Home OPINION COLUMNISTS To Asari Dokubo, Leading Nigeria Is Like Leading Militants, By Yusuf Ozi-Usman

To Asari Dokubo, Leading Nigeria Is Like Leading Militants, By Yusuf Ozi-Usman

Asari Dokubo
Asari Dokubo

Alhaji Mujahideen Asari Dokubo was and, indeed, is still the leader of one of the fierce Niger Delta Forces fighting against the government of Nigeria for the possession of the Niger Delta oil wealth. Obviously, he became the leader of this militant group from the point of view of the fact that he conceptualised it, formed it and even finances it. That is the long and short of it. And unfortunately, that is the myopic way in which Asari Dokubo views leadership, especially in the context of democracy, at the universal level.
This is where the danger, of having a half-literate person assailing a fast developing democratic ethos like Nigeria, lies. There is an obvious danger of having an already over-bloated egocentric being fixated on the nation’s march to greatness.
I began to respect Asari Dokubo, away from my former posture of askance, when on Tuesday this week, he twitted that the fact that President Goodluck Jonathan lost the March 28 election did not make any different from the way he has been and will be. My respect for him on this statement was not hinged on the surface meaning of his thought, but the implication that President Jonathan is a son of Nigeria who was democratically voted out in 2015 as, of course, he was democratically voted-in in 2011.
Asari Dokubo cannot deny the fact that almost all Nigerians welcome Jonathan with excitement and hope in 2011. That Nigerians in all regions, religions, ethnic divides and genders voted massively for him in 2011 without anybody raising a question as to what part of the country he came from. That was even when General Muhammadu Buhari, from the North, went down on his knees, begging his kits and kins to give him a chance.
In fact, Jonathan got more than the required 25 percent of the votes cast in Katsina state, the home base of General Buhari. He got more than 25 percent of the votes cast from nearly all the states in the North, and even beating Buhari on number of votes cast. Jonathan also thrashed Buhari in the South West; Buhari hardly got 25 percent of the votes cast in the South West region.
With the South East and South South block votes, Jonathan coasted home with resounding victory, democratically in 2011. No one from the North or South West talked then about conspiracy to rob Buhari of the victory that he didn’t have.
As a matter of fact, Buhari has been winning the election since he began to contest in 2003, but after every trial which was obviously short-changed by the then cohesive but marauding PDP, no one talked about conspiracy except his die-hard street supporters who, in 2011, took to the streets for what was clearly a robbery.
Yes, if the die-hard supporters of Jonathan had had cause to take to the streets after the announcement of the March 28 election, they would have been forgiven for the fact that they knew not what they were doing, but for Asari Dokubo, who is supposed to be fairly enlightened by virtue of being a militant leader to still be talking about conspiracy beats one’s imagination.
At any rate, what is conspiracy? Conspiracy is when two or more people meet at a point to plan evil against fellow human being or the society. And so when Asari Dokubo talked glibly about South West and North conspiring to rob President Jonathan of the second term victory in the March 28, in a democratic environment, he obviously was mixing up the ideals of democracy with militancy. For, in democratic leadership/election, it is not conceivable for people in the North to meet the people in the South West to plan on how to vote out Jonathan. As a matter of fact, even if such meeting took place, the act of voting is purely individualistic, such that no one can determine whom the next person voted for at any given time.
What happened on March 28 was the nation’s recourse to the true form of democracy. It was a situation in which bonafinde registered and accredited Nigerians voted freely for whom they thought, in the circumstance they found themselves, can serve them better.
Jonathan was given the mandate in 2011, he tried his best to correct the wrongs in the socio-economic and political systems, but in 2015, majority of Nigerians said, through their votes that his best was not enough. That is the beauty of democracy.
If after four years, General Muhammadu Buhari of All Progressives Congress (APC), who has just been given the same mandate performs below the expectations of majority of Nigerians, they will vote him out, irrespective of where he comes from.
It would amount to dishonesty to lean on the outdated regional campaign of calumny as basis for him and his fellow militants to go back to the Creeks – war against Nigerian government.
If Asari Dokubo wants to take his team of criminals back to the Creeks, he is free to do so. But, he should remember that he is not above the law of this country.

Yusuf Ozi-Usman
Yusuf Ozi-Usman



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