Dokubo-Asari was born in the year 1964 as Melford Dokubo Goodhead Jr. but is most commonly called Asari. He is a renowned political activist of the Ijaw ethnic group in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
He has been the president of the Ijaw Youth Council and later founded the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force which later became one of the most prominent armed groups that operated in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
Asari had his early education (both primary and secondary) in Port Harcourt, River State of Nigeria. He later gained admission into the University of Calabar, where he began studying law, but could not complete the studies.
He left the University environment in the 90s as a result of issues with the school authorities. He later attended the Rivers State University of Science and Technology but couldn’t also complete on account of activism.
Asari originally was born into the middle class Christian family of a judge and his housewife in Warri, Delta State but later converted to Islam and became Mujahid Dokubo-Asari.
In 1992 and 1998, Asari contested for two different political positions but could not scale through.
In the year 1998, himself and some Ijaw persons formed the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC). Being one of the founding members, Asari became the vice-president of the organization.
The newly formed organization issued what they called the Kaiama Declaration in November. In the declaration, they expressed their long-held Ijaw concerns about the loss of control of their homeland and lives to the Nigerian state and oil companies operating in their region.
They then called on oil companies to suspend operations and withdraw from Ijaw territory. They pledged “to struggle peacefully for freedom, self-determination and ecological justice,” of the Ijaw land.
They also prepared a campaign of celebration, prayer, and direct action which they termed ‘Operation Climate Change’ which took-off on December 28 of that year, which the federal government responded by cracking down on them.
In the year 2001, Asari Dokubo became the Ijaw Youth Council’s president. He led the group to pursue an agenda of Resource Control and Self Determination By Every Means Necessary.
By the year 2004, he created the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force (NDPVF), a militant group, funded by local and regional politicians with interest. The force later maintained a declaration of “all-out war” against the Nigerian state.
They threatened to attack oil wells and pipelines, and the threat caused companies operating in the area to withdraw most of their personnel from the Delta. This consequently caused a massive drop in oil production of 30,000 barrels per day and pushed up the price of petroleum worldwide.
In a bid to resolve the matter, the then President, Olusegun Obasanjo called Asari and the leader of the Niger Delta Vigilante, Ateke Tom to Abuja for peace talks. The peace talk however failed as Asari refused to endorse the legitimacy of the Olusegun Obasanjo government, and publicly supported the moves for self-determination of his native Ijaw people and independence for the Niger Delta People.
As a result of the above, Asari was arrested and charged with treason. On June 14, 2007, as part of pledge by the new president Yar’adua to bring peace to the Niger Delta Region, Asari was released on bail.
Following this and the later Amnesty arrangement to eliminate terrorist activities in the Niger Delta, the federal government awarded massive cash rewards to Asari and other activists leaders of Niger Delta.
In the year 2013, Asari Dokubo became a citizen of Benin Republic where he built several schools, colleges and a university for the school children and students in Cotonou.