By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA – Leader of Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, NDPVF, Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari Thursday reacted to the attack on the convoy of president Goodluck Jonathan by some irate youths in the state during a campaign rally on Tuesday, saying the Niger Delta would respond in due course.
Asari also warned the Igbo and the members of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC who currently reside in the north to return home as they would have themselves to be blamed should anything happen to them.
The NDPVF leader while addressing a press conference in Abuja faulted the Abuja peace accord entered into by President Jonathan and the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, General Mohammadu Buhari with 12 others, saying it was unnecessary.
Going into memory lane, Asari recalled that the north has always had the penchant for causing election violence.
“There is an established pattern of pre and post election violence in the north. In the 50s when late Awolowo was campaigning in the north, he went with helicopters and he was mocked. People said he was flying over the houses and peeping their wives. That has continued and everywhere in the country, people say leave them alone. We don’t want any trouble. But I think the game has changed. The rules of the game have changed.
“For every action, there will be an opposite and equal reaction. I knew that the signing of the accord was useless and that the president subjected himself to sign such an accord. For me, it was out of place for a president and commander in chief of the armed forces of a country. But the president is a humble person. He does things that even marvel some of us and make us sometimes to be very angry.
“To be frank, I was very angry on that day they were signing it. The president has sworn to protect the lives of every Nigerian. So, why would he after taking a constitutional oath subject himself to another oath?
“So what happened in Katsinah is not a surprise. But don’t be surprised. We are putting the world on notice that they have started first. When we reply, let no body talk. Because we are going to reply. We did not sign any accord with them. They did not sign. They are talking about about election violence now because they know that other people will respond.
“Before, they had the monopoly of violence, so nobody cared who died. Our lives were not valuable and they had all the latitude to wreck havoc and did what they liked. But the game has changed. Be bold enough to tell them that game has changed. If they slice our throat, we are going to slice your throat. They stoned the president, you will hear from us. That’s the answer.
“My concern is what happens after the election because we know they will do what they are known to do every time. But this time, they will cry. So all Igbo people who are there, if you don’t come back home and you want to continue to be there and something happens to you, there is nobody to be blamed. If you have a child who is a youth corper and you allow him to be there, you will not hold anybody responsible.”
Asari who was also the former President of Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, reiterated his stand on victory for president Jonathan, saying he would win the February polls.
“There is no way Goodluck will not win the election. We will win them and we know they are preparing for violence in consonance with some foreign powers. When they do that, we will respond disproportionately. We will respond. That’s what we are going to do. If you hit me with a stick, I am going to hit you with iron. I am not speaking in riddles. I am speaking in plain language. My English may not be very good. I am speaking in my own street language. We are going respond disproportionately and we are apologetic.
“The people who are in Katsinah who did not hold their children should also know that I will not hold my children”, he said.
Reminded that Buhari has repeatedly dissociated himself from violence, Asari said “He is a liar. This is the same man who said that the blood of monkeys and baboons will flow on the street. He sounded a note of warning in clear terms. Who are the monkeys and the baboons? He has not explained to us. So, for him now to say whatever he says, that is his business.They burnt president Jonathan’s campaign vehicles in Jos and they were singing “sai Buhari oyoyo”. Why is it that violence is always initiated by the people shouting his name?”
He however said that there would not be violence unless the north “asks” for one.
“I assure you, nothing will happen anywhere if they do not initiate violence. Did we ask them to stone the president yesterday? Do you want us to fold our arms so that they will kill him? Let them stop the violence. When they do, we will stop. A situation where Shakua will stand and say Niger Delta we are coming for you. Goodluck I am coming for you. You are a man and I am a man. We are going to look at each other eyeball to eyeball. You can shoot and I can shot. You can kill and I can kill. You can destroy and I can destroy.
“The question is not for me. It is for Buhari, el-Rufai, Shakua. They are the people you have to direct this question to. Go and ask Buhari why he allowed his people to stone the president and commander -in-chief in Katsinah. There must be balance of terror. One person does not have the prerogative to kill, main and destroy.
On the preparedness and readiness of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to conduct the polls, Asari said INEC was not ready. He however did not support the idea of postponing the elections
“From what INEC has done so far, it is not because of the violence, so many people have not collected their PVC. Look at the “ojoro”that is going on in INEC. Twenty of the twenty seven local governments in Borno are in the hands of Boko haram but more people have collected PVCs in Borno than in Abia state where there is no crisis.
“For me, let every person be allowed to vote without PVC. If we are going to use the PVC, then INEC is not ready. But I am not calling for the postponement of the election. We will win the election decisively. On the 14th of February, there will be “failbuhari” and will win decisively.”
On the saga trailing the academic qualification of Buhari, the Niger Delta activist challenged the presidential candidate to produce his WAEC certificate.
“A man rose to the rank of a General in the Nigeria army with a note from a principal that this man is in Form six, he will pass English, Mathematics, etcetera, he should be recruited and commissioned into the army. A year after this Mr. Saint deposited an affidavit that he has a WAEC result which has not been found. He said the military board has my result. Where on earth do you give your original certificate to your employers?” He asked.