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Thursday, 16 May 2013

Why Do They Take Dokubo-Asari Seriously?

By: Sam Nda-Isaiah 

Last week, I received calls from several well-meaning but very angry people from all over the country complaining about a stupid comment made by a certain Mujahid Dokubo-Asari. I wondered why so many serious people were so angry with such a person and even paid attention to what he was saying. I told them I usually did not waste precious time reading comments from people like that. If I have to waste my time, I have better ways of doing so. I am very concerned about many things in Nigeria but Dokubo-Asari is certainly not one of them. And I sincerely wonder why a militant who had lived the better part of his life as a thug should engage anyone’s attention.
First, Dokubo-Asari is a creation of the kind of leadership we have helplessly allowed to reign in the country. The Obasanjo government specifically created people like Dokubo-Asari, Tompolo, Tom Ateke and company. It was during the 2003 elections when Obasanjo was so desperate to win in spite of his unpopularity all over the country that he and some of his devious governors armed youths all over the country, especially in the south-south and south-east. They gave them guns as well as police and army uniforms to intimidate and kill their opponents. After the election, it became impossible to disarm the thugs and many of them took up other criminal causes. Several of these criminals and militants in the region started hiding under the veil of the fight for the emancipation of the Niger Delta.
Many of these people, from different backgrounds, became wealthy. Someone like Dokubo-Asari appears educated and speaks decent English. But has anyone listened to Tompolo, who has now assumed the role of “First Militant” on account of his chumminess to President Goodluck Jonathan, speak English? Yet, he is the one that holds court with the president almost every day, gets the biggest contracts with the government including the most irresponsible one of the government handing over the nation’s maritime security to him. I even hear that the president addresses him as “my general”. Yes, I am talking about the president and commander-in-chief of Nigeria’s armed forces. If the president wants to sit with his kinsmen, I know many serious people in the Niger Delta he should be sitting with. The Niger Delta, like any other region, has many decent and serious people but it appears the president prefers other types.
All of these executive militants derive their strength and mojo from President Jonathan. So we should leave people like Dokubo-Asari, Tom Ateke and Tompolo alone and know where to face. They are simply symptoms of the irresponsible leadership the nation currently has. When Abuja, the nation’s capital, was bombed by MEND on October 1, 2010, and MEND claimed responsibility, President Jonathan quickly said it was not MEND that did it. He went on to say that MEND were his people and he knew them. With a statement like that from the president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces, why should we be surprised that a miscreant like Dokubo-Asari would be saying things like that?
The Nigerian nation is sinking fast under Jonathan and we should know why. The fact that the police, which arrested former governor Ahmed Sani of Zamfara State for saying “there will be a crisis if having met all the conditions, INEC still refuses to register APC”, or something to that effect, has not as much as invited Dokubo-Asari who said much worse – that “If Jonathan is not elected, there will be war” – should explain to all of us why Nigeria is in such a bind. Public institutions have been turned into private institutions. If Dokubo-Asari had said, “If Jonathan wins re-election, there will be war,” he would have promptly been arrested. Do we still need to know who the current Nigerian police are working for? Do we also need to know why agencies like the Nigeria police and other state-owned institutions have failed so badly? These are the issues that should agitate our minds as a nation and not the nonsense from a thug who simply craves to improve his naira value with Jonathan. Is it not the same Dokubo-Asari who recently said that he would not vote for Jonathan in 2015? After Jonathan got the message and called him aside, didn’t his rantings change? We should not waste our time with hirelings like Dokubo-Asari. Let’s face where the problem lies squarely.
If what Nigeria has become today has made Nigerians know how important the office of president is, then, something good at least would have been achieved. But, if in spite of all these, we sit back and allow just anyone to rig the 2015 elections with all the money stolen from government, then, Nigeria will surely sink. The only way to save this country from that is to make sure that President Jonathan becomes a former president by 10am, May 29, 2015.

The Nasarawa Police Pogrom
It is very depressing that the Nigeria Police which used to be classified among the best in the world in those days, has now been reduced to a mockery of itself. Last week, many of them were cheaply massacred by a thuggish group in Nasarawa State. At other times, the police have been made a laughing stock by the Boko Haram. Armed robbers make a mince meat of them and nobody sends them near the Niger Delta militant camps anymore. These days, instead of the police offering you protection, it is the police stations that need to be protected by soldiers in some parts of the country. The only use for the Nigerian police these days is in arresting journalists and opposition politicians, and rigging elections.
The main reason why our police have become so useless is because of corruption from the very top or, as Nigerians now prefer to say, “from the ogas at the top”. Their appropriated budgets are not given to them as appropriated. They are, therefore, ill-equipped and ill-trained for the challenges of modern policing especially in an environment that is increasingly defined by terrorism and high crime. These days, the police depend on the generosity of governors in the different states to do their job. State governors now fund the police even though it is not their job. They now do that in addition to funding the different JTFs in their states. The current Nigerian police is useless to Nigerians, except those who use them for their personal gains.
But, isn’t it time for both the Senate and the House of Representatives to live up to their responsibilities and come to the rescue of the police, for the sake of every one of us, by ensuring that the police get 100 per cent of its appropriated budgets and also monitor the police high command in the utilisation of such funds? If the police intelligence units were working well, truckloads of policemen would not be ambushed so cheaply and all the policemen killed so easily. Has Nigeria been reduced to such a useless country by its leaders?
As I write this, the police colleges are dead (we saw a photograph of one of their hostels recently), police intelligence units are dead, police salaries very, very poor and in most cases they use weapons that are no better than dane guns against the superior and more sophisticated weapons of criminals. Many failed states are better than Nigeria today.

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