The Nigerian Army has refuted claims suggesting that it collaborated with Mujahid Asari-Dokubo, a former Niger Delta militant leader, or his security outfit, in various military operations. This clarification comes in response to statements made by Dokubo during a podcast interview with Seun Okinbaloye, where he asserted that the Nigerian government had contracted his private military company to work alongside the military in several states.
In the interview, Dokubo stated, “I don’t have an army, but I have a private military company that was engaged by the Nigerian government, and I have been doing the work for the Nigerian state. Private military companies exist all over the world; we have Black Waters, we have Wagner, we have so many private military companies. So, 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.”
However, the Director of Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement to The PUNCH, clarified that the Nigerian Army has not participated in any joint operations with Asari-Dokubo’s group. He stated, “Dokubo claims he owns a private military company that was engaged by the government of Nigeria. The veracity of his claim can only be ascertained by the relevant agency, statutorily mandated to license such outfits.”
He emphasized, “However, 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 organization he represents in any of those areas he mentioned or in any theatre of operations.”