Popular former Niger Delta agitator, Mujahid Asari Dokubo has claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari hates the region.
He stated that the alleged hatred was shown in the president’s treatment of the region since the inception of his administration.
According to him, Buhari had shown he was not interested in the development of the region at the outset by threatening to give the Niger Delta agitators advocating better conditions for their people the “Boko Haram treatment”.
Dokubo noted that the president’s subsequent actions showed he meant what he said.
He noted that Buhari has only constituted a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) once since 2015 and has been relying on interim boards that have been allegedly pillaging the intervention agency.
The ex-militant further claimed that the North East Development Commission (NEDC) was created to spite the Niger Delta, noting that the North East did not “produce anything” to deserve an intervention agency like the Niger Delta.
Dokubo disclosed this in an interview published by Sunday Sun.
He explained that the NDDC was created to fail, though previous presidents did a better job managing the Niger Delta situation.
Going back memory lane, Dokubo said, “The NDDC was created to fail from its inception. I was in the fore-front for the demand for a fair share of the resources of the Niger Delta by their own people. We held series of meetings before the NDDC came to light, we held series of meetings with Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, the first meeting was on the 12th of June 1999 where all the Service Chiefs and ministers from the Niger Delta were there and we discussed about setting up a special commission for the development of the Niger Delta to replace OMPADEC.
“Obasanjo went to Abuja and changed the idea of NDDC back to what OMPADEC was, so they would have just left the name as OMPADEC – Oil Producing Area Development Commission – instead of changing it to NDDC, Niger Delta Development Commission. They included states which ordinarily were not Niger Delta states, these states are as follows: Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Imo, Abia , Edo and Ondo by the definition of Niger Delta, those are not Delta states. The Niger Delta states are just Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers.
“Now, because the issue of neglect of the Niger Delta has been a re-occurring decimal in the political history of Nigeria, before Nigerian independence, the people of the Niger Delta led by the chiefs and people of the region, went to London in 1923, to present the case of the people of the area.
“After that, the Niger Delta congress was set up to fight for the right of the Niger Delta people, at that time oil was not an issue, it was not in the picture, so oil was something that came later, it was supposed to be a blessing, it was supposed to ease our burden, but it did not, oil now contributed to our burden and our suffering.
“So, the Niger Delta congress came into being and insisted that before Nigeria should be considered for independence, first the issue of the Niger Delta should be addressed, the authorities in London decided to set up the Willink Commission to look into the fears of the minorities of the Niger Delta area.
“They now set up the Niger Delta Development Authority. After the military coup and Nigeria moved from a federation to unitary state, when the Northerners took power, they totally destroyed the Niger Delta Development Authority and changed it to River Basin and created River Basin for gutter, for drainages in the North; this one River Basin, that one River Basin and destroyed the essence for which the Niger Delta Development Authority was set up.
“The agitation continued with the Ogonis and the Ijaws always. They set-up OMPADEC. First, with 1.5 derivation under Shagari. Okilo, Ambrose Ali and Clement Isong were in the forefront for the demand that a special fund accruing from oil be moved to OMPADEC for the people of oil producing areas. So, in 1998, after the Ogoni struggle and the killing of Ken Saro Wiwa, the Ijaw struggle started, through the formation of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) which led to the Kiama Declaration and the Ijaw Youth Council agitation started leading to a mild arms struggle.”
He explained that the agitation resulted in clashes between the military and militant groups such as the Egbesu Boys of Africa, Niger Delta Freedom Fighters, Enough is Enough among others.
“This agitation, after the election of General Olusengun Obasanjo led to the setting up of NDDC. So, since the NDDC came into being from the beginning they programmed the NDDC to fail.
“NDDC became a mini-Nigeria, there were representatives from all the zones of Nigeria, from Northeast, North-central, Northwest, they are not producing oil, but they are all in NDDC.
“That was how they set up NDDC with representatives from everywhere to come and partake in the jollification in NDDC so that they will eat. So, from the beginning NDDC was programmed to fail, it was not programmed to succeed. However, Obasanjo was better in managing NDDC, under his regime, the NDDC made some significant surface scratching in the Niger Delta, under Yar’Adua, he tried to do something, he too tried, so the significant surface scratching continued till under Goodluck.
“But immediately Buhari came, he started his programme to destroy NDDC, Buhari has a hatred, a deep seated hatred, the most evil hatred for Niger Delta, no president of Nigeria ever hated Niger Delta like Buhari.
“Buhari hates Niger Delta with a passion and that was why when he became president, he went to Addis Ababa. When he went to Addis Ababa he said he was going to give us Niger Delta people the Boko Haram treatment, he said it openly in Addis Ababa, that he will give us the Niger Delta people the Boko Haram treatment and when he came back the Niger Delta Avenger started and he could not give us that treatment because we were stronger than that.”