Mujahid Asari-Dokubo, an ex-militant and leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Salvation Force (NDPSF), has disclosed that Biafra “belongs to Ijaw” and not to the detained leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
Dokubo stated that an Ijaw man, Frank Opigo, coined the name Biafra which was adopted by the Eastern region and later used in 1967 when the Republic of Biafra was declared. He stated that no one can write away the fact that the geographical area known today as Biafra belonged to the Ijaws, Ibibios and Orons and not the Igbos as claimed.
Speaking in an interview on Arise TV, He said: “Ijaw is Biafra. We’re the owners of the territorial area of Biafra with the Ibibios and Oron. In 1967, Eastern Ijaws were part of the Eastern Region and the Eastern consultative assembly was convoked in Enugu and Francis Opigo, an Ijaw man, suggested the name Biafra be adopted and it was adopted. Biafra has nothing to do with Igbo. Nobody can dismiss the geographical fact that the area known as Biafra is Ijaw. And on May 30, the Republic of Biafra was declared which included the eastern region within our territory, so Biafra has nothing with Igbo,” he said.
Dokubo said he was so sure of the historical claim and challenged anyone with facts to dispute him.
He said the late Ijaw revolutionary, Isaac Jasper Adaka Boro, mentioned it in his book, the 12-day Revolution, that he was Biafra long before the Republic of Biafra was created.
Explaining why him and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu don’t get along, Dokubo said Kanu is empty in his head and wants an Igbo Biafra, thereby taking the name of the Ijaws and other minorities which does not belong to the Igbos.
“Instead of calling for all-inclusive Biafra, Kanu wants an Igbo Biafra, so he will say Chukwuokike Abiama is the God of Igboland, is the god of Biafra. Who is Chukwuokie Abiama? I do know him. It is not an Ijaw word.
“He comes around and says Biafra is a Jewish State. I’m not a Jew. I will never be a Jew. My ancestors are superior to Jews. The Jews tell a story that they were chosen. No, my ancestors were chosen. It is only a tyrannical god that will choose one person above others. We did not lobby God to create us. Anyone who believes that God has a chosen people is satanic and that God is a forerunner to Hitler.
“So, I am an Ijaw man, a Kalabari Ijaw man. Kanu said Islam will not be in his Biafra and I said No, which one is your Biafra? The Biafra that I know is Ijaw.
“I have no business with Kanu’s Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB as long as it does not concern Biafra. When you call Biafra, I’m included in Biafra and I will stand up as a Biafran that does not include me. I am a Muslim, I am not a Jew.
Asari noted that there is a distinction between IPOB and Biafra.
He said: “I don’t know if IPOB is Igbo, even though I have Igbo blood flowing in my vein, I am not an Igbo man today”.
“My great ancestor, Nagbogbo Ari was originally an Igbo man from Ogbom in Abam. His parents moved to Obosi in present-day Anambra State. From there, he came to Kalabari. King Amachree acquired him from the Aro people who came with him to Elem Kalabari and he became a Kalabari man. He died in the 1820s as the richest and one of the wealthiest men of his time”