Dokpesi Alleges Threat To Life; Names Jonathan, Clark, Akhigbe, Others

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ABUJA, Sept 11, (THEWILL) - The Director General of IBB Campaign Organization, Chief Raymond Dokpesi today pointed accusing fingers at the Presidency, South-South Elders Forum led by Chief Edwin Clark; former Chief of General Staff, Admiral Mike Akhigbe and three serving ministers as being responsible for recent alleged threats to his life and family members.

The three ministers accused by Dokpesi are Environment Minister, Mr. John Odey; Minister of State (Works); Mr. Chris Osa-Ogiemwonyi and Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke.

Others who have allegedly conspired to frustrate Dokpesi out of the IBB presidential campaign, according to a letter he wrote to the Inspector-General of Police calling for thorough inquiry into the matter include former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dr Chibudom Nwuche; Special Adviser to President Jonathan on National Assembly Matters, Dr Cairo Ojuigbo; former Governor of Edo State, Prof. Oserhiemen Osunbor and former Petroleum Minister, Chief Don Etiebet.

Dokpesi has been severely criticized by political associations and pressure groups from his South-South political base since his appointment as the Director General of the IBB 2011 Campaign Organization. The South South Elders Forum announced soon after his acceptance of the offer that he had being suspended from the group, even though Dokpesi denied membership of the group since it was established.

He was purportedly suspended by the Elders Group, another political pressure group, while the Joint Revolutionary Council (JRC) declared him persona non grata in the Niger Delta for having soiled his hands with the IBB presidential campaign.

Speaking at a press conference today at the campaign headquarter at Maitama, Abuja, Dokpesi further alleged that at about noon on Friday, several telephone calls were received by his relations and children from unknown persons threatening to kidnap his eldest son, Raymond Dokpesi Jnr. by Monday 13th September 2010 if he failed to step down as DG of IBB 2011 campaign.

The politician however said, he has rather been toughened by the threats instead of being intimidated as intended by his detractors.

He reasoned that he joined the IBB Presidential Campaign because of his belief that it would afford the South-South region an opportunity to produce the president in 2015 without hitches since the North, to which the presidential slot is currently zoned by the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), would have completed its eight years tenure.

He explained further that it was through the South-South Peoples Assembly which he founded that the region was able to attract attention which consequently led to the promise that it would get the presidency in 2015, adding that he was born into a united Nigeria and so would not be party to anything that would impair its unity and peaceful co-existence.

Dokpesi pointed out that thought he lacked hard evidence to directly link president Jonathan to the plot against him, he was convinced that the president was in the know since his cabinet members and special advisers were in attendance at the meeting where he was purportedly suspended by the elders forum.

On the persona non grata declaration, Dokpesi said Mrs. Cynthia Whyte who claimed to have issued the statement on behalf of JRC alleging that he was a black sheep in the Niger Delta course was a mere ploy, insisting that the statement was the brainchild of the Jonathan presidency and his army of campaigners even when he is yet to declare his ambition publicly.

"The scenario is seriously supported by Jonathan campaigners. If Jonathan campaign is doing well why are they resorting to harassment and intimidation of others. A vote for Jonathan is a vote for anarchy. The unity of Nigeria should be defended. You cannot achieve success through harassment. The statement was written directly from the villa. I have no direct evidence of Jonathan’s involvement but I cannot rule out the possibility that he was aware. The rigging of 2011 election by Jonathan has already begun," he said.

The visibly angry Dokpesi said he had personally drawn the attention of Jonathan to the zoning principle of the PDP and advised him to be content with delivering credible election to Nigerians in 2011 thereby becoming the youngest statesman the nation would have thereafter.

He disclosed that despite the merit of the case in favour of South-South president in 2006 as well as the nationwide acceptance of Dr Peter Odili for president in the same year, it was the zoning argument that made former president Olusegun Obasanjo to prevail on him not to contest the PDP primaries.

He also disclosed that as compensation, Odili was tipped to be vice president to late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua but for the perception by some people that he would exert overbearing influence on the late president, the lot then fell on Jonathan who was not overtly in support of any of the presidential aspirants.

Earlier on, Prince Kassim Afegbua, Head of the Media team of the IBB Campaign Organization who organized the press conference said the South South region was setting a bad precedence as the votes of a single region could not produce a president. He added that if the other regions were to follow the South South example, what the nation would experience would be anarchy.

Afegbua emphasized that Nigerians should be allowed their constitutional freedom to choose who to associate with and vote for in the coming elections.

"Threats and blackmail cannot, and will not by any stretch of imagination, deny High Chief Dokpesi his inalienable right to take a position on any critical issue as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria," Afegbua submitted, adding "we hereby alert the relevant security agencies in the country that there is already an established case of a threat to the life of High Chief Raymond Dokpesi. We expect this threat to be fully investigated," he said.