By Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze

The Action Congress, Rivers State Chapter condemns in the strongest terms the unfortunate incident of the arrest of Dokubo-Asari. The Action Congress laments the erosion of public confidence by this singular act in the wake of concerted efforts to handle the precarious security situation in the Niger Delta.

It is a sad commentary that on the 23rd of June, 2009 at the time of the arrest of Mujahid Asari-Dokubo the Leader of Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force (NDPVF) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos by security operatives on arrival from a medical visit to Germany, the Interior Affairs Minister, Major General Godwin Abbe who chairs the Presidential Amnesty Committee and the IGP, Mr. Mike Okiro in the company of committee members, were holed up in a strategic meeting in Port Harcourt with some representatives of Militant Kingpins on modalities for the disarmament and demobilisation of the militants and cessation of the bombardment of Niger Delta Communities.

As at the time of this statement, no explanation has been given for this brusque action. The rationale behind the arrest of a man who enjoys Presidential amnesty, haven denounced violence, militancy and all form of criminality in totality at this period does not augur well for the peace process. If the arrest of Dokubo-Asari is hinged on the fact that he is a member of the opposition party and for campaigning for Fayemi the Ekiti AC Gubernatorial Candidate in the disgraced and shameless election in that State then we can understand but if the security operatives decide to cook up any imaginary report against him in order to incinerate him again that will be sad and unfortunate. We decry all attempts to fabricate false charges against Asari to justify his arrest, for this will simply point to the fact that there is a calculated attempt to truncate the peace process in the Niger Delta Region and to arrest any opposition Chieftain with a dissident voice.

We therefore call for the immediate unconditional release of Asari, an act in itself that will truly speak of the Federal Government's sincerity in pursuing the peace process in the Niger Delta Region. We still find it hard to know why the Federal Government is still delaying the implementation of the Niger Delta Technical Committee report that details the way forward for the region.

Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze,
Rivers State Action Congress, Publicity Secretary