The Alabo Edi Abali of the Kingdom of Kalabari, Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari spoke to a team of reporters about the forthcoming election in Nigeria, how his people are getting ready for any attack on their son President Goodluck Jonathan, and other national issues. Excerpt:
Introduce yourself sir.
I am Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, Alabo Edi Abali of the Kingdom of Kalabari.
Can one say that the present government has done enough to demand a second term in office?
I think this government has done more than all the government combined. I want the fact to speak for itself. A couple of months ago, I bought a ticket and traveled from Lagos to Ibadan in an air-conditioned coach.
I was there when Gen. Gowon was the head of states (I was a boy). I was there when Gen. Murtala was the head of state. I was there when Shehu Shagari was the president; I was there when IBB was the president. I was there when Shonekan was the head of government. I was there when Abacha was head of state. I was there when Abdulsallam was the head of state. I was there when Obasanjo and Jonathan was the president. I was in all these.
We can all see that the railway died, the seaport died and all the infrastructure went into comatose.
Jonathan started from the seaport, airport and the road network. My children today left Oboama in Degema Local Government on road to Cotonou and before 3pm they were in Lagos. We traveled this road from Harcourt to Okitipupa and it took us almost 4hrs.
Governance is to create infrastructure for the economic activities to run unimpeded. Government does not put food on the table of people. What the government is doing is to provide economic infrastructure for the economy to take off.
What is your assessment of the opposition?
Opposition is good to point out the areas the government is failing. It is not limited to Nigeria. They point the lapses of government and engage the government in competition. When the opposition becomes mischievous, when opposition spreads falsehood, then it is no longer opposition but destructive.
In most of the things, we discover what the opposition does is to whip up religious and other sentiments, tell outright lies. For instance, the evil party called APC (was a member of CAN before I left)-this opposition is not credible.
How does your man Jonathan intend to tackle the problem of insecurity in the North-East?
Jonathan is not my man. He is the president of federal republic of Nigeria. What connects us is that he is an Ijaw man.
There are security challenges in several countries of Africa. We have in Kenya, they are experiencing insurgency. These religious insurgencies are operating in Kenya, Nigeria… You found out that the case of Nigeria is very different. The opposition takes delight in supporting the insurgents in their statements and in their actions. The opposition is happy when the ordinary people are attacked. There is no congregation of all minds in opposing the insurgency. I think it is very dangerous. If you investigate very well, it is clear that APC cannot claim, claim that they are not part and parcel of the insurgency in the North-Eastern Nigeria.
Let me give you an instance, Yobe State government which is under APC conducted election, we did not hear one cracker, one banger did not sound. They returned all counselor and chairmen to the APC. If they can conduct such a gigantic election, why don’t they sell the same idea to the federal government? Yobe State cannot organize their people to write WAEC examination but they could organize election in every polling booth in the state when some of them are actually in the hands of the insurgents. It shows that somebody is working with the insurgents to commit violent crimes.
Are the militants going to retaliate if President Jonathan is removed from the office by Boko Haram?
I am not talking for the militants. What they will do is based on to them. I think nobody has monopoly of violence. And I don’t think that Boko Haram or whatever they call themselves can, but if there is any attempt to that direction; when the happen comes to become, the happen will certainly happen(a slang).
Is it true that your people are stockpiling arms?
Why will we not stockpile arms? So we should just fold our arms and wait for other people to come and kill us? Have we not seen in the internet where they are saying South-South, Niger Delta, Jonathan, Jonathan we are coming for you. So we should wait. We will buy guns, we will buy bombs, and we will buy everything and wait. As they are planning we are planning. Like I said, when the happen comes to become, the happen will certainly happen (a slang).
They said you boasted you will overrun Yoruba land if President Jonathan fails to win?
Why will I overrun Yoruba land? Do they have any problem with me? The only problem I have with the Gambaris is that they said they were born to rule. Yoruba man has never said he was born to rule. I know that Jonathan will win the election in Yoruba land. So why will I antagonize those who are supporting Jonathan. I know that all credible Yoruba people are supporting Jonathan. There is no way, no way I will ever say that. I am married to Oyo Princess. So why will I say that. We can engage in words – Yoruba people are cowards, they chicken out, they do this, they do that.
These are all those propaganda they bring. The lies they spread. They said that I said Buhari is an illiterate kunu drinker. He is worse than kunu drinker. But I never said that. Buhari is actually the king of thieves – Ali Baba. He sent his thieves to go and ravage our common wealth.
How did Buhari win in Lagos at APC presidential primary? One of the contestants, Sam Nda-Isaiah said that one South-South governor brought money and changed the tide against Atiku. So they stole money and came to give you and you claim to be a saint. Buhari can even sell his soul to win an election. So he is worse than an illiterate kunu drinker, I am calling him Ali Baba the king of thieves.