Ijaw nation as a result of his ties with National Security Adviser, General Babagana Monguno, is a dangerous and wicked lie calculated at inciting the people of Niger Delta and creating gullies of bad blood in the cordial relationship between the Coordinator, Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, and the NSA, a highly respected, disciplined and incorruptible military officer with impeccable and enviable records in a career that spanned over three decades.

Let me emphasize that since Prof. Charles Dokubo assumed office in March 2018, no beneficiary of the Amnesty Programme entitled to payment of monthly stipends has been denied his/her financial entitlement. In fact, he has ensured consistent and prompt payment of stipends up to date.

He has performed excellently, especially in the area of building and commissioning of vocational training centres, job placement for already trained delegates and other areas which earned him a formal commendation by the leadership of the ruling All Progressives Party (APC). The Bishops Council of the Niger Delta also recognized his efforts by conferring two awards on him.

An erudite Professor of international repute, Dokubo in his humility, had never assumed possession of monopoly of knowledge. At several fora, he had solicited advice and support, which some well-meaning Niger Delta leaders have obliged him. Hear Dokubo at a meeting with leaders of ex-agitators:

“I plead with all of you who are here; let us not personalize the issues. Let’s just have a good and unbiased discourse, talk about the problem that afflict the Niger Delta. What we are looking for is solutions to address this problem. The problem has been there for a long time. This is my first meeting with those of you who are here as brothers; I think it will be very informative for me.

I strongly believe that with your support and your knowledge of where I am going to, we can move this region forward. There are issues that had not been properly addressed and like I said, I don’t claim to have better knowledge of the region than anyone of you; but with the contribution of each and every one of us here, we will chart a new course. Wherever people think that they have been marginalized or sidelined within the project let them open their minds and tell me. I am all ears and I will listen and if I listen I will also learn”.

It is unfortunate that Oweilaemi Pereotubo, factional president of the IYC will attempt to paint a blurred picture of Dokubo’s robust and cordial relationship with beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme.  Speaking on behalf of leaders of ex-agitators under Phase Three in the Amnesty Programme, after a meeting with Prof. Dokubo in Abuja, Chairman of the forum, Julius Joseph, lauded his initiatives in clear terms.

“I am very impressed; this is my second time of meeting with him. I enjoy all his efforts, and I am appealing that he corrects the errors of the previous managements of the Amnesty Programme. I pray that the grace of God will fall upon him let; him manage the programme so that at the end of the day, God will take the glory. I don’t see Dokubo involving in dubious acts; he is God sent. When you see good thing, you tell your people; same for bad things. But from this meeting, it is not bad; from what he has said, it’s not bad if he continues like this, it will go well”.

We urge the factional IYC president to channel his youthful energy towards building bridges of unity, progress and development among the youths of the great Ijaw nation, not engaging in dangerous antics that will provoke and incite the youths against the Federal Government of Nigeria.