Dokubo-must-go protest rocks Bayelsa

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Angry youths have asked Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Prof. Charles Dokubo, to resign his appointment following the recent looting of the Boro Town Amnesty Training complex in Kaiama, Bayelsa State.

The placard-carrying youths appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to force Dokubo to step aside to allow an independent and unbiased investigation into the five-day looting.

The aggrieved youths insisted that PAP officials must be probed for the “stage-managed theft to conceal fraud and non-existing contracts in the amnesty office”.

Some of their placards read “Charles Dokuboh must be probed for the Kaiama amnesty facility looting”; “President Buhari, investigate Dokuboh for fraud”; “Fake contracts, all amnesty directors must go”; “There will be no safe haven for the corrupt”.

Kingsley John, who led the protest under the auspices of Concerned Niger Deltans for Sustainable Development (CNDSD), wondered how a theft could happen for five days without any efforts to stop it.

John, who led the protesters to the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Yenagoa, accused Dokuboh of mocking Buhari’s anti-corruption war.

He said: “The looting lasted for five days without security men to stop the hoodlums. On February 14, Prof. Dokubo drove along the East-West Road and saw the looting. Sources said stakeholders who saw him pleaded with him to call for security but he drove away.

“Dokubo later called Esther Boro to open the facility on his behalf. While the looting was going on at one end, Madam Esther and a few elders were opening the facility at another end in the same complex same day.

“The Head of the Training Centre reported the theft to the police, three days after the incident and Dokubo was angry with him for reporting, and instructed him to withdraw his statement and the police report.

“On February 15, the head of the centre wrote to the police in Bayelsa state to withdraw his statement and the report he had already filed.

“Dokubo waited for almost one month after the looting before setting up a committee to investigate it. However, the people of Kaiama and Niger Deltans know the truth.”

But the Amnesty Office, through its spokesman, Murphy Ganagana, dismissed the protest, saying it was stage-managed by attention-seekers. Ganagana, who described the allegations as baseless, reiterated that immediately the incident happened, Prof. Dokubo took actions to stop it.

A statement by Ganagana reads: “These allegations are false, preposterous and a calculated attempt to smear Prof. Dokubo’s reputation. As a decent and incorruptible scholar of international repute, he has given hope to the Niger Delta people through fresh initiatives that would reposition the Amnesty Programme to its original mandate.

“It is on record that the invasion and looting of the Kaiama training facility happened in the presence of security personnel, including policemen and soldiers deployed in the centre, but they were overwhelmed by the numerical strength of the thieves.

“The incident was reported at the Divisional Police Headquarters at Kaiama, and later at the Bayelsa State police command headquarters in Yenagoa. The police launched intensive investigation and have some suspects in custody. None of the suspects has linked any official of the Amnesty Office to the crime.

“We urge enemies of the Niger Delta, particularly ambitious politicians eyeing Prof. Dokubo’s office, to desist from smear campaigns and other ignoble acts capable of portraying the Niger Delta people in bad light. Sponsoring ill-motivated protests aimed at causing mischief and splashing muddy water on Dokubo will do no one any good…”

Culled from here

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