Despite the prevalence of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the Niger Delta, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Prof Charles Dokubo, has boasted that the achievements of the president in the region will fetch him more votes than he got in 2015.
However, for that to happen, Dokubo, who is the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, has warned the people against inciting violence and blackmailing innocent persons working to advance the cause of the Niger Delta under President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a statement in Abuja, yesterday, he said that there was a spirited attempt to blackmail him and other persons ahead of the rescheduled polls.
Dokubo in the statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Murphy Ganagana, cited a social media post which allegedly linked him to 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, weekend, alleged that the PDP, Secretariat in Abonnema, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, where Dokubo hails from, was attacked by thugs aided by him, a few hours to the postponement of the elections.
Dokubo dismissed the allegation as “barefaced falsehood concocted by vicious mercenaries of the opposition 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 explained that he was at Abonnema, his hometown, on the eve of the shifted polls to perform a civic obligation of casting his vote, and had no business with any political thug.
He said: “I arrived Abonnema on Friday evening to enable me to 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 however noted that verbal attacks on him by opposition elements were expected, considering Buhari’s rising popularity in the Niger Delta region based on his developmental footprints through the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
He said, “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.”