Mr. Dokubo-Asari says those opposing the president are wasting their time as the 2015 presidential election is a foregone conclusion. He explains that Mr. Jonathan is only waiting to be sworn in
The President of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, NDPVF, Muhajid Asari-Dokubo told PREMIUM TIMES in this interview (conducted before his recent arrest in Benin Republic) that nothing would stop President Goodluck Jonathan from winning the 2015 presidential election. He also explains why he is working on a “tsunami” with Hamza Al-Mustapha and other ethnic warlords.
There were reports recently quoting you as saying there will be bloodshed in the country. Did you really make that statement?
Yes, I did. If you look at the attacks that have been directed at Goodluck since it became apparent that he was going to become president since 2010, certain individuals especially the Ciromas, Lawal Kaita, General Muhammadu Buhari, General Ibrahim Babangida, have also made several statements that if President Goodluck Jonathan become president they will make sure that he fails. I quote: Lawal Kaita said ‘It is the turn of the north to produce the president, that if Jonathan by default wins the nomination of the PDP, we will stop him at the general elections. If we fail to stop him at the general election, even if he wins he will not be able to rule we will make the country ungovernable for him.’ Goodluck Jonathan comes from a place. Nobody has a monopoly of violence.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. We cannot sit, fold our hands and watch. If we had done that Goodluck Jonathan would have been killed long time ago. He comes from a place, a place that feeds the nation. Nigeria is only existing because of Ijaw, Ogoni, Itsekiri, Isoko, Ibo and Urhobo oil. Nigeria is only existing because of its access to the coast provided by the Ijaws, Itskeri and the Yorubas. Nigeria would have become a landlocked country. So we contribute to the survival of Nigeria. All these men have gained from the misnomer called Nigeria because Nigeria claims to be a Federal Republic but it’s not, it’s a very crude primitive state where we have an all-powerful centre.
So it’s a reaction. We have to prepare for then.
The last interview I granted I said it on Channels television, there was no such thing. I said and I repeat and I have no apology to anybody that those who said that the blood of the monkeys, baboons, dogs and if they want to soak them on the water we will help them to soak the blood of the baboons and the dogs on the street; if they want to soak them in water we will help them. That was my statement.
Did you receive presidential pardon and amnesty?
I lead the people. I was president of Ijaw Youth Council, which is the biggest youth group up till date and I’m also the leader of the Niger Delta Peoples’ Volunteer Force and Niger Delta Peoples’ Salvation Funds. Did I tell you that I collected amnesty? I am not a criminal. I don’t know what you are talking about. Asari isn’t a criminal. I am not a militant and I have a pedigree and I cannot soil my name. If the Nigerian state has any evidence to criminalize me they should go to court. They’ve done that several times and they failed without evidence. Yes people who took amnesty have been criminalized, that’s what it means. You pardon someone who has committed an offence, not all of them were criminals. But if you accept pardon as a criminal, why will I speak for you? You have accepted willingly. I did not collect amnesty and the majority of my people did not. Only those who broke away from us did.
Did you accept presidential pardon?
That question doesn’t sound right. I was granted bail by a competent court of jurisdiction and I am still on bail. I employed my lawyers. We went to the Supreme Court for bail application and for the first time in my life, the court suspended the constitution of this country because of me. The court says people can be arrested and be detained as long as the government wants. It’s a shame on the judiciary of this country that the Supreme Court gave a judgment suspending the constitution. That’s why some of us feel Goodluck is playing with these political miscreants who call themselves governors. He should hit them with the hammer. If I was hit with the hammer by Obasanjo, what is holding Goodluck Jonathan. He should hit these political miscreants with a hammer. Obasanjo should be arrested and detained, and Atiku too. They are ordinary citizens of this country. They are nobody. I don’t know about Babangida (because) he has not come out to talk about where he belongs.
The government first refused to bring me to court. Yar’ Adua was compelled to release me from prison because of the bribe, because of the oil, that they want production which had fallen into 600,000 barrels. Nigeria was losing money, so they wanted to release Asari but I refused to sign. So many things were offered me but I said no and I refused to sign. Henry Okah and others signed.
My mother died at the age of 29. I’m 50. My father died at the age 59. I’m 50. So, why should I be afraid of death? It will come when it will come. When God says you are going to die, you will die. So I cannot mortgage my integrity, my honour, my pedigree and that of my children.
What is your take on the amnesty programme of this administration?
I am one of the people who have been against amnesty. Amnesty is a crime against humanity. That someone raped, killed, committed all sorts of crime and after doing that, because you want money, mostly to steal, then you pardon the person. A man kidnapped another man, put him through trauma and you pardon him. A man raped and you pardon him. A man killed and you pardon him because you want money.
But your friends are beneficiaries…
My friends and I are not the same. My child and I are not the same, even my wife. None of my siblings took amnesty and NDPVF didn’t take amnesty. God has a way of preparing things since the time of creation.
You recently met with Major Hamza Al-Mustapha. What was the meeting all about?
You cannot divorce politics from whatever man is doing. Even between man and woman, politics is involved. The meeting with Al-Mustapha is to bring peace. Faseun, Uwazuruike, Yerima Shettima, Abacha, Tony Major and over 50 different organisations were there. Government wants to be oblivious of what is going on. It is a tsunami. It is the first time that people from the Caliphate, Borno and people from other part of this country are meeting. People have come to say ‘look, whatever has happened before we should put it aside, have a focus and put an eye on the future.’ All of us have suffered from one form of deprivation or the other. All of us have been in prison – myself, Pa Faseun, Uwazuruike, Al-Mustapha, Mohammed. We have been imprisoned at one time or the other. We have all suffered one form of deprivation or the other. Our collective suffering should be a sacrifice to bring hope to our people. We met and we saw the sincerity in them. Some people say I hate the north, but I laugh. They say I hate the Fulanis, Kanuris and I find that funny. I have two boys and their mother is a Fulani, living among Kanuri people from Borno state. One of them is named after me – Mujahid Dokubo and the other one is Nurul-Islam. They have been living with their mother. My son even speaks Hausa and Fulfude. He doesn’t even know how to speak my language. I am married to a Shuwa Arab also from Borno Empire. My in-laws come to my house, eat, sleep, live in my house and we do things together. When it comes to protecting the interest of my people, it is beyond me because of my personal life. So if people want to kill my people, I should fold my hands because I’m married to a Fulani woman? When everyone dies it will remain only my two sons and myself. God created me an Ijaw man for a purpose’
Are you supporting the president because he is Ijaw as you?
Me, I no dey pretend! They say charity begins at home. Goodluck is an Ijaw man, who will I support? Prophet Mohammed said whether your brother is right or wrong, support him. And the people asked why you should support your brother when he is wrong. The Prophet said support him by correcting him.
I am one of the most fiery, balanced critics of Goodluck, inside and outside the house. When the President does anything wrong and I don’t have access to him, I come out and shout at the roof top that he should fix things and they will start fixing it. The most important thing is that he is an Ijaw man. There is no compromise on that. As president of Ijaw Youth Council I’m to protect their interest. I’m an Ijaw man and I will protect their interest. In terms of performance, if you put Nigerian past leaders together, he has outperformed them.
The Benin-Lagos Expressway is now passable. Obasanjo was there for eight years, he didn’t fix it. Abdulsalami was there, and also Abacha. During IBB’s time, the road was okay. Look at the Abuja-Lokoja Expressway. They budgeted for it every year. In all the eight years of Obasanjo, they didn’t go more than 5km on that road and money was budgeted, appropriated, misapplied and misappropriated. The road was comatose.
Under Yar’Adua, they said N500 billion was released for special agricultural funds on a piece of paper, but nobody saw the money till today. Nigeria agricultural sector has come alive and everybody knows that. The investment profile of Nigeria has increased. The Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) profile has increased.
But there is widespread insecurity…
Nigeria is in a civil orchestrated by the Ciromas and the Kaitas trying to breath evil right on the back of a tiger. Abeg he go enter tiger belle. In Niger delta we have organization on the ground to put heads and balancing that when they put order everybody fall in line. We have order. But in the north, they don’t have the capacity because of years of deprivation of their people. The billion they made over this years doesn’t translate to the life of the ordinary northerners. The northerners are the poorest, the northerners are the most diseased, there is a lot of underdevelopment in the North. After years of looting so they have no control over their people so when they were thinking Boko Haram will be their own militia, their own militants they didn’t know how far Boko Haram will go. I schooled at Gamboru Gala. I learnt Quran there. Today Gamboru Gala is a no-go area.
What can the president do?
Goodluck Jonathan should declare a war in Nigeria. The country is in a state of war. Foreigners are coming into Nigeria, encouraged by the Ciromas and the Kaitas. These men should be arrested. They are the people who have come out to say they are displeased and they have done it and its happening. They should be arrested. They say if Goodluck wins they will make the country ungovernable for him and it has happened. If a witch says he will kill you today and tomorrow you have headache, it is the witch that caused it. The president should declare a war against these men. They have all apparatuses of a state. They are not ashamed. They said as far as they are concerned they are at war. Obasanjo brought helicopters to bomb my camp for 11 months we fought. In which state where he declared a state of emergency did he allow the political structure to remain? How will the president be playing with a life when we know and politicians from Borno state have accused SAS (Senator Ali Modu Sherif) that’s he’s responsible for setting up Boko Haram and he is a stalwart of APC. So why will the president be playing with them with kids gloves. These men should put in jail….
If I was put in prison, why should Ciroma not be out in prison. Why will Kaita and SAS not be put in prison? As for IBB, one statement or the other that he made is not enough for him to be put in jail. After that, he has made many mitigating statements.
Goodluck Jonathan should use hammer against those political miscreants. They are all miscreants and hammer must be used against them. There is only one registered PDP known to INEC and its only PDP. Jonathan is indulging. If you break the law you should be treated as a lawbreaker.
What is your relationship between you and your governor, Chibuike Amaechi?
Let me tell you – Amaechi is a traitor, a traitor to all people of the South-South and South East. I’ve said it over and over when this thing started that as a traitor you will be treated as a traitor. Goodluck is shielding him. The president is not even fighting him. If Goodluck were fighting Amaechi, by now he would not go to Port Harcourt again.
Many people have made sacrifices. Ken Saro Wiwa fought for our people. This man who calls himself Amaechi, who never won election, is a miscreant. We know his origin. He was Peter Odili’s ‘houseboy’ that Odili imposed on the people of Ikwerre Constituency without winning election. They collectively deceived the people of South-South.
We were all student union leaders. I’m older than him. Can Amaechi win election in his unit? Has Amaechi ever supported Goodluck? This is how you indulge this criminal, common criminal who is supposed to be in prison. How did he get over one million votes? It’s rigging.
I voted for Goodluck. Immediately after the election the position of PDP was that the South West should take the speakership seat. Amaechi and his people he brought to the National Assembly by manipulation supported Aminu Tambuwal and that is why they are heading important committees in the National Assembly. These are the characters working with this miscreant that we are indulging.
At what point did the president and Amaechi fall out?
I have already told you that all the PDP legislators that came from Rivers State stood against the president and supported Tambuwal. The problem started since then.
The only president that can be compared to Goodlcuk in Nigeria is Shagari. He is peaceful, he has human feelings and he doesn’t want to hurt an ant. Amaechi and Adams Oshiomhole from the South-South have projected that if Goodluck is the president for the next four years, they will become irrelevant. They will be out of power for four years. Oshhiolome will be out of power for two years plus. Oshiomhole is my brother, but when it comes to standing with the president, friendship has got nothing to do. If oshiomhole is going for the presidency today, I will stake my life for him. But if he wants to go and join people because of political agenda or survival, we should jettison sacrifice and die for the South-South.
So if Goodluck does not come back, anyone of them will aspire for the position of Senate President or the Speaker. Oshimhole is level headed than this small boy, Amaechi. He is not doing his own like a matured person, same as Rochas Okorocha. If Goodluck can complete eight years, they believe there is the likelihood that the presidency will go up to the north, that is if he wins the second term which I know he will.
The political interest of our people is at stake. They will chase Rochas Okorocha away. Rochas is a goner and he knows it and he will go. That is why some of us are going to be aggressive with Goodluck. There is no begging, there’s no retreat, no surrender. We are not taking any Prisoner of War. It is going to be total vanquish, no Prisoner of War. This one is do or die.
We are fighting for our soul and our survival now. They have aligned with Tinubu and we are going to see how it goes if Goodluck will contest. Let’s see how you will pass Goodluck and sit in Aso Rock. It is not about weapons to fight. Everything will be glaring and we will see it clearly. We heard Amacehi has been buying guns for the people. It is human beings that will shoot those guns. When the time comes we will see. Oshimhole is very mild. He opens ways for reconciliation, but Amaechi is not allowing reconciliation. He has reached the point of no return.
What is your take on the opposition of some PDP chieftains against President Goodluck Jonathan?
Kwankwaso is in charge of Kano. What is Goodluck business in Kano? They printed Kwankwaso with Buhari’s posters in Kano. Whether he’s behind him or not, they will not win the election. I don’t know whether he is part of it or not. Kwankwaso support is nothing. Atiku has started singing a new song. He said Goodluck could contest in 2015. I read it (in the newspapers).
I read it somewhere that Obasanjo is the problem of the PDP. Bukola Saraki did not support Goodluck; he was a presidential candidate. It is that same grudge that he is bearing against Goodluck. Each of the states has its own political colouration. Goodluck didn’t win any state in the North East and North West zones. People forget so soon. He got two-thirds of 36 states. He will have the two-thirds and win the 2015 presidential election. The election is concluded, it is a foregone conclusion. When they are contesting election in the USA they will tell who will win.
We have done our calculations and we know Goodluck has already won. If Goodluck won the last election with six million votes (then), now it will be 10 million votes. Most of them will start begging very soon and some have started begging.
Are you disturbed about the drop in revenue in Nigeria?
He who owns the land owns everything on the land and above the land. The Niger Delta people own all the things on the land and above the land in accordance with equity. They can’t steal what belongs to them. In accordance with equity and good conscience and natural justice, we will continue to have problems. You can’t take it from the Niger Delta and bring it to build houses in Abuja and go and develop Lagos and create Dangote, Otedola, Adenuga, Emeka Offor and even create Dokubo Asari. There must be natural justice and great conscience
Somebody sitting there at the National Assembly is opposing the Petroleum Industry Bill, a bill that will give more capacity to the oil producing communities.
Is it right for the Niger Deltans to steal oil, because oil theft is on the rise?
The oil belongs to them. They have the right to take it. My problem is the environmental degrading that comes with taking of the oil. They have the right to take it, but have no right to destroy the environment.