In December, 2012, Asari Dokubo stunned many people with his criticism of the Goodluck Jonathan administration. Back then, Asari said “President Goodluck Jonathan will lose the 2015 election because he is surrounded by greedy people and he has turned against the key people who helped his ascendancy to the Presidency. We must speak out on the issues that are very critical to the survival of the people of the South South and the South East, which is the political base of Goodluck Jonathan.
Jonathan is surrounded by very greedy people who are only in the Presidency to enrich themselves at the expense of Goodluck himself. If we don’t talk, and we continue to brush aside, tomorrow, we will be blamed and people will say: Mujahid Asari Dokubo was around when Goodluck Jonathan was President and he didn’t talk. Then I will become an accomplice and accessory after that fact.”
Asari Dokubo has however found himself in the news again, this time over his comments that there will be trouble if President Goodluck Jonathan is not re-elected.
The fact that Asari is saying this about the same man he criticised a couple of months ago means there has probably been an inducement. It is a known fact that everybody has a price and there seems to be likelihood that Asari’s price has been paid. Quite unfortunately, “settling” people by paying their price or prices as the case may be has become a way of making things happen in Nigeria.
And in his “Goodluck must win” speech, Asari did not address the issue he raised in December as to whether the President has now turned to the side of the people he allegedly turned against. To him, all that matters is that the President must win again.
There have been calls for Asari’s arrest over the controversial statement that there would not be peace if President Jonathan does not win in 2015. What comes to mind is that in this part of the world, when a man says “I will kill someone tomorrow”, law enforcement agents sometimes wait till the murder is committed before moving in. Complaints abound on the failure and inability of the government to adequately secure the citizens. Nigeria and her security agents, rather than being proactive are always reacting. It will be recalled that before people got killed in the 2010 Independence Day blasts, the infamously evasive Jomo Gbomo had sent e-mails that there were bombs around the Eagle Square and that the place should be evacuated.
While addressing a press conference, Asari Dokubo said “the relative peace in the (Niger Delta) region is because Jonathan is President and not the Amnesty declared by the late President Umar Yar’Adua”.
Again Asari has succeeded in opening the eyes of Nigerians to the fact that the Amnesty Programme may not be worth it after all. Men who bore arms against the State and were involved in oil bunkering are being sent to schools abroad in the name of rehabilitation; they are also placed on monthly allowance at the expense of law abiding tax payers, yet Asari says the peace being enjoyed is not because of the declared amnesty; that is nothing but an indication that the country is sitting on a keg of gunpowder.
“We want to have an uninterrupted 8 years of two terms”, Asari said during the press conference. Really, Asari Dokubo, like many Nigerians need to be enlightened on political issues. One would have expected the former leader of the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force to know better, his benightedness may however be excused knowing that him to be a third-year Law drop out and all efforts after to obtain a degree have not yielded much. Little wonder he believes in the “might is right” philosophy. One might also need to ask him why there was no violence when he, Mujahid Asari Dokubo lost elections in Rivers State in 1992 and 1998.
Ijaw elder, Chief Edwin Clarke has tried to calm frayed nerves with his assurance that “there will be no crisis if President Jonathan is defeated at the Presidential election in 2015, but he has a right to contest election if he so wishes.” Clarke also noted that for him to win, he has to implement some of the democratic dividends he promised to Nigerians.
Though Clarke might have succeeded in defending Asari Dokubo to an extent, that has not in any way stopped the militant leader’s comments from exposing some of the inadequacies in the Nigerian system.