BY KINGSLEY OMONOBI & LEVINUS NWABUGHIOGU
Like a gadfly, he provokes some thoughts each time he grants interviews to Journalists or speaks in any public gathering. His previous statements lend credence to that. Just last week, Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, former President of Ijaw Youth Congress (IYC) and leader of the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force (NDPVF) in a Press Conference yet again stirred up another round of controversy by declaring that peace will elude Nigeria if President Goodluck Jonathan is not returned in 2105.
There will be no peace
I called this briefing because of events that are unfolding in the polity. Recently, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Mr. Kingsely Kuku, made a statement in the United States of America, that the peace being enjoyed in the Niger Delta will not be guaranteed if President Goodluck Jonathan is not returned as President of Nigeria in 2015. This statement has been supported by several groups from the region. Also, the statement has been attracting reactions from several quarters, expectedly from the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and others.
I want to go on to say that, there will be no peace, not only in the Niger Delta, but everywhere if Goodluck Jonathan is not President by 2015, except God takes his life, which we don’t pray for. Jonathan has uninterrupted eight years of two terms to be president, according to the Nigeria constitution.
He must have our uninterrupted eight years of two tenure. I am not in support of any amendment of the constitution that will reduce the eight years of two tenure that Goodluck Jonathan is expected to be president of Nigeria.
For a very long time, our resources from the Niger Delta has been used to feed and fund Nigeria, and some people are still feeling that Nigeria is their personal property, and they can manage it the way they like. But those days are gone forever; it can never come back again.
The days when we will elect a president and some people will annul our mandate, and place the winner of that mandate in their dungeon and murder him, such days are over and they will never come again.
They threatened to make the polity ungovernable, but we thank Almighty Allah, that he who rides on the back of the tiger, might end up in the belly of the tiger. And what is happening in the north is a clear testimony that you cannot turn the hands of the clock. When change comes, nobody can stop it, it is like a moving train.
Comparing present regime under President Jonathan to the previous ones
A lot of people will say has Goodluck performed as President? We, from the Niger Delta have been fair.We criticize our own, but that does not change what I have always said that monkey no fine, but him mama like am.
We will continue to support and stand by Goodluck. Our colonial operators left functional railways system and roads that were motorable, education and energy sector that worked. But from Yakubu Gowon, to Murtala Mohammed, to Olusegun Obasanjo, to Shehu Shagari, to Muhammadu Buhari, to Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, to Sani Abacha, to Abdulsalami Abubakar, to Olusegun Obasanjo again, these infrastructures built by the colonial operators were totally destroyed.
We are all aware of it and nobody can deceive us. But today, the story has changed. I made five hours from Benin to Lagos by road. Electricity supply is relatively constant now than what it was before Jonathan came in as president.
The Abuja-Lokoja road that was neglected is almost completed and several other roads across the country. People have started using the rail system again.This shows that Jonathan is silently moving the country at the direction to satisfy this insatiable people, while we from the Niger Delta are not being satisfied.
Before now, we have had university lecturers striking for over six months, people go to universities to study courses of four or five years, but the end up staying five and six years because the lecturers were always going in strike, but that is not the case as at today because the government is handling the issue.
Even at that, this is the most maligned government because some people think, and they have been made to believe that they are born to rule, and so many people who are very timid to challenge them have accepted it.
His views on General Mohammed Buhari
They talk about Buhari and I ask them what does Buhari have to show in all the years he has been in government? He was a governor in the north; later he became Commissioner for Petroleum and Natural Resources; he was Head of State and he also headed the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) and in all of these positions he held, what were his achievements?
When we go to Dubai and other former third-world countries, we see the achievements of their leaders. If Buhari is so good, let him show us one thing that he achieved when he was in the positions he held before. Let him show us one monument in the former North East that can be attributed to him when he was governor there. He has nothing to show. They’re saying he is not corrupt, and we were told how $2.8b got missing.
Group Captain Usman Jubril, a Muslim and former governor in the north, accused Buhari of corruption, that his cronies were given contracts in the Afri Project, Buhari’s cronies controlled PTF and we all saw it. But because some people love slavery, and they will say the master is coming with koboko, he will flog me if I don’t fall in line. President Jonathan is not using the hammer that IBB and Buhari used when they were in power.
Jonathan is not using the retroactive laws that Buhari used and that is why they see him as clueless. They want him to start behaving like IBB, Buhari and Obasanjo and then he becomes a president that is strong.
But you don’t dare a leader who tries to be civil and humane. They want him to become “ my father used to flog you with cane, I’m going to chastise you with cutlass”. When it gets to that state, a lot of them will not be able to cry.
Attack on Baga
A lot of Nigerians don’t know, I once lived in Borno State, and I studied Arabic and Islamic Studies among several leading Islamic scholars in Borno. Because I’ve lived in Borno, I wonder at the claim that over 2000 houses were burnt down. Houses in Baga community in Borno are mud and thatch houses.
In the same community, they killed soldiers and the people waited for the soldiers to come for retaliation. Now, let us ask the question ; are soldiers fighting combatants who want to establish their hegemony on others?
When Odi and Odioma in Bayelsa State were destroyed by soldiers, where was the Nasir el-Rufai that is now running his mouth? Jobless people like el-Rufai contributes nothing to keep Nigeria. They can only survive with government. El-Rufai ran away from Nigeria under his brother Yar’Adua. When his brother died, he came back. He wanted appointment in Goodluck’s government and when Goodluck didn’t give him appointment, he suddenly turned a northern crusader.
The same el-Rufai said that Buhari is perpetually un-electable because of his record as military head of state. The same el-Rufai said that Buhari’s insensitivity to Nigeria’s diversity and his parochial focus are already well-known.The same el-Rufai repeated a known fact that in 1984, Buhari allowed 53 suitcases belonging to his ADC’s father to enter Nigeria unchecked at a time the country was exchanging old currency for new.
The same el-Rufai told us that against all canons of legal decency, Buhari used retroactive laws to execute three young men for drug-peddling after they were convicted by a military tribunal and not regular courts of law.
The same el-Rufai said that Buhari was so high-handed that he gave himself and his officials immunity even from truthful reporting, when Buhari used the obnoxious Decree 4, against which truth was no defence, to jail journalists and attempt to cow the media as a whole. This same el-Rufai, a habitual betrayal, who is now running his mouth, said all these about Buhari when he was FCT Minister under Obasanjo. Why would anybody take him serious?
The Ijaw in me
I am an Ijaw man, call me an ethnic bigot, I don’t care, I have no apology to give to anybody. I am an Ijaw man, if you touch an Ijaw man, you touch me. So there is nothing about it that I am going to be ashamed of.
On Governor Amaechi saga/ Nigeria’s population
There is this war that is going on, instigated by Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi. Nigerian Governors Forum as an association is not known to the Nigerian Constitution, and as a body that is unknown to the law, there is no legal power where governors forum wants to usurp the constitutional powers of the president elected by the people.
This is something that will not be acceptable to anybody. They didn’t do it under Babangida, they also didn’t do it under Obasanjo, they didn’t do it under Yar’Adua and for Chibuike to arrogate this power to himself, he has been looking for trouble, now he is saying that failure to provide security is an impeachable offence. That is what Chibuike is telling a President. Chibuike has been making statements, disparaging the person of President Goodluck Jonathan.
He went to Kano state and declared there that he will contest 2015 presidential election as a running mate to a northern aspirant. He is free to do so but the South-South region will not allow traitors among us. And if Rotimi Amaechi has singled himself out as a traitor, he will be treated as a traitor.
There is nothing anybody can do about it. Now that we have come out of slavery, nobody can take us back into slavery, it is not possible. Rotimi Amaechi with his background enjoys slavery. He knows his background and everybody knows him. If God has given him a lease of life to be with people who has freedom, he should appreciate what God has given him, but to think he will take us back to slavery, we will not let him do so.
Is there anywhere in the world that there are more people in a desert part of the country than in a fertile part of the country? In the whole world, it is only in Nigeria that we are told that there more people living in the desert than in the fertile and mangrove land. I’ve travelled around the world and I know that the said population of Nigeria and the population of northern Nigeria is 419.
I have wondered why Niger Republic and Chad which are in the same desert like the north are not as populated as northern Nigeria. What is there in Kano State to sustain two million population? Can someone tell me? Is it the industry or what? There is nothing in Kano that can sustain two million population.
So all these manipulations have been going on and people have been accepting it, and now after we have seen the light at the end of the tunnel and that freedom is in site, then an Amaechi comes and wants to take us back into slavery. It’s not going to be possible. If they like, let them settle whatever problem between him and Goodluck, but we the people of the Niger Delta will not settle that or allow a traitor in our midst.
We will never allow a traitor to be in our midst because if God brings you out from poverty, you should be grateful to God, and not to drag yourself back to poverty. That is what Amaechi wants to do. We will not go back to slavery and poverty, and will never allow him to drag us along. Enough of the handshake across the Niger.
Is it only we that will always stretch out hands for a handshake across the Niger? Let the man on the bank of the Niger stretch his own hand to us. Don’t they shake hands? Why must it be us that will be doing handshake every time? We have fought, we have seen the light, total freedom is coming and we will never allow any traitor among us, and that is why the people of Rivers State are happy that finally, Amaechi has exposed himself. That is the reality before us.
There is so much joy among Rivers State people that this is happening. It is no longer Riverine fight the upland, but it is now a collective fight of the people against one traitor called Amaechi. This is not an Ijaw matter. It is fight for the people of Rivers State and the South-South people because we know that it’s the rat in the house that goes to tell the rat in the bush that there is fish in the kitchen. We cannot allow Amaechi to bring back the enemy to come and destroy our land. It is not possible.
So for us, whether Goodluck settles with Amaechi or not, whatever they are doing, we have solved that. Amaechi will not be allowed to have his way. In the first place, Amaechi never won election to become governor. His being a governor in Rivers State today is the manipulation of the oligarchs.
Seven sat down at the Supreme Court and declared a man who never contested election governor of a state. If Omehia was not legally qualified to contest the 2007 election, the honorable path open to the Supreme Court was to annul the election and order a fresh election, but that didn’t happen because it is the programme of the Caliphate to impose a candidate and seven men sat at the Supreme Court and imposed Amaechi on the people of Rivers State.
It was the same process. Amaechi never won House of Assembly election in 1999. Uche Okwukwu defeated him, and the same court process was used to give him another man’s mandate. Uche Okwukwu after wining him at the election, won him at the tribunal, and they went to INEC list to expunge Uche Okwukwu’s name from the election list.
Meanwhile, he has a voters’ card and up till today, INEC refused to tell us how the name of a man who was duly registered as a voter, who passed through all the process of election and became a candidate in an election, suddenly disappeared from its register, and they declared Amaechi the winner.
Amaechi has been wining through the court. Now, the court is declaring other people winners against his interest, why is he protesting? He was elected by the court, from House of Assembly to governor.
Amnesty to Boko Haram
As far as I am concerned, the first amnesty was a mistake and a bribe. So, since you have given amnesty to one group of people, you must continue to give amnesty to others. Very soon, kidnappers will come asking for amnesty, you will give them because you gave others. Very soon pipeline vandals will also come, you will give them amnesty.
Very soon, looters of treasuries, like the man who stole the pension fund, will come, you will give them. You give amnesty because you want to buy peace. You can’t buy peace because the peace you bought will never last. If there are signs that Niger Delta will boil again, it is because you bought the peace there. Since you failed to do the right thing and decided to buy peace, you will continue to buy peace.
In the Niger Delta, it is not because of amnesty that there is peace; it is because Goodluck is President. That is why there is peace. Immediately Goodluck ceases to be president, all of us who are on sabbatical will come back. People like us never took amnesty, and we will never take it, because we committed no crime. Nobody will come to my land and take what belongs to me.
Look at the way they awarded the oil wells to themselves. These people are very wicked, they allocated the oil fields to themselves. This is the worst type of apartheid, Zionism, disregard and discrimination of the highest order. The same people are still saying that the people who own the land will not be entitled to it.
This is the kind of thing they want to bring back, and we are saying it will not be possible. If they like, let them campaign. If they like, let them form merger and association, but all we know is that by 2015, Goodluck will be president whether they like it or not. If they say it’s empty threat, let them wait and see.