By Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator, Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, has expressed dismay over what he described as unverified posts in the social media linking him to the sponsorship of political thugs ahead of the botched presidential and National Assembly elections earlier scheduled for February 16.
A Facebook user had in a post at the weekend, alleged that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) secretariat in Abonnema, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area (LGA) of Rivers State was attacked by thugs aided by Dokubo, few hours to the postponement of the elections.
But in a swift reaction, the presidential aide dismissed the allegation as barefaced falsehood concocted by vicious mercenaries of the opposition PDP to mischievously draw sympathy and incite vulnerable youths in the area to unleash mayhem before, during or after the rescheduled election in the face of its imminent defeat.
Dokubo said in a statement by his
Special Assistant (Media), Murphy Ganagana, that he was in his hometown on the eve of the election, which was postponed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to perform a civic obligation of casting his vote, and had no business with any political thug.
“I arrived Abonnema on Friday evening to enable me cast my vote the next day, before the election was postponed. But I was shocked when my attention was drawn to a post on social media alleging that I aided thugs to attack the PDP secretariat at Abonnema.
“This is a wicked and dangerous lie as I had no dealing with any thug and didn’t step out of my residence in my brief stay in the community. But for the presence of my security men, my residence would have been attacked over a false alarm,” he said.
He, however, noted that verbal missiles fired at him by opposition elements were expected, considering President Muhammadu Buhari’s rising popularity in the Niger Delta region based on his developmental footprints through the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
“The Niger Delta people are with President Buhari because they are reaping the gains of Amnesty Programme since I came on board. With Mr. President’s support and determination, we were able to commission a world-class vocational training centre for our beneficiaries at Agadagba-Obon, Ondo State recently.
“A few days later, we commenced distribution of starter packs to residents of communities impacted by crises in the Niger Delta; commissioned a liaison office in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, and also performed foundation laying ceremony for another vocational training centre of the Amnesty Programme at Gelegele, Edo State.
“All these we did within a period of two weeks, and it has endeared Mr. President to the Niger Delta people. So, the opposition is jittery of an imminent defeat and therefore doing everything to cause chaos. The allegation of sponsoring thugs at Abonnema against me is a step in this direction,” he said
Dokubo warned against blackmail, incitement and politicisation of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, which he said, was set up with a mandate to sustain peace and security in the Niger Delta to pave way for its development.
“The Amnesty Programme is not for me but for the people of Niger Delta, and every Niger Deltan should benefit from it either directly or indirectly. Therefore, we should not play politics with Amnesty and I should not be falsely accused just because and I am Coordinator of the Programme”.
In a related development, the Niger Delta Progressive Movement (NDPM), has flayed attempts at linking Dokubo to violence and sponsorship political thuggery, warning political jobbers in the act to look elsewhere.