From Enyinnaya Appolos

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 said that those opposed to the 2015 presidential ambition of President Goodluck Jonathan were behind his arrest.

Asari, who appeared unperturbed about his arrest outside Nigeria, said that he was arrested and interrogated in Republic of Benin over an allegation from Nigeria that he is a leader of Boko Haram.

Asari, who spoke to journalists on arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja Friday night, also described as lies, the report in Nigerian media, that President Jonathan sent a Presidential Jet to fly him into Nigeria from Republic of a 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 your read comments on social media, you find out that anybody who is 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 and manner they are going with show how immature they are.”

Speaking on the reports that he was flown into Abuja in a Presidential Jet, Asari said: “That media report shows what Nigerian press is all about. There is not truth in that report. I just arrived from Cotonu. I drove in my car from Cotonu to Lagos airport where I boarded aero contractors flight to Abuja. The report is not true. No presidential jet was sent to me.

“That report has shown that all the Nigerians press have been writing against me are instigated, and the are falsehood. Most of the things they have always written against President Goodluck Jonathan is also falsehood. The press in Nigeria is manipulated and instigated.”

“I do business in Cotonu, and I have been living in Cotonu 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.” Asari said.

Speaking on his meeting with leaders of government of Republic of Benin after his interrogation, Asari said: “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 the top government functionaries of the Republic of Benin. The criss has raised my profile in that country.

Asked whether President Jonathan intervened in his release, he said: “It is not just only President Jonathan that intervened, but Nigerians generally intervened. The number of people that came into Cotonu the day I was taken in, and the following day, were over one thousand.

“People from Rivers State, Bayelsa State, and the Igbo community in Republic of Benin, were there for me, in fact the whole of Nigeria community in Republic of Benin were involved. In the first few hours after my arrest, nobody knew where I was, our people took it upon themselves, especially the Igbo community and Rivers/Bayelsa community took it upon themselves to make sure they track me everywhere. They took lawyers to defend me. The wave of sympathy and solidarity shown by our people was far reaching and unprecedented.

“A lot of people here in Nigeria made efforts and sacrifices for me. My friends and allies who couldn’t come into Cotonu were calling to know how I was doing. I am grateful to everybody.”