From Seun Akioye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Mr. Doife Buokoribo, as Chairman of the Governing Council, Federal College of Education, Eha-Amufu, Enugu State.
Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu in a letter conveyed the approval of Mr. Buokoribo as Chairman of the Council where he had earlier served as member.
A media and political strategist, development consultant and social and political activist, Mr. Buokoribo was also the Chief Press Secretary to the former Bayelsa state governor, Timipre Sylva.
Having served as member of the Council from March 2018 to July 2020, his appointment as Chairman would be effective from April 2021 for three years.
An intellectual of no mean repute
Mr. Buokoribo has engaged himself in intellectual activities, social crusade and strategic development designs most of his adult life.
Born in 1970, Buokoribo a native of Okpoama in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State 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.
But his active life has seen him perform in different roles as social activist, journalist, media consultant and public servant etc.
He was an active Students Union member who rose to become the Vice President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) in 1990.
His Union activism then was devoid of pecuniary motivations as seen in later days activists. As a leader, Buokoribo spent his time and brain on organising popular revolts against the military, challenging ” voodoo” economic policies of the military and the IMF-World Bank programmes of poverty and underdevelopment, like the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP).
His path in life seemed to have been cut out for him as he went into active journalism at the at the vocal The News/TEMPO newspaper.
If Buokoribo imagined his run with military authority was over with student activism, he was mistaken as the paper he pitched tent with was in the military bad books.
He was arrested and detained for “criminal defamation” after excercising his right to inform the public about a particularly dubious gift of luxury cars from the late military ruler Gen. Sanni Abacha to some Judicial Officers.
He was later to work in various capacities at the TNT newspaper ( 1995-1996) and as Senior Correspondent at the Post Express (1996-1997).
But his social and political crusade would not end with brushes with military brass, he played a major role in the Niger Delta struggle for justice in the late 1990s where he served as Head of Publicity of the pan-Niger Delta resistance platform, Chikoko Movement, in 1997.
He not only helped with underground activities that led to the formation of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), he also directed media activities that gave life to the Kaduna declaration.
Buokoribo worked as the Head of Campaigns for the Environmental Right Action)Friends of the Earth Nigeria between 1997-2004 and coordinated the organisation’s campaign and publications.
He has been a member of the think-tank of many organisations 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).
He devoted his time as the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Sylva to bringing intellectual depth to governance and connecting with the grassroots.
For Sylva, he was more than a ” Press Boy”. He was the Chief speech writer and his brief also includes strategy and policy advice.
He is an active member of the Bayelsa State Chapter of the All Progressive Congress ( APC) where he serves as the State Publicity Secretary.
He 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.).
Others are: 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.