Why Buhari fired head of Niger Delta amnesty programme

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ABUJA, March 13 – Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari sacked the head of an amnesty programme for former militants in the country’s oil and gas-producing heartland, amid allegations of graft.

Funding of the former Niger Delta militants under the 2009 amnesty has been key to maintaining relative stability in the southern region and preventing attacks on energy facilities in Africa’s biggest oil producer. Crude oil sales make up two-thirds of government revenue.

But attacks resumed in 2016, contributing to pushing Africa’s biggest economy into recession that year as oil production was cut from a peak of 2.2 million barrels per day (mbpd) to near 1 mbpd, Nigeria’s lowest level for at least 30 years.

Announcing the dismissal of Paul Boroh, a retired senior army officer, Buhari ordered the country’s national security adviser to investigate the programme’s activities since 2015, “especially allegations of financial impropriety”.

The announcement came in an emailed statement from the president’s spokesman, which gave no details of the allegations.

The programme entitles each former militant to a monthly stipend and job training.

Boroh is being replaced by Charles Quaker Dokubo, currently Director of Research and Studies at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, a think tank.

Reporting by Felix Onuah; Additonal reporting by Tife Owolabi in Yenagoa; Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; editing by John Stonestreet

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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