Who is Asari Dokubo?
Asari Dokubo can be described as an activist by the people of the Niger-delta region but as a terrorist by the Nigerian government. He disrupted the production of the oil in Nigeria as he fought for the reclamation of the mineral resource for the Niger Delta region.
The Christian-turned-Muslim is a major political figure from the Ijaw ethnic group in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. He joined in the creation of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) in 2001 and founded the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force. In this article, I will be sharing with you ten real facts about Niger-delta activist Asari Dokubu that you probably didn’t know. We will look at Asari Dokubo’s biography, his age, wife, activist activities, and his net worth.
- Asari Dokubu’s birth name is Dokubo Melford Goodhead Junior. He was born into a humble Christian family in Buguma, Rivers State, on June 1, 1964. He has four siblings his father was a court judge and his mum was a housewive. He attended primary and secondary school in the Rivers State capital of Port Harcourt before studying law at the University of Calabar in Cross River State. He dropped out of UNICAL due to issues with the school’s administration.
- He is married to Boma Dokubo and has four children – Amirah, Hassan, Hussain, Osama. His first wife, Alhaja Zainab Asari Dokubo died in 2016 in a motor accident on her way to Ibadan. As of 2020, Asari is 56 years old.
- After leaving the University of Calabar, he continued his law studies at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology and also dropped out following the same reason.
- He changed his religious background when converted to Islam between 1988-1990, because according to him, he found Islam to be a religion that helps him in his fight.
Islam accepts my role as somebody who should correct the ills of society and the fight against oppression even with my life.
He changed his name to Mujahid Dokubo-Asari to authenticate the conversion.
In 1990, he traveled to Libya, where he claimed to have undergone military and political training. In 1992, Asari ran an unfortunate election campaign for a seat in the Rivers State House of Assembly. He also failed to become the chairman of the Asari-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, In 1998.
In 1998, Asari was actively involved in founding the IYC (Ijaw Youth Council), a coalition of Ijaw youth groups to curb violence in the delta. He became the group’s first vice president.
He was made the president of the Ijaw Youth Council in 2001 after which he founded the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force, an armed group operating in the Niger Delta region. He named the NDPVF after the 1960s-era Ijaw revolutionary Isaac Boro’s Niger Delta Volunteer Force. He describes Boro as his role model.
Asari funded the NDPVF’s activities by siphoning oil and gas from pipelines in the delta oil regions. The attacks on the oil wells and pipelines by the NDPVF prompted companies operating in the Niger delta area to withdraw most of their personnel from the Delta, resulting in an extensive drop in oil production and pushing up the price of petroleum worldwide significantly. He justified the theft because the mineral resources belong to the people of the delta region and not the federal government.
In his exact words,
The people who own the oil have a right to take the oil which has been stolen from them by a small clique in Abuja for the advancement and betterment of that clique that siphons this money to foreign bank accounts in Europe and the United States and the Caribbean. The oil belongs to us. We’re not stealing it. It is the Nigerian state stealing our oil from us.
Asari Dokubo’s net worth is not recorded as most of his known income was revenue from Yar’adua amnesty incentives and illegal oil bunkering he was involved in.
In 2013, Dokubo migrated to the Benin Republic after acquiring citizenship status there. He transferred all his assets from Nigeria to the Benin Republic. He established schools, colleges, and even a university in his new country.
On September 20, 2005, he was arrested by the Nigerian government and charged with treason. He was held behind bars and in chains at the federal security services headquarters in Abuja. He was arrested for supporting the segregation of the Niger Delta region from Nigeria.
Asari threatened to kill Federal High Court Judge Peter Olayiwola during his court hearing in 2007.
He was released On June 14, 2007, due to his deteriorating health, hypertension, and diabetes, and part of former President Umaru Yar’Adua’s pledge to bring peace to the Niger Delta region. Asari received an annual cash payment of USD$10 million a year from the Nigerian government as part of the move to protect the Rivers State pipelines and creeks from attacks.