President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the suspension of the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Professor Charles Dokubo.
The President also ordered that a Caretaker Committee be set up to review running of the programme.
Recall that there has been call for Dokubo’s suspension from some quarters of the Ijaw ethnic nationality of which Dokubo belongs.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said the suspension, which was recommended by the Caretaker Committee, which was set up by the National Security Adviser (NSA), takes immediate effect.
Nation reports that the NSA set up the Committee in response to the several allegations and petitions from groups and stakeholders from the oil-rich region against the administrative style of Professor Dokubo.
“Following numerous allegations and petitions surrounding the Presidential Amnesty Programme, the National Security Adviser (NSA) set up a Caretaker Committee to look into the activities of the programme, on the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Part of the Committee’s task is to ensure that allocated resources are properly utilized in consonance with government’s objective of alleviating problems in the Niger Delta region, and stamping out corruption in the Amnesty Programme.
“Consequently, the NSA recommended to Mr President that the Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme, Professor Charles Quaker Dokubo be suspended, a recommendation that has been approved and which takes immediate effect.
“The President has also directed that the Caretaker Committee set up to review the programme should oversee the running of the programme henceforth, with a view to ensuring that government objectives are achieved,” the statement said.
Presidential Amnesty Boss To INC Leadership: Adopt New Approach For N’Delta Devt
The Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col. Milland Dixion Dikio (retd), has urged the newly-inaugurated leadership of the Ijaw National Congress (INC) to adopt a new approach in its agitation to attract development to the Niger Delta region.
Dikio, who spoke in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, during the inauguration of the new President, INC, Prof. Benjamin Okaba and his National Executive Committee, said it was time Ijaw elders embraced a development-focused mindset to ensure transformation of the region.
The Amnesty boss promised to partner the Congress for the positive advancement of the Niger Delta, describing the inauguration as the dawn of a new era in Ijawland.
He insisted that the INC should adopt a new thinking and a new approach of seeking to achieve its desires through strategic collaborations.
Dikio said the agitations in the region should move from the streets to boardrooms to rewrite the ugly narrative in the Niger Delta.
He said: “My appeal, therefore, to the new INC leadership is to have a development-focused mindset that will see to the transformation of the region.
“Its engagement with critical stakeholders, including the Federal Government and the multinational oil companies should be targeted at attracting development and the need to consolidate our quest for continued and sustained peace in the region.”
Dikio said the PAP under his leadership was committed to such strategic collaborations with the government at all levels in the region including organisations like the INC in the interest of development.
He noted that his leadership had refocused PAP to turn the people of the region, ex-agitators and youths into entrepreneurs and employable citizens with the capacity to contribute to the economy of the region.
He said: “The Presidential Amnesty Programme under my leadership is committed to pursuing such strategic collaborations and partnerships with governments at all levels in the region, including working with bodies like the INC to advance the cause of development and peace in our region.
“To this end, we have refocused the PAP to turn our people, ex-agitators and the youths in our region into entrepreneurs and employable citizens who will be net contributors to the economy of the region.
“We all have a duty to work for the continued peace and development of the region. Our agitation should move from the streets to the boardrooms.
“We owe it to ourselves and posterity to rewrite the ugly narrative of the region. The Niger Delta deserves better but we all must work together with the clear resolve to ensure that our dream for the region is realised.”
‘Your Adoption Of Odua Anthem Provocative, Irritating,’ Ijaw People Blast Akeredolu
The Ijaw ethnic nationality in Ondo State have described as provocative and irritating the recent adoption of Odua anthem in the state by governor Rotimi Akeredolu as an anthem to be sung in public functions in the state.
It would be recalled that the dissolved State Executive Council last week approved the adoption of the Odua anthem to be sung after the National Anthem at official and public functions.
It said the Odua anthem was meant to project the tradition and culture of the Yoruba tribe.
But the Ijaw described the action as a deliberate affront to the peace loving Ijaw in the state, just as they accused the governor of of running Info without recourse to the pluralistic nature of the State.
Representative of the Ijaw in the Ondo House of Assembly, Hon. Success Torhukerhijo representing Ese-Odo Constituency, said it was preposterous to adopt an anthem for the state in Yoruba language without thinking of the concerns of the Ijaws where the state has two ethnic nationalities- the majority Yoruba and the minority Ijaw.
Hon Torhukerhijo in a statement issued in Akure said it was a ploy to obliterate the Ijaw from the history of Ondo State.
According to him, the action has put an average right thinking Ijaw man into psychological trauma, saying it smacked of lack of social equality and an antithesis to a united, just and free society.
“It is perplexing that the Governor in spite of his pedigree does not possess the political will for an all-inclusive government and the Ijaws of Ondo State have been consistently subjected to neglect and abandonment on issues of state by his executive and administrative actions.
“It is pitiable that the Ijaws with a lot of qualified manpower do not have a Permanent Secretary, no Judge in the State High Court and we are short-changed in every facet of the State public service by Governor Akeredolu’s executive and administrative actions. It is pathetic that we have only one Magistrate Court in the whole of the over 250 communities in Ijaw land and no Magistrate is posted to the place.
“The Governor is beckoned to strive to run an all-inclusive Government by considering the interest of the Ijaws in Ondo state in his administrative and executive actions and in all aspects of governance.
“This is intolerable and is outrightly rejected by the Ijaw ethnic nationality,” he said.
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While urging the Governor to tow the path of his predecessors who he said created a Subordinate Area Council which enjoyed almost equal status with other Local Governments in the state in 1981, Torhukerhijo further urged Rotimi Akeredolu to immediately put on hold the Odua anthem and conferred with Ijaw leaders to come up with the Ijaw version of the anthem if it must be sung in public places.
Relocate Presidential Amnesty Office To Niger Delta Now, Group Tells Buhari
Group known as Ijaw People’s Development Initiative, (IPDI), has joined its voice to other well-meaning Niger Deltans for call for the relocation of the Presidential Amnesty Office to the region so as to effectively and efficiently serve beneficiaries of the programme.
The call was made yesterday in Warri by the national president of the the group, Comrade Ozobo Austin, following similar calls earlier made by Elder Comrade Morris Alagoa, Niger Delta frontline environmentalist and others.
The group said President Muhammadu Buhari should order the immediate relocation of the Presidential Amnesty Office to Niger Delta region as it had to do with the people of Niger Delta.
Ozobo reiterated that relocating the amnesty Office to Niger Delta would help to serve the people better.
He added that the relocation of the amnesty Office to Niger Delta would end undue interference from “meticulous northerners and other crminals in the programme.”
Ozobo further stated that the relocation of the office would reduce corruption and manipulations of accounts and stipends of beneficiaries.
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He asserted that it would help various contractors and successive coordinators to be accountable and be more focused.
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