Nov. 20, 2013
NewsRescue– In response to an article, “President Jonathan And The Women In Oil” published on NewsRescue, the founder of Women In Oil, Charles Dukwe in strong terms rejected the accusations against the initiative and denounced the author. Nigeria’s presidency recently dissociated itself from the organization, quote: (NAN) “The Presidency on Thursday disowned a programme tagged “Women in Oil”, luring unsuspecting women to invest in shares and oil business to get the profits in 2015.”
The full text of Charles Dukwe’s refutation:
My name is Charles Dukwe and a report was made on this site on my person and my initiative and this is my response to that. I am quite sad to spend my time responding to this so called investigate report on myself and women in oil initiative. It always helps to make at least one attempt to hear from the horse’s mouth before making public and possibly damaging statements from myopic data of which this writer never did. It is quite painful that people with such time on their hands would rather spend it attacking men with good intentions but then, if we are unable to face these types of outrageous bias, our vision will be unworthy.
First, Women-in Oil has never been presented anywhere by myself or this organization as a program of the federal government of Nigeria but always as a PRIVATE sector response to government policy of 35% affirmative. This simply means that we are doing this on our own, by our grace and with our resources. In every civilized society, government creates policies and private sector respond as they deem fit to that policy. How each private entity chooses to respond is completely up to them. That you personally do not know how a business plans to turn profit does not discredit the legitimacy of that business.
Only in a communist country do people require express permission to respond to government policies and Nigeria is not one and certainly not heading in that direction. However, a point will certainly be made on the issue of protecting innocent citizens from scammers and fraudsters and what this supposed investigative report failed to either find out or mention is that myself and our staff have been arrested, detained and taken to court in both Rivers and Kaduna states by the department of state security(SSS), the highest law enforcement in the land charged with the responsibility of protecting the state from these kinds of threats.
After many months of various court proceedings, DPP (Department of public prosecution) investigations, SSS interviews of various persons, account freezing with analysis of each depositor and many more with detailed accounts received from myself on what we are doing with women in oil, how much has been generated, what the funds were being used for and many more, both courts in the northern and southern part of Nigeria working independently dismissed our case, ordered that our accounts be reopened and our business should be allowed to carry on. Is this writer suggesting that the President is now above the courts or that the decision of the courts and the State security is inferior to his investigations?
It is also important to state categorically that NO ONE has ever paid N120,000 for women in oil and the maximum money ever paid by anyone is between N8,700 to N10,000 for which we provide the immediate benefit of training on the basic of the oil and gas industry giving out one of the best lay man material in Nigeria on introduction to oil and gas( by market statistics, a real value for money). It is also important to disclose that women in oil has less than 100,000 members and a claim that over 7 billion has been generated is folly beyond words( This person is really out of touch with Nigeria to believe you can generate over 7billion from poor rural women).
I also gave a firm and informative response to the Presidential disclaim that the writer referred to appearing on national television AIT two days in a row with videos available on YouTube and articles in many newspapers both on and offline and the Presidency was smart enough not to continue in that ill informed pursuit. Should they listen to your yet ill informed advice and try another round of persecution, they will be most certain to have something much worse than APC and disgruntled governors to battle with!
The writer also arrogantly talks about our directors being a bunch of inexperienced first degree holders. Well apart from the fact that these same people have accomplished more in two years than 90% of Nigerian corporations and possibly anything the writer has ever done in his life, the fact remains that women in oil has seasoned board of directors that we don’t publish publicly, men with over 170 years combined experience in oil and gas who meet regularly at our headquarters in Portharcourt and drawn from Agip, Shell, NNPC and other regulatory bodies(A fact the SSS and court knows).
It is important to show wisdom and never judge a book by its cover( a lesson from David and Goliath). A strong admonition from the scriptures is by their fruits, you shall know them. Let’s take a look at the corporation behind women in oil. It began in one room, in a dilapidated building at 94 Rumuola Road in Portharcourt, Rivers State with a simple message of citizen driven socio-economic reform and I personally conducted face to face seminars speaking to my fellow citizens to join me with their resources and lets drive from bottom-up, a better country. Our first platform for capital generation for our initiative( not women in oil) was successful even though there were initial apprehensions on if I will not run away when people part with their funds albeit it little. I did not, we used the money well, applying our organizations basic principle of fiscal conservatism and invested in more offices, tables, chairs, computers, office equipment, staff training etc.
Today that one room is now a massive complex with three multi storey buildings larger in size than 90% of all corporations in Rivers State and definitely better equipped than any corporation that began the same year with same level of capital anywhere in Africa. That’s not all, the road that leads to the complex was water logged and a total swamp and every move to appeal to the state government or NDDC to do something fell on deaf ears and we took it upon ourselves and build the road to world class standard with street lights that are well maintained, drainage systems that flow, interlocking stones that are washed regularly and beautiful informational boards giving information on one of 50 African countries each.
That’s not all, we used our own resources to relocate over 24 families living across the complex in batchers and terrible conditions and built a huge product fulfillment center on 10 plots of land creating hundreds of jobs there and brining economic activities to many idle young people. From that one room, we now have offices in the whole 36 states of the country plus FCT and all our offices are fully detached duplexes giving us more reach and national presence that majority of corporations and government agencies in Nigeria. We also have built one of the most expansive outbound call centers in Nigeria with room for 1200 manned personnel in preparation for our national phone bank drive.
That’s not all, we used our own resources to empower lawyers who went to various prisons and police stations listening to cases of people in detention and we released more innocent persons that anybody both government and private has ever done with testimonies available to date. It’s not over, we have created thousands of jobs across the country, many people now drive cars for the first time, we have paid for housing for many, helped countless with medical emergencies, contributed to churches, fed people and given away over 1000 bags of rice plus countless help to women alone.
Most importantly, we have given hope to the hopeless, taught values and fear of God to the youth, greatly erased tribalism by uniting people from all across the country, promoted greater citizen participation in democracy and given knowledge to many. I am regularly on radio discussing many social ills( not just women in oil) and offering tangible solutions to the progress of our society and many ranging from taxi drivers to university lecturers find my programs informative, frank and inspiring. I am yet to even build a home for myself or buy property anywhere and anyone truly involved with the movement will testify that I am very prudent and have done more for people and society with meager funds than most government agencies have accomplished with much. I have been offered numerous awards by many organizations but making time to only collect the UN affiliate “Ambassador for Peace” award. This writer needs to get off his seat, move around grass root Nigerians and see how much our organization is loved and trusted NOT because of what we say but what we DO with so little.
The writer even went to my person as an attempt to paint me as a lair and possibly dent the image of the organization. This also is fruitless. I hate to talk about my person because it takes the light away from God who made me who I am. Sincerely, I can understand that a man who has not accomplished much will question that of another. There are hundreds of people living today who have known me from primary school up to time in England and the US and the only testimony they could probably give you about my person is that I have always done unprecedented things and always miles ahead of my peers and even my seniors.
I attended Regents College in England for my masters degree at a time my family named was changed to Lambert to honor my grandfather( a name still answered by my two sons and younger brother which I legally changed to Dukwe in 2008 to reflect a more African descent). Concerning my first degree project, Nigeria’s first professor for marketing Prof Udeagha received my submission in 1996 on my desire to write “Marketing for non-Profits, a case study of the Church”, an intent born by my then recent conversion to Christianity (Born-Again) and reminded me that marketing is defined as “All efforts geared towards consumer satisfaction and at a profit to the firm” and that talking about marketing for non-profits was hence inconsequential. He rejected the topic. I went back to him with a written statement that profit is subjective and can only be perceived so by the individual or firm concerned. Hence the church which was my focus can view profit from the amount of converts it gets not necessarily by money.
Only at this point did he ask me to carry on. To say that Philip Kotler had written marketing for non-profits in 1975 either makes Nigeria’s first professor for marketing an embarrassment to German education or Phillip Kotler whose greatest best seller book, “Marketing Management” a foolish author by not having even one page that talks about marketing for non-profits( Both of which are superior to the authors claimed discoveries).
This so called investigative report also questioned my books, “When the Samaba Broke” and “ Wait until Dawn” which copies from more than twenty years ago are still around to see. He also questioned my poem “ Obama Soldier” , a sample of the engraved copy is also on my facebook posted in 2008. Then he questioned my participation in the Obama campaign by claiming to have contacted God knows who in the party. First, joining the DNC is very easy and not a big deal and working for the Obama campaign at the time was too easy so why would anyone brag about that? Secondly, it is impossible to look at the movement I am running and the strategies that I employ or even hear me speak and not immediately realize that I must have been part and parcel of the Obama 08 elections.
Questioning my academic ability is ludicrous with my records of constant TV appearance in Nigeria on Junior Opinion while still in primary school, scoring one of the highest in the country at the federal government college exams, being admitted on national merit with full government sponsorship, heading almost all academic institutions in the school with the best brains at FGC Okigwe including but not limited to press club where I pioneered the first school magazine (The Anchor), drama club where my first African literature ( When the Samba Broke) was acted outside the school and revenue generated for the first time.
I was the anchor of the school news challenging the authorities at each point, champion of debating society and have been part of every move for social change from Slavery to apartheid to Dele Giwa etc with known idols as Dr King, Nelson Madela, Desmon Tutu, E W Dubois etc from teenage years to date. There is nothing I am doing or saying today that anyone who has known me from cradle will not tell you are synonymous with my person. It is also important to know that the movement I am spearheading is two years and 10 months old and biography about me was only published about 9months ago so to suggest that we are succeeding because I have painted lies to people is an opinion born purely by envy, a thing the writer should know its consequences.
Then the writer talks about a Dike with Farmstead saying that I was his employee and defrauded his company and fled the country. What a shame? I lack words for this one. Why is there no warrant for my arrest in the US that I visit often? My children have never lived in Canada or the US.
Finally, this writer would do better service to Nigeria by focusing investigations on those extorting Nigerian citizens from politicians to pastors, fake drug importers and their friends at customs, secret societies with their ritual killings, cartels destabilizing power infrastructure for private gains, law enforcement intimidations, inefficient judiciary, lackadaisical civil service, and the real ills affecting our society and of which our movement is still on the first phase of step one of four to combat. Our movement has brought much good to this nation and deserves support not biased, envy inspired, callously coordinated smear tactics. It won’t work! The time for true change is here. We are well prepared to defeat ten thousand more like this egocentric writer.
May the Lord alone receive all praise.