Doifie appointed governing council chair

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Media and political strategist, public relations professional, development consultant, and social and political activist, Doifie Buokoribo, has been appointed, Chairman, Governing Council of Federal College of Education, Eha-Amufu, Enugu State.

Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, said in a letter dated 08 April 2021 that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the appointment of Buokoribo for a tenure of three years with effect from 20 April 2021 in line with the Federal Colleges of Education Act.

He had previously served as a member of the Governing Council, Federal College of Education (Technical), Umunze, Anambra State from March 2018 to July 2020.

Born in 1970 in Port Harcourt, Buokoribo is a native of Okpoama in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. He earned a Master of Arts degree in Development Studies (majoring in Politics of Alternative Development) from the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, The Netherlands, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Political and Administrative Studies from the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. He has worked as a public servant, environmental human rights campaigner, and public affairs journalist.

Buokoribo took active part in students’ union activities as an undergraduate and rose to become Vice President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) in 1990. This was when the student movement represented hope, honesty, and commitment to popular interest. The movement that took on the military generals; took to the streets to challenge IMF-World Bank programmes of poverty and underdevelopment, like the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) and the entire neo-liberal framework.

After graduation in 1991, he went into journalism, and later became a prominent advocate for environmental human rights and ethnic minority rights. From 1997 to 2004, Buokoribo worked as Head of Campaigns and Head of Lagos Office, Environmental Rights Action (ERA). ERA is the Nigerian chapter of Friends of the Earth International (FoEI), the largest global federation of environmental rights organisations seeking to create sustainable societies and economic justice. He set up the Lagos office of ERA in 1998, managed the organisation’s media, and coordinated its campaigns and publications.

Buokoribo played a major role in the Niger Delta struggle for justice in the late 1990s, serving as Head of Publicity of the pan-Niger Delta resistance platform, Chikoko Movement, from its foundation in 1997. He founded and edited the movement’s newspaper, Survival.

Buokoribo also helped in the underground activities that led to the formation of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC). Following its launch in 1998, he was in the very front ranks of those that popularised the Kaiama Declaration by coordinating media campaigns for the IYC.

During the military era, Buokoribo was part of the pro-democracy movement, first coordinated by the Campaign for Democracy (CD) and later by the United Action for Democracy (UAD). He was regularly on the streets with fellow activists, and served as member of UAD’s Publicity Committee.

Buokoribo’s record of leadership and community service includes membership of the Boards of several citizens’ platforms and NGOs, including: Journalists for Democratic Rights (JODER); Social Development Integrated Centre (Social Action); Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA); Ijaw Council for Human Rights (ICHR); among others.

Buokoribo had a successful journalism practice in The Post Publishing Company Ltd, publishers of The Post Express; TNT Newspapers Ltd; and Independent Communications Network Limited (ICNL), publishers of The News/TEMPO and PM News.

He joined The NEWS in the days of political anxiety caused by the annulment of the June 12, 1993 Presidential Election. Its editors and reporters were reporting from underground. This effectively made him a guerrilla journalist. While there, he was detained for “criminal defamation”. He had written a story exposing luxury car gifts by the military ruler, General Sani Abacha, to top-ranking judicial officers.

Buokoribo served as Chief Press Secretary to Chief Timipre Sylva, when he was governor of Bayelsa State, and later as media adviser and private secretary to the former governor. In the Sylva government, he was not just another CPS. Besides media relations and public communications, his schedule included speech writing, strategy and policy advice, and civil society relations.

He was a member of the media and publicity sub-committee for the 2015 presidential inauguration planning committee.

Buokoribo has authored, co-authored, and edited many publications, including, “The Case for Political Renewal”, in Chido Onumah (ed.), Remaking Nigeria: Sixty Years, Sixty Voices; Above All, Bayelsa First: Collection of Speeches by Governor Timipre Sylva; “The Emperor Has No Clothes”: Report of Proceedings of the Conference on the Peoples of the Niger Delta and the 1999 Constitution; “Defending Nature, Protecting Human Dignity: Conflicts in the Niger Delta,” in Monique Mekenkamp, et al (Eds.), Searching for Peace in Africa: An Overview of Conflict Prevention and Management Activities (Utrecht, The Netherlands: European Platform for Conflict Prevention and Transformation with African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes, 1999); and numerous articles in Nigerian newspapers.

Buokoribo ((birth name: Doifie Buokoribo Ola) dropped the family surname, Ola, in July 2013 for his late father’s name, Buokoribo. The new surname means “conscience of the generation” in his native language. He is married to former Miss Violet Agwana, and their union is blessed with children.

He is the State Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa.

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