King Amachree African University, KAAU, owned by leader of the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force, NDPVF, Alhaji Muhajid Asari-Dokubo has been stripped of its accreditation by the government of the Republic of Benin, BigPen Online can authoritatively report.
The accreditation allegedly withdrawn last year from the institution is said to have been ‘politically influenced’ from Asari-Dokubo’s home country, Nigeria.
Besides the university, Asari-Dokubo runs other institutions in Benin Republic, namely King Amachree International Nursery/Primary and Secondary School, King Amachree Automobile/ICT Royal Academy and King Amachree Arts Academy. The two latter are Diploma awarding institutions.
He also owned a soccer academy in that country which he had adopted as his country of origin and another one in Abuja, Nigeria where he trained youths free of charge.
The university institution in Benin Republic was grounded by the government of that country ostensibly for ‘political reasons’, BigPen Online has been told.
Asari-Dokubo, had alleged President Muhammadu Buhari administration had been hostile to him over his consistent criticism of poor economic policies of his administration.
As one of the frontline agitators in the oil rich Delta region who had severally refused to be addressed as an “ex-militant leader”, Asari-Dokubo, has been critical of President Buhari’s led federal government after his kinsman, former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was defeated in 2015 presidential contest.
In an exclusive interview with BigPen Online, Asari-Dokubo dropped the hint of how the accreditation earlier issued to the institution was suddenly withdrawn by the Ministry of Higher Education of Benin Republic without prior notification.
All effort to have the government rescind its decisions have met brick walls, he said.
Hear him, “it was really a big mess” when the authority withdrew the accreditation as “we have to refund fees to students who were studying in the institution”.
He disclosed that academic activities have been suspended in the institution since January when it became obvious that there were some unseen hands who had manipulated the decision to ground the institution.
Asari-Dokubo, who appeared unperturbed over the development, however, said all that he owns were gifts from God and would hold no grudges against anyone for the purported plans to paralyze his business venture in that country.
According to him, “what we were doing was more of philanthropic because we were running one of the lowest school fee, we had one of the best qualities of lecturers and we were paying them much”.
He said he decided to shut down the institution because the withdrawal of accreditation had affected the credibility of the school.
“The accreditation was withdraw surprisenly after Jonathan lost the 2015 election, he said.
“In 2017, January we decided to suspend academic activities in the school because the withdrawal of accreditation had affected the credibility of the institution, the facilities, the edifice – none of its type in Benin Republic but for whatever reason they did it, we leave it for God”.
“Alot of people say it was influenced by politicians from Nigeria but no problem…We leave everything in the hands of God. It is God that giveth and it is God that taketh”.
“This has affected all of our schools because they believe the government (Nigeria) is against my establishment of the institution in the Republic of Benin”.
Asari-Dokubo who dropped out of the university of Calabar while reportedly studying law said; “That’s my only line of business. I am not involved in any other type of business except education”.
“It has really affected us but we hope it will be fine”.
“There was a time I have nothing and there was a time I have so much”.
“As a young man when I was growing up I saw a lot of comfort and a lot of wealth but I decided to chose the path of “struggle” and when I chose the struggle, I began to see poverty and all sort of things and I chose poverty for myself”.
“After that I saw extreme wealth. Then I went to prison, and I was kept in solitary confinement for ten months, and eleven days.
“So these are things that goes on and on in ones life so long you have chosen a path to follow. Life is a circle”.
“So long you chose to be on the side of the people you will have this things that will confront you, all you need to do is to take them as part of tribulations of life”.
“My only pain is that I feel sorry for the students who paid their school fees and were denied study in our own university after finishing an academic session”.
“They have to go look for somewhere else to complete their education. They were denied opportunity that we gave to them in our own university and it is very unfortunate”.
When reminded that there have been so much criticism against his investing such laudable project outside Niger Delta region, nay Nigeria, Asari-Dokubo retorted that he had long lost his Nigerian citizenship when the government of the country became hostile to him.
He said he does not believe in a united Nigeria, reasoning, however, that his Ijaw native is enough identity.
Asked if he have any suspicious as to possible political or diplomatic influence from Nigeria that could have lead to the withdrawal of accreditation to the school, Asari-Dokubo said yes adding; “alot of people have also said so”.
He reiterated how some unnamed politicians in Nigeria had allegedly influenced his arrest in 2013 over allegations that he was a leader of dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram.
“I would not be surprise if the hands of government of Nigeria state is in it”.
“I was arrested in December 2013 on trumped up allegations that I was a leader of Boko Haram and it was influenced by politicians from Nigeria”.
“So it is not a new thing to me. It can happen and there is nothing we can do”.
He said he have no apologies wherever to offer for investing offshore Nigeria saying that he cannot establish his business in an environment that was hostile to him.
“I hold nobody apology for establishing my business in Benin Republic”, he stressed.
“The Nigeria environment was hostile to me but I decided to establish it closer in order to give opportunity to my people”.
“I could have taken it to South Africa or somewhere far from Nigeria but I went to our next door neighbour because I believe with that my people somehow can also benefit”.
“Before this crisis I have over 218 students who are on my scholarship in primary and secondary classes”.
“And in the sport and university I have over 50 students who are also on my scholarship”.