By Chima Onyekachi

Chief Mujahid Asari Dokubo, the former National President Ijaw Youth Council and leader of Niger Delta Peoples’ Salvation Front (NDPSF), spoke on the activities of the Avengers and the government of Muhammadu Buhari in an interview on a local radio station in Ugwuocha (Port-Harcourt), monitored and compiled by CHIMA ONYEKACHI.

People are thinking that someone like you should be open to dialogue particularly on the current insecurity in the Niger Delta, why are you saying you should be counted out of this ongoing dialogue process?

ASARI DOKUBO: The environment for dialogue must be provided, when there is no proper environment for dialogue then there cannot be dialogue. Because those who have the power of cohesion will be listening to, only themselves. President Muhammadu Buhari has said Nigeria unity is not negotiable, and this is one of the cardinal demand of the people of the Niger Delta and Biafra. He has also said that he is going to crush us, and he will take care of the 97% as against the 5% that did not support him. So there is no conducive environment for any form of proper dialogue. 

In your statement, you have said the body language of President Muhammadu Buhari is to carry out a genocide and pogrom against the Ijaw-Niger Delta and United States of Biafra. What do you mean by that and what are the indices that points to that particular accusation?

ASARI DOKUBO: Several Biafran agitators have been killed, several! And nothing has happened. Over 1000 Shiites in a country that is secular, that gives freedom of religion and guarantee for free speech and freedom of association, were killed, and nothing has happened. Hundreds of people were killed in Benue state by a new terrorist organisation (Fulani Herdsmen) that has not been rebuked in strong terms by the government of General Muhammadu Buhari. There is a systematic movement towards the Niger Delta which holds the economic live-wire of Nigeria, to make sure that the people of Niger Delta are totally removed from their land. Senator Na’Allah from Zamfara state, stated that the whole of Niger Delta should be wiped out for Nigeria to enjoy the resources of the region. Dr. Usman Bugati, who is a Pharmacist and a Ph.D. Islamic Studies, said that the resources of the Niger Delta belong to the North. There have been many statements from the government of General Muhammadu Buhari and those who are close to him. The adviser to the President on media, one Shehu Garba, came out to say that Ijaw people were killing soldiers, they were destroying national assets, as far as we have read from the press, the Avengers have not killed any soldier. So, how did he get his own story? For a presidential spokesman to come out to say that attacks carried out in Lagos and Ogun state were carried out by Niger Delta Avengers, is to incite Yoruba people to wage ethnic war against the Niger Deltans. Who are mostly the so-called Niger Delta militants? They are Ijaw people.
While you have stated in your statement that you are not a member of the Niger Delta Avengers and you, have also just stated here that the Niger Delta Avengers has not killed anybody. But it is a known fact that the Niger Delta Avengers are destroying oil pipelines and the ones who will suffer as a result of these oil pipelines destructions are Niger Delta people themselves. Isn’t that enough for you to denounce or condemn activities of the Niger Delta Avengers.

ASARI DOKUBO: For 50 years of oil exploration! The Ogoni land that is been cleaned today, is it Niger Delta Avengers that caused the pollution in Ogoni land? For 50 years! Niger Delta has continually been polluted and environmental genocide have continually been committed against the people of the Niger Delta for over 50 years. So if these have continued unabated, why should the four months of Niger Delta Avengers strike be more important? The gas flaring that has continued till today, is it caused by the Niger Delta Avengers? Nigeria is supposed to have stopped gas flaring long time ago but because they believe that Niger Delta people should die; we have acidic rain, we have cancer and other diseases. They continued against International best practices to continue to flare gas. So, how does that add up to if you have been pouring torrents of water on people and a man comes to throw a cup of water on somebody, you now blame him that the cup of water he has thrown is what is causing the flood. What about the water you have been pouring and causing a flood?

In your own view, what do you think is the solution to permanent peace in the Niger Delta?

ASARI DOKUBO: The solution to permanent peace as stated that there should be a Sovereign National Conference willing to express itself and supervised by the United Nations. Nigeria is not sacrosanct. It has happened in several countries; the former Soviet Union separated, Britain just left the European Union, Eritrea left Ethiopia. Let the people decide, let Ijaw people decide, let Niger Delta people decide, let Biafrans decide whether they want to be Nigerians or not. For anybody to arrogate to himself with so much arrogance that Nigeria unity (what sorts of unity) is not negotiable, it is something that is not acceptable. For a 52 years old man like me, that somebody will come and tell me that, I cannot accept that.

Alhaji Mujahid Asari Dokubo, thank you for joining us. Thank you, sir.

ASARI DOKUBO: Thank you. I am grateful.

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