By Chiemeka Green, Yenagoa
Youth from the nine states of the Niger Delta region recently traded words over the alleged plan by some politicians to influence the sack of the Presidential Amnesty boss, Prof. Charles Dokubo and replace him with Chief Dennis Otuaru from Delta State.
A group known as Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA) the coalition of the nine militant groups in the creek, described the plan as alleged ‘gang up’ the move to replace the Amnesty boss with Chief Dennis Otuaru, the younger brother to the Deputy Gov of Delta State who is reportedly an ally to foremost former militant leader, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, also known as Tompolo.
Conversely, a group known as the Ijaw Peoples Development Initiative (IPDI) has warned those against the planned sack and replacement of the Amnesty boss to desist, as Chief Dennis Otuaru is a prominent Niger Delta activist, warning those behind the group, to put an end to the unnecessary name calling over the Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP.
The RNDA, in a statement issued and made available via email and signed by its commanding officer, Johnmark Ezonebi,also known as Obama, claimed that the person being put forward as a replacement, ‘Chief Dennis Otuaru is not fit, not qualified educationally and does not pass the security integrity test, to be appointed to coordinate the Amnesty office and it is on record that Mr.DennisOtuaro is also an associate of the former coordinator of the Amnesty office, Mr Kingsley Kuku.
“RNDA wants to make it clear that any attempt to remove or to replace the hardworking honest man, with a trustworthy track record of integrity and transparency incumbent, Prof Charles Dokubo who has obviously redirected the programme and work hard to transform the Amnesty office to meet it core mandate, would lead to collateral damage on all oil facilities, oil installations and to cripple all the major oil pipelines in the creeks of Niger Delta. Enough of’ this in-fighting syndrome of blackmail and fighting against Prof. Charles Dokubo. A word is enough for the wise’.
“The RNDA will not fold it’s hand and watch things deteriorate as it has come to its notice the desperate moves by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, to hijack and hand over the Amnesty office to one of the allies of the former moribund Niger Delta Avengers NDA group, which was the brain behind all the activities of the destruction of oil pipelines and installations in the heart of the creek all in a bid to cripple the President Muhammadu Buhari led APC federal government because their kinsman, former President Goodluck Jonathan lost to President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 presidential election.
“We wish to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore, disregard and discountenance all the sponsored and cooked up stories backed with concocted documents to blackmail Professor Charles Dokubo, which is carried out by some power drunk, corrupt minded and self-acclaimed leaders of the region in a desperate move just to take over the Amnesty office in other to divert and embezzle the monies meant for the Amnesty program into their pocket to the detriment of all ex-agitators and the Niger Delta people at large”, it reads.
However, the IPDI in a statement signed by its acting spokesman, Major TimiOgobiri, warned that no one should play politics with the relative peace in the region and that ‘Otuaro played prominent role in dousing the Niger Delta crisis, was qualified and competent to lead the Amnesty office, saying that if President Muhammadu Buhari picked him as the right man for the office, no one could stop him.’
The group, also dismissed allegations that the Gbaramatu chief is a Personal Assistant to former Niger Delta militant leader,Tompolo, and dismissed insinuations that the reported plans to replace Prof.Dokubo, was meant to compensate Tompolo.
The PAP now in its 10thyear,has been in the news lately over reported untoward happenings including massive fraud running into billions of Naira, at the agency initiated in 2009 by the Musa Yaradua as an interventionist programme to douse tensions in the oil rich Niger Delta. Thousands of armed youth had surrendered arms and accepted a presidential amnesty under a Disarmament, Demobilization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration, DDRR programme. Nigeria dependent on oil and gas revenues had reeled over a sustained militancy and crippling strikes against oil infrastructure, that saw oil production drop from over 2million barrels per day to around 700,000bpd in 2009.
In February, 2019, a N60billion vocational centre at Kaiama, Bayelsa State belonging to the PAP had been looted and destroyed allegedly, to cover fraud in the PAP.