A former President of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) and leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force (NDPVF), Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, who was arrested last week in Republic of Benin, has accused those opposed to the second term ambition of President Goodluck Jonathan of masterminding his arrest.
Asari, who apparently betrayed emotion on arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Friday night, also said he was arrested and interrogated by Benin officials over an allegation from Nigeria that he is a leader of Boko Haram.
Speaking to journalists at the airport, he also described as lies the report that Jonathan sent a presidential jet to fly him into Nigeria from Benin.
His words: “Crisis is normal, it can also happen here in Nigeria, it can happen anywhere in the world. The people and government of Republic of Benin have no problem with me.
But if people alleged that somebody is a leader of Boko Haram, the government of that country will investigate the person.
”The allegation has much to do with 2015 because when you read comments on social media, you find out that people who are against President Goodluck Jonathan said they should vilify me, and make sure I die before 2015.
But they are not going to succeed. I am not going to die. I will be present in 2015, and I will do what I am going to do to ensure that Jonathan wins in 2015. There is nothing they can do about it. This is their last fight and it is so unfortunate that the way they are going with show how immature they are.
“I just arrived from Cotonou. I drove in my car from Cotonou to Lagos airport where I boarded a flight to Abuja. The report is not true. No presidential jet was sent to me.
”I do business in Cotonou, and I have been living in Cotonou since 2008.
Politically, people who are in Nigeria are trying to fabricate lies, which are not variable, and send it to Republic of Benin government. So I was taken for interrogation and they found that the allegations were false, and I was promptly released with over 20 of my staff who were also taken in.”
The former warlord, however, said his arrest was a blessing in disguise as he had an opportunity of meeting with officials of Benin after his interrogation. “I have met with the top and powerful people in Republic of Benin. Since I went to that country, I have never had any reason to meet with their government officials, but this crisis has made it possible for me to meet with all top government functionaries of the Republic of Benin. The crisis has raised my profile in that country.”
Asked whether President Jonathan intervened to secure his release, he said: “It is not just only President Jonathan that intervened, Nigerians generally intervened. The number of people that came into Cotonou the day I was taken in, and the following day, were over one thousand.”