Ex-Niger Delta militants from Bayelsa State have called for a probe into the office of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
They are also calling for the sack of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Professor Charles Dokubo, over "monumental fraud and corrupt practices".
A statement signed by their leader, General Eyerin Bature, obtained by SaharaReporters passed a vote of no confidence in Dokubo.
The statement read: "It is on record that the Amnesty Programme was created by late President Yar'Adua’s administration for the development, education and empowerment of hostile Niger Delta youth so as to create conducive environment for the production of oil which is the main source of Nigeria revenue. Since the creation of the Agency, it has recorded significant improvement in the lives of the people of Niger Delta region, mostly in the empowerment of the youth and the resultant peace created by the programme has no doubt resulted in the increase in the output of oil production and increase of the country’s revenue generation.
"Be that as it may, it seems that recent activities of the current leadership of the Presidential Amnesty Programme headed by Prof. Charles Dokubo is out to derail the gains already achieved by the Agency in the past. This is so because investigation has revealed that although Dokubo is learned in letters being a Professor with credible records, he knows little or nothing about the operation of the Amnesty Programme. Consequently, the operation of the Agency seems to have been hijacked by his cronies who took advantage of his weaknesses and ignorance to turn the office to a ‘House of Corruption’.
"Thus, instead of concentrating on the development of the youth who are supposed to be his core objective, Dokubo is seen flirting with all manners of people, both male and female who do not have any business with the Agency. Under Dokubo’s watch, the office of the Presidential Amnesty Programme has become what could be described as a 'House of Horror’ for the youth and ex-militants who are the original reason for the creation of the programme It has been observed that since the coming of Dokubo, there have been several altercations and protests, because he has derailed in his primary assignment of paying attention to the ex-militants.
"There were the militants who gave up their arms in pursuit of peace for Nigeria economy to develop without hindrance. It is on record that recently, a coalition of Niger Delta militants has equally called on the federal government to investigate the current state of affairs in the Presidential Amnesty Office led by Prof. Charles Dokubo. The agitators demanded for probe into the activities of the department responsible for reintegration of ex-militants, alleging that some underhand dealings that is inimical to the progress of the objectives of the Programme is currently going on in the Agency.
“Although mischief makers may describe the various protest against Dokubo as witch-hunting, there could be an iota of truth in their various allegations against him. If the action of Dokubo is not checked at the appropriate time, one is afraid that the crisis in the Niger Delta may re-erupt very soon and God forbid, the consequences may be disastrous to the region, corporate organizations operating in the region and the economy of the nation.
"We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to patiently take another look at the activities of the Amnesty Office, because the prevailing peace in the region is under threat by the mismanagement of Dokubo’s maladministration. A stitch in time they say saves time. Nigeria cannot afford a repeat of the crisis and pipeline vandalisation in the Niger Delta region which brought production of oil to its lowest ebb. Nigeria cannot afford this dangerous trend a second time. Therefore it is expedient for the Government to review the office of the Amnesty programme to checkmate its obnoxious activities.
"Investigators have equally alleged that Dokubo is on rampage of acquiring properties in Port Harcourt and Abuja through his cronies. Contractors are not paid as at when due, resulting in vendors and unregistered contractors flooding the office daily for funds. His relatives are alleged to be at the forefront of contract racketeering by collecting award letters and selling same to interested individuals who end up collecting the 15% mobilizations and disappear for fear of not been paid after completion of job and having access to his office to pursue payment after doing their jobs is an herculean task."
The statement however, warned that failure to checkmate Dokubo's non-chalant attitude may result in the ex-militants returning to the creeks, as some of the angry ex-warlords have vowed to go back to "vandalising and bursting of pipelines".