In 1998, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) was formed and Asari, as a founding member, was appointed to the vice-presidency of the organization. The organization issued the Kaiama Declaration in November, expressing long-held Ijaw concerns about the loss of control of their homeland and their own lives to the Nigerian state and oil companies operating in the region. The declaration and a letter addressed to oil companies called on them to suspend operations and withdraw from Ijaw territory. The IYC pledged “to struggle peacefully for freedom, self-determination and ecological justice,” and prepared a campaign of celebration, prayer, and direct action - 'Operation Climate Change' beginning December 28. The Nigerian government responded with an immediate crackdown on the group.
Asari became the IYC's president in 2001 and led the group to pursue an agenda of "Resource Control and Self Determination By Every Means Necessary".
By 2004 Asari had retreated into the bush to create the Niger Delta People's Volunteer Force (NDPVF), which would emerge as a major catalyst for unrest in the Delta region. The NDPVF, a militant group, was funded in large part by local and regional politicians who sought great profits from the region's oil revenue. The NDPVF quickly escalted an armed conflict with a rival group, known as the Niger Delta Vigilante (NDV), who were also seeking to control the Delta's oil resources. Combat was concentrated primarily in Warri and subsequently, Nigeria's oil capital Port Harcourt, as well as areas to the city's southwest. Both groups engaged in oil 'bunkering' and other illegal forms of local resource extraction.
A change in political ideals by the NDPVF caused the group's former sponsors to withdraw their financial support, and begin funnelling funds to the rival NDV. Asari's NDPVF then made a declaration of "all-out war" against the Nigerian state.
Asari's release spurs action.(security beefed up in Niger Delta after release of Mujahid Dokubo-Asari)(Brief article)
Jun 18, 2007; The release from prison Thursday of Niger Delta rebel leader Mujahid Dokubo-Asari prompted a series of reactions in the...