by ‘Jola Sotubo
The controversial leader of the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force, Muhajid Dokubo-Asari was yesterday summoned to the headquarters of the Department of Security Services (DSS).
The former militant was arrested for making inciting comments about the upcoming 2015 presidential elections.
Dokubo was detained and interrogated for six hours for saying that there would be violence in Nigeria if President Goodluck Jonathan is not reelected.
Asari, who arrived at the headquarters of the SSS in Abuja at 10am yesterday morning, dressed in a blue and white striped short-sleeved native outfit, to honour the invitation, was released at 4pm.
Asari, who arrived the headquarters in the company of a lawyer from Festus Keyamo’s chambers, a former chairman of Asari Toru Council of Rivers State, Chief Aroloyeteim Brown, some chiefs from the Niger Delta and some members of NDPVF, was, however, allowed into the DSS compound with only his lawyer and Chief Aroloyeteim Brown.
Speaking with journalists shortly before entering the DSS compound Asari said, “I’m here to honour SSS’ invitation, I don’t know if it is arrest. I’m not afraid of arrest and have never been. Arrest is part of the dividends of the struggle. I have been arrested 73 times; today’s arrest will be making it the 74th time.
“I’m going into SSS headquarters with my prayer mat, my Qu’ran, tisbih, toilet bag, which contains my toothpaste and toothbrush. I’m also here with my drugs. I am fully prepared, if the SSS decides to arrest me, I’m ready to stay,” Asari said.
At the entrance of the SSS headquarters, fierce looking armed operatives were seen at strategic places within and outside the premises of the security agency, before Asari’s arrival.
However, the operatives dispersed as soon as Asari arrived. He exchanged pleasantries with the plain-clothes officers who were on hand to welcome him.
Recounting the experience after his release, Asari said the visit was routine and that he gave the SSS his opinion. “It was a routine question and answer on my interviews. I gave them my opinion and reasons. I told them that it is wrong for some people to be treated as if they are above the law, as if they have the right to threaten others, make inciting comments and continue to intimidate people and get away with it,” Asari said.
Asked whether he was compelled to sign an undertaking of any sort, Asari said, “I was not given any paper to sign. I only wrote my statement. They (DSS) said they don’t want the polity to be heated up, and that it is an appeal to all other people.”
On how he was treated during the interrogation, he said, “They treated me well. I am a regular visitor to SSS, it was the usual treatment.”
Asari said that his arrest would serve as an opportunity to arrest those that have made inciting comments and threats against others.
“My arrest has given us the opportunity to tell them that they should stop making inciting comments and stop threatening others, because if they do that now, they must be arrested. We will demand for their arrest. We are not afraid of arrest. We are used to suffering, they are not. They have been enjoying government money and patronage, we have not. We are used to being in the creeks, swamp and forest, they’re not. We are used to mosquito bites, they’re not.”
Asked if he was demanded to report periodically to DSS, he said, “They told me that anytime they want me, they will call.”