Caution Asari Dokubo, Group Tells Jonathan

A pro-democracy group, the National Democratic Forum, NDF, has asked the presidency to callAsari Dokubo, a former Niger Delta militant, to order over his reckless comments.

In an interview granted to Channelstv on Sunday, Dokubo threatened that there would be bloodshed if President Goodluck Jonathan is not returned in 2015, with or without an election.

“2015 is already a settled matter; Goodluck Jonathan will be president in 2015. Whether they contest or they don’t contest, Goodluck Jonathan will be president,” he said.

National Coordinator of the NDF, Jonathan Vatsa said in a statement on Tuesday that Dokubo’sutterances  were capable of hurting the country’s fragile democracy.

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“Asari-Dokubo’s outburst on Channels Television on Sunday is already threatening Peoples Democratic Party, PDP peace talks as former military president, Ibrahim Babangida may pull out of the mediation complaining that the ex-militant “reckless” comment is capable of messing up efforts of the 7-man panel of eminent leaders headed by ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo,” the statement said.

The group also expressed worry at the “nonchalant attitude” of the presidency towards the threats.

“It is sad that the presidency and indeed President Goodluck Jonathan has not seen anything wrong in Asari-Dokubo’s reckless statement and call him to order. It is not proper for the government to keep sealed lips on a comment that is capable of throwing spanner on our fragile democracy,”Vatsa said.

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He noted that in democracy, leaders do not emerge through threats but through a non-violent electoral process of voting, adding that democracy in Nigeria cannot be different from what obtains globally.

The group also reminded Dokubo that the Niger Delta region did not experience development during its militancy days and that violence has never really solved any problem.

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“We have shed the blood of too many innocent people for senseless cause. The nation can no longer accept any threat or pronouncement that tends to suggest shed of blood,” the group added.

It therefore called on the president to not only call Dokubo to order but also outlaw such reckless comments that are capable of endangering the nation’s democracy.

By Nma Shekwolo

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