In his efforts to eliminate pipeline vandalism and other related terror activities like kidnapping of expatriate oil workers in the Niger Delta region, late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua instituted amnesty. As part of the incentives, the federal government made massive cash offer to Asari Dokubo and other militant leaders in the Niger Delta.
Particularly, Asari Dokubo was offered $10 million annually under the guise of Pipeline Security Protection fee, having been awarded the contract to protect Rivers state pipelines and creeks his boys have been vandalizing in addition to kidnapping workers and killing guards. That contract was made possible through the mediation of then Vice President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, who not only hailed from the same region but is also Asari’s kinsman. That mouthwatering contract ran successfully till 2015 when late President Muhammadu Buhari came to power.
Recall Asari’s restiveness in the buildup to 2015 elections and all the threats he issued to the Northern hegemony as regards the plot to dethrone President Goodluck. At that time, many, myself inclusive, thought it a brotherly-concern affair. How wrong we were. Dude, we now realize was concerned of his pipeline contract and not brother Jonathan’s success.
Well, all his threats were empty; Hausa/Fulani scared brother Jonathan out of office and power returned to North untimely. Upon assuming office, late Muhammadu Buhari terminated the pipeline contract awarded to Asari Dokubo. As time progressed, with no block money flowing in as it used to, the realities of Jonathan’s woe came hard on the militant-turned pipeline contractor. He then sought a viable platform with which he can combat the federal government. Having lost relevance in Niger Delta Volunteer Force for his treachery, Asari saw in Biafra agitation a more potent tool to get back to the Buhari government. He then declared himself a Biafran, throwing in with IPOB – the only potent and engaging group on freedom quest.
IPOB received him with open arms, relishing the perceived steam he would add to the struggle. Asari soon cooked up stories of projects, convincing IPOB leadership will help advance the struggle. The unsuspecting leadership of IPOB gladly availed him all the logistics he demanded – money and other material things. Asari didn’t follow through; he produced excuses in lieu of results.
Brother Asari made several videos, publicly and vehemently reiterating his support for the Supreme Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. The public would remember the video in which he said that some people are telling him that he is following Nnamdi Kanu, doing boy-boy for him and that he said to them “if Nnamdi Kanu is doing better than me in the Biafra restoration project, why won’t I follow him?” By that response, Asari admits Kanu is doing better than him in our quest for freedom. Not that his admission means much, for that fact is glaring even to the blind, but it straightens record as being recounted today.
Not willing to go into arms struggle – at least for now – IPOB leadership adopted the principle of civil disobedience known to have been used effectively in India by Mahatma Gandhi, in the US by Martin Luther King Junior, in Croatia, South Africa (Soweto), and many other parts of the world who have sought self-determination or equal rights as Luther’s case in the US was. IPOB declared and stood on election boycott with the sole aim of getting the Nigerian state to play ball as regards the group’s demand for a referendum date. It should be recalled that this principle of election boycott garnered serious momentum in 2017 toward the Anambra state governorship election, so serious that even in the face of Operation Python Dance, the illegal and malicious proscription of IPOB, and the attendant persecution of the group, overwhelming majority of Anambra indigenes complied to it – a situation that left the irredeemably corrupt political class no choice than to doctor results, agreeing among themselves not to challenge anything in court. Asari Dokubo didn’t attack Nnamdi Kanu at this time, nor did he in any way condemn the idea of boycotting the election.
Then approached the 2019 general elections. Jubril Aminu Al-Sudani, now impersonating late President Buhari, was presented for the election by APC cabal headed by Abba Kyari. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, prostituting himself politically, returned to PDP and somehow managed to emerge its flag bearer. Executing political wisdom however, he picked an Igbo man for vice. With that choice, he hoped to harvest Biafra (South East/South South) votes, knowing how disenchanted the region is with the Buhari administration. Certain to divide the votes in North, with Biafra vote in his custody, he is certain to cruise to victory. Brother Asari recognized this, and seeing in Atiku’s victory a window of opportunity in regaining his lost millions of dollar pipeline contract, threw in with Atiku at once. But then, there stood an obstacle on the way: IPOB’s call for election boycott.
The manifestation of IPOB’s call for election boycott as a giant stumbling block took off the sheep’s clothing the wolf has been donning. The attack began. Brother Asari lost every sense of caution and loyalty to IPOB, launching tirades first at IPOB as a body, and then specifically at Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
He first accused him of working for Buhari’s (Jubril) reelection, arguing that the boycott will benefit the incumbent administration. If Asari Dokubo’s opposition to the election boycott was an innocent one, why didn’t he speak up at the buildup to 2017 Anambra state election? And if not sheer vile or drunkenness as the case might be, how would anyone insinuate that Nnamdi Kanu was working for the return of an administration that murdered thousands of his followers, jailed him for two years, invaded his house with sophisticated war armaments, killing twenty-eight of his men in the process and forcing him and his parents into exile? Come to that, what even informed the notion that Biafrans boycotting the election will benefit the incumbent government? Is brother Asari properly schooled? If he and the rest of the treacherous folks in our land (the likes of Nnia Nwodo and our governors) had joined forces with IPOB in the boycott effort and had successfully grounded Biafra land, would that not have triggered a cascade of events that will culminate in Biafra’s independence?
Having made himself a stench to his own people and opened the door for the enemy to come in, brother Asari positioned himself for deals. The enemy did the expected. Now reeling in the disappointment Atiku’s loss orchestrated and oared on by the money the caliphate threw at him, brother Asari, upped his attacks on Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. His latest defamatory onslaught is the accusation that the Biafra leader killed a little-known self-acclaimed prophet, Anthony Nwoko. Although it’s now an open secret that the DSS masterminded the killing of the poor fellow to besmear Kanu, the poor man has been a critic of the Biafran leader, Asari Dokubo carried on with the calumny.
While we will not throw the dirty water with the child, may I use this medium to appeal to brother Asari to consider the end of our other brothers who have trodden the path he is now on – the likes of Ken Saro Wiwa and Isaac Adaka Boro – and retrace his steps.
Chibuike John Nebeokike
For: Radio Biafra Media