Asari dares Boko Haram, warns of Southern backlash/civil war

Advertisement

* Niger Delta militant says talks with Islamists impossible –

* Warns of a southern uprising against northern insurgency –


Southern Nigerians could take up arms to fight northern Boko Haram Islamists, and are holding back only out of respect for the president, a former militant leader from the oil-rich Niger Delta said on Monday.

Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, a Muslim who led a rebellion in the delta until a peace deal with the government in 2004, said bomb attacks by Boko Haram could provoke retaliation by mostly Christian southerners, including those living in the delta.

President Goodluck Jonathan has already declared a state of emergency in parts of the north which Boko Haram targeted in Christmas Day bomb attacks, including one against a church near Abuja that killed 37 people.

The attacks, and their spread from the north into other parts of the country, have raised the prospect of sectarian and regional violence escalating in a country about evenly divided between mainly southern Christians and mainly northern Muslims.

Asked if northerners could be targeted by some from the majority Christian south, he replied: “It is seconds away … Nigeria is on the precipice of a civil war.”

“For Niger Delta people to take up arms is just a minute away. It’s just Goodluck that is holding us back,” said Asari, who is from Jonathan’s southern, mainly Christian Ijaw tribe, but who converted to Islam.

“We have all reached the extreme. There is nothing anybody can do about it except we fight.”

Asari’s former group, the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force, managed to push oil prices to record highs in 2004 with its constant attacks and threats against oil production in the delta’s swampy creeks.

Since then, peace deals with the region’s warlords have pacified the delta, and Boko Haram in the north has become the number one threat to Nigeria’s security.

Full-bearded, shaven-headed, and wearing an ash-coloured Islamic robe, Asari paused to read some Facebook posts from his iPad about the Christmas Day bombs.

Asari said he was sceptical that the government could negotiate with moderate members of Boko Haram via “back channels” as National Security Adviser General Owoye Andrew Azazi suggested in an interview with Reuters.

Sitting in his large flat in the southeastern city of Port Harcourt, Asari said the group’s faceless nature, an issue General Azazi acknowledged, made talks impossible.

“If you cannot identify the people who are carrying out these attacks, how can you dialogue with them, interact with them, and bring them round the table?” he said.

In any case, such extreme violence meant the time for talks had passed, he said.

“You cannot ask government to negotiate now. On what basis? The government should…rein these people in, or the people will resort to self-help,” said Asari, who stressed where his loyalties lay despite being a Muslim.

“Anybody that wants to start any revolution in Goodluck’s time, we the Ijaw will pull down that revolution,” he said.

REUTERS

2 COMMENTS

  1. Mujahid Dokubo-Asar, I hope you mean what you are saying and you have “our” loyalty and support any time any day. The Boko Haram is a stool being use by the greedy Northern elements to make governance difficult for the president and must be resisted by any available means. The North had ruled Nigeria for more than 30 years of its existence, and if they cannot inhale the bare few years in the hands of southerners, they can go to hell. Nigeria is in the brink of breaking and no amount of intimidation could be used to give back power to the North any more than they could wait for their turn. If ever they take back power again under a purported one Nigeria, the Deltans must revisit this type of blackmail to a Northern president, so the best answer will be to disintegrate, and let these goats and cow headers go back to the bust where they belong. The prior Northern ex rulers have more money stacked away in foreign lands than the rest of Nigeria put together. Nigerians do not gain any thing by being ruled by the North. The poor dilapidating infrastructures in Nigeria today is the hand work of the Northern illiterate rulers over the years. Nigerians should read and digest the article most recently written by a former permanent secretary – to see how the greedy agitation of the North destroyed the entire Nigerian polity through “federal character” and the enthronement of illiterate mediocre into position of power.
    To Hell with one Nigeria – we do not belong together – – we are two distinct and different species of humans. LIGHT DOES NOT HAVE COMMONALITY WITH DARKNESS. I wish that the Southerners would sincerely vacate the entire North to see their economy crumble. They are parasites, gluttons feeding fat on the resources of the Deltans.

  2. u r a pig that was brought up by ur senseless insensible n illiterate family, its only a pig southerner like jonathan can inflict such suffering to masses thank god u r not excluded nd for godsake what are those igbos nd southerners doing in the norh?

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here