The leader of the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force, NDPVF, Muhajid Asari-Dokubo has joined the swelling rank of private university proprietors with his establishment of a university in the neighbouring Republic of Benin.
Mr. Asari-Dokubo, who already owns a soccer academy in the West African country and another one in Abuja, said the university, which will be known as King Amachree African University, KAAU, had already been accredited to commence degree programmes beginning September 2014.
He told PREMIUM TIMES in an interview in Abuja that the proposed university, named after his ancestor, was a product of his two existing institutions in Benin Republic, namely King Amachree Automobile/ICT Royal Academy and King Amachree Arts Academy. Both of them, he added, currently award Diploma to their students.
Mr. Asari-Dokubo said he chose to establish the institutions in Benin Republic because he does not only live there, but has adopted it as his country.
“What we have now, we are awarding only diploma now. “By next September, Insha Allah, the university will start,” Mr. Asari-Dokubo, who dropped out of University of Calabar, he said.
“For now we have King Amachree Automobile/ICT Royal Academy and King Amachree Arts Academy. Two of them were merged. We have merged the two of them into king Amachree African University.
“King Amachree is my great ancestor. He was king of the Kingdom of new Calabar.”
On his soccer academy, the 50 year old Mr. Asari-Dokubo, an indigene of Rivers State, who refused to be tagged a former militant, said it was established to train the youth in soccer free of charge.
“We plan to engage the youths. It is free. We have a soccer academy in Abuja and we have another one in Republic of Benin,” he said.
More Nigerians are forced to go to Benin Republic, Ghana, Togo and other neigbhouring countries to acquire education due to the incessant labour disputes and industrial actions within the Nigerian university system as well as the deplorable state of education in the country.
Currently, students of both the federal and state universities in Nigeria are at home due to the strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, over the refusal of the Federal Government to honour its 2009 agreement with the union.
Other unions within the education sector, including the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, have also embarked on solidarity strike while the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, and Non-Academic Staff Union, NASU, are reportedly on the verge of doing towing that path.
Students of the over 50 private universities in Nigeria, whose fees can only be afforded the rich, are however, in session.
Mr. Asari-Dokubo is, like former Niger Delta militants enjoying massive patronage from the current administration, believe to be very wealthy but his source of income is largely unknown.
There were speculation he made his fortune stealing crude oil in the Niger Delta. But he denied engaging in such practices, telling PREMIUM TIMES he had never been part of any act capable of endangering the Delta.