A group, the Niger Delta Amnesty Vendors’ Association, has described the protests by ex-militants from the region over the handling of the Presidential Amnesty programme, as “sponsored”.

The Niger Delta Amnesty Vendors, which is a group of certified persons involved in the handling of training and empowerment initiatives of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, however, affirmed that there were issues that needed to be addressed by President Muhammad Buhari for the smooth running of the programme.

In a communiqué issued at the end of a stakeholders meeting held in Warri, Delta State, the group stated that the recent protest along the Bayelsa State section of the East-West road calling for the sack of Professor Charles Dokubo was sponsored by “some mischief makers”.

The statement was signed by the provost of the group, Comrd. Tari  Okosi (President), JC.Eferebo I. Sylvanus, (Secetary)  Evang. Samson Fetimi (JP). Ebierebo Okeze Success (JP),Treasurer, Pastor Sampson Dabbey(PRO), 7Bishop Baenebi Jumbo(Chairman Elders/Advisory Council and Comrade Eminence Tiyenabeso,(Head, Technical / Job Placement Advisory Committee).

The statement read: "We all are aware of these mischief makers and their baseless allegations aimed at denting the image of a hardworking man, destabilizing the rhythm we now have, and in effect influencing another sad failure of the programme. While we are concerned on the likely misinformation and sentiments it can cause to the reading public on the character and style of the new leadership, our greater worry is the wrong notion it might send to others on the intent of Niger Deltans towards their fellow Niger Deltans, and the sad fate is that it seems as if the region cannot produce a qualified personality to lead the office even after giving a reputable professor the responsibility to manage the programme.

“To this end, we are compelled to furnish the public with the gains of this within the short time with Professor Dokubo’s at the helm of affairs, The vision of the Amnesty Programme is to assist in disarmament, demobilization, reintegration, and prohibition of the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, and the reintegration assistance to the ex-militants in this region. In the light of this, the NDAP is envisioned to have a Niger Delta region where economic prosperity, skilled and healthy people live in social harmony. Our focus must not deviate from this at all seasons and administrations.”

On the performance of the Prof. Charles Dokubo-led Presidential Amnesty committee,  the group passed a vote of confidence in him stating that "After carefully understudying the modus operandi of the new leadership of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, we as an association and partners strongly state our position that Professor Charles Dokubo, within a very short period of his appointment, has stabilized the programme and brought about much innovative approach to solving many of the retracting problems of the office and the programme’s core mandate.

“This feat would not have been possible without his sincerity of purpose, intellectual capacity, humility and openness, as well as the continued cooperation of responsible service delivery firms and consultants who also are critical stakeholders in the sustainable peace building process, hence partnering to ensure optimal result via successful implementation of the programme’s objectives.

"Aside the overall benefits the nation has continued to derive from the sustainable peace in the Niger Delta region, the Amnesty Programme under Professor Charles Dokubo has made tremendous efforts in sustaining this peace by reaching out to various stakeholders of the programme and the region at large and effectively communicated his approach to tackling the problems of the office to meet the desired expectations.

"Systematically positioning of the administrative system of the office to allow every of its layers of governance function effectively, particularly departmental staffs carrying out official duties professionally and ethically. Prompt payment of delegate stipend and management of fund in ensuring prompt, transparent and equitable funding of contracts.

"Emphasis on domesticated professional technical training with proper institutionalized certification after every vocational training in order to increase our local capacity within the region and to give better and stronger confidence to successful delegates respectively is just too uncompromising. Immediate funding of contractor that had brought about the completion of technical Vocational training centre on oil and gas located at Agadagba in Arogbo kingdom of Ondo state."

"After resumption of office on the 13th of March 2018, he, as a matter of urgency, established a Job Placement and Engagement Department to collaborate with the already existing Post-training and Empowerment units under the Reintegration Department of the office,  the Niger Delta Indigenous Artisan Association with several other direct labour engaging professional associations to ensure proper prequalification training and on the job placement of over 100 backlogged delegates who had been trained and left idle since 2010."

"Professor Dokubo also pushed the administration of the programme closer to the people by establishing State Liaison Offices of the programme to enable people have access. This has in turn created new jobs for those who manage the offices. That Prof Charles Quaker Dokubo should not be distracted from carrying out his official duties to reposition the Amnesty Programme.”

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