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Published On: Thu, Jan 3rd, 2013

How I Started Niger Delta Rebellion —Dokubo ….. Says late Azazi “was anti-Ijaw”

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Asari Dokubo

Former rebel leader, Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo Asari, this morning gave a detailed account of how he started the armed rebellion that changed the course of the Niger Delta agitation.
Dokubo, who later embraced peace following the olive branch offered him by the then administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo, recounted the history of the struggle in response to an allegation by a northern intellectual, Dr. Aliyu Tilde that the late General Andrew Owoye Azazi supported Dokubo’s “Ijaw Secessionist Movement.”
Dokubo dismissed the allegation, saying he declaring Tilde’s “listing of Ijaw reactionaries and counter revolutionaries like General Andrew Owoye Azazi as a leader pushing an Ijaw secessionist agenda, laughable.” Dokubo went ahead to describe Azazi, who died in the Dec. 15 copter crash in Bayelsa and was given a hero’s burial in Yenegoa by Ijaws last Saturday, as “anti-Ijaw.”

Going down memory lane, Dokubo (seen in photo) in a Facebook post disclosed, for the first time, details of how he initiated and prosecuted his rebellion. His words:
“On 16th, January 1995, I had moved a motion for the declaration of the independence of the Ijaw nation at the National Convention of the Ijaw National Congress(INC)which was hosted by the then Governor of the Bantustan of Rivers Col Musa Komo at the Alfred Diete-Spiff Civic Center….. In attendance were top Nigerian military officers of Ijaw extraction invited to the Convention by Col Musa Komo as observers. When I moved the motion for the declaration of independence the hall erupted in frenzy with the shout of Haa Ijo in the air…. over 1000 hands were up in support of my motion for independence, the Convention was abruptly brought to an end by the Convention chairman Prof. Lawrence Ekpebu….for fear that the motion will be overwhelmingly passed by the delegates.
“Again in October 1999, at the mobile parliament at Tombia Ekpetiama Oronto Douglas orchestrated a motion to bar me and those he refer to as violent revolutionaries from discussing in any mobile parliament, convention or any other gathering of the IYC the issue of the commencement of an armed struggle on the platform of the IYC. The motion insisted that the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) which is the springboard of the Ijaw revolution is a nonviolent movement and that the issue of armed struggle should no longer be canvassed openly in IYC gatherings….There would have been a terrible blood bath if we had not exercised restraints….controlled our emotion and allowed the pacifists to have their way.
“Nevertheless, I decided to form a military wing called Ijaw Territorial Defence and Protection Force as a follow up. This later became Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force (NDPVF) in mid 2003. This conversion took place at a meeting in Olukperebu in Gbaramatu land.
“May I point out that in all of these phases I never had any form of contact with Gen.Azazi. I was the main proponent of a militarised struggle and he was not part of it. The military report that was alluded to by Dr Aliyu Tilde, mentioned the names of persons that were involved. Henry Okah was associated with the military personnels, who stole the fire arms…The fact that Gen. Azazi was GOC of the 1st Division of the Nigerian Army does not in any way make him culpable….knowing how the Nigerian Army works with officers in charge of the armoury…with the stockpile of arms and ammunition without proper records and data any officer in charge of armory can have his fill feasting with the arms under his care without his superior knowing.. . Henry Okah was just a business man….. Sadly, he assumed a larger than life status during the period of my detention and influenced a lot of combatants into criminal activities. The rest is history.
“Furthermore, everybody in and around the corridors of power know that I had a cantankerous relationship with Gen. Azazi when he was an NSA and once I canvassed for his removal in the presence of President Goodluck Jonathan. It is therefore laughable that he is been associated with our struggle. If for anything, he was anti-Ijaw.”

Source News Express

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