Amnesty: Protests Over Calls For Dokubo’s Sack
Protesters under the aeges of Kalabari Indigenous Movement, joined by some ex-militants in Port Harcourt, have condemned calls for the sack of the Presidential Adviser on Amnesty, Professor Charles Dokubo.
President-General of Kalabari Indigenous Movement, Sepribo Douglas who spoke on behalf of the protesters said, “we are appealing to President Buhari to ignore all detractors of Dokubo. He is a true Kalabari man. Only Kalabari submitted arms without undermining the Amnesty process, but a Kalabari person had never headed that office before now.”
Foundation for Peace and Non-violence in Nigeria has also condemned what it described as “the spate of mudslinging in the media” against Dokubo.
Speaking to journalists, in Lagos, President of the group, Onengiye Erekosima said the Ijaw nation was being embarrassed by attempts to soil the reputation of Dokubo.
He said: “It was unthinkable for anyone to imagine or make the allegations. “I make bold to say that none of the past Special Advisers can match Dokubo in terms of achievements and implementation of the scheme’s blueprint. His one year in office is better than three years of some who held the position.”
Erekosima cited the case of prompt and regular payment of stipends to ex-agitators, who no longer block the highways in the region to protest against the anomaly, as one of his achievements.
Meanwhile the House of Representatives has asked the Presidential Amnesty Committee to pay former Niger Delta militants on Federal Government scholarships their allowances.
While expressing their displeasure with non-payment of the ex-militants, the lawmakers called on the presidential committee to clear the alleged 12-month arrears without further delay.
The resolution followed the unanimous adoption of a motion moved by Mr Kolade Akinjo, titled, “Call for payment of the 2017/2018 academic year amnesty beneficiaries’ stipends and allowances.”
Moving the motion, Akinjo recalled that the Federal Government, under the administration of the late President Umaru Yar‘Adua, on June 25, 2009, introduced a presidential amnesty programme as a platform to pardon former Niger Delta agitators, who surrendered their arms and ammunition.
He further recalled that after the disarmament and demobilisation programmes, the Federal Government instituted rehabilitation and reintegration programmes which included the training and education of the concerned ex-agitators.
He stressed that through the amnesty programme, many ex-agitators were enlisted for a scholarship programme to study different courses in various Nigerian universities, with approved payment of monthly stipend of N70 000 for upkeep and N20,000 book allowance.