We have no partnership with Asari Dokubo – Nigerian Army

THE Nigerian Army has said it is not involved in any collaboration with leader of the Niger Delta Volunteer Force (NDVF), Asari Dokubo.

According to a report, Director Army Public Relations Onyema Nwachukwu disclosed this during an interview with PUNCH newspapers while reacting to claims by Dokubo that his security outfit operates in collaboration with the Nigerian Army.

“It must be clarified that the Nigerian Army is not in any form of partnership or collaborative pact with the ex-militant or whatever private security outfit he claims to own.

“It is also expedient to place on record that contrary to his claims, the Nigerian Army has never conducted any operation jointly or side by side with Asari or the organisation he represents, in any of those areas he mentioned or in any theatre of operations,” Nwachukwu said.

In a video that went viral earlier in the week, Dokubo said he owns a private military company which has been contracted by the government to fight alongside the Nigerian Army.

“I have a private military company that is engaged by the government, and we are fighting side by side with the Nigerian military in many places. Like Niger, Plateau, Abia, Imo, and parts of Rivers State. We were in Anambra too. We are doing a good job, and we are being commended by the host communities,” he said.

Dokubo has made similar claims in the past, including taking responsibility for the relative calm being experienced along the Abuja-Kaduna road.






     

     

    In the recent past, the route was notorious for terror activities in Nigeria, as non-state actors randomly abducted or killed commuters. However, there has been a decline in reports of banditry along the road, which Dokubo claimed was achieved by his company’s efforts.

    Although the Nigerian Army had stayed silent on the issue for a while, Dokubo’s claims were later rebutted by Director Defence Information (DDI) Tukur Gusau during an interview with The ICIR.

    “All we know is that it is the Armed Forces that are in charge of the security of that road. We have Operation Whirl Stroke and Operation Deep Punch on that road. There are certain things we don’t even need to bother ourselves responding because Nigerians know better. We did not intend to waste our time responding to issues on which Nigerians know better,” Tukur told The ICIR.

    The possibility of the government’s engagement with private military companies, such as Dokubo’s, is a source of concern for many citizens, some of who have described it as dangerous.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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