By Emma Amaize
WARRIâ€”ONE of the remorseful Niger-Delta militant leaders, John Togo, has said the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger-Delta (MEND) â€œcooked upâ€ the charge that the Federal Government gave N2 billion to its former commander,Â Ebikabowei Victor Ben, alias Boyloaf, to settle the militants he brought to Abuja to accept amnesty in orderÂ to incite repentant militants against Boyloaf.
â€œThey cooked it up, it was a total lie, itâ€™s not true at allâ€, an angry Togo told Vanguard on phone, weekend,Â pointing out that the claim by MEND that he (Togo) led others to invade Boyloafâ€™s residence at Ezetu community in Bayelsa State to cart away the weapons that he failed to handover to the Presidential Committee on Amnesty was also a fallacy.
He said some people, who he declared as â€œvultures of the amnesty programmeâ€, were not happy that Boyloaf led other militants to accept amnesty and surrendered arms, and were bent on tarnishing his good image as a courageous leader by inciting uninformed militants against him.
His words:Â â€œSome people donâ€™t want the amnesty to work, they said I went to Boyloafâ€™s camp and packed the remaining arms, which he did not surrender and they also painted the picture that I have misunderstanding with Boyloaf, I want to say that there is no truth in the allegation, their devilish plan will not work.
â€œThe truth is that the paper tigers, Jomo Gbomo, (not real names and his brother), are inciting some ignorant boys in the creeks against the amnesty programme of the Federal Government.He called me to tell me that Boyloaf was given N2 billion and that he hid the money at his Ezetu home to avoid the eagle eyes of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and challenged me to find out.
â€œYes, most of the boys were angry when they heard the story, they were incited and we went to search Boyloafâ€™s home in the village, there was nothing like that, no N2 billion was given to him and he is not hiding anything from us, he is a transparent leader, unlike those that are accusing him.â€
Togo said â€œI did not see any weapon in Boyloafâ€™s house, contrary to the accusation that we invaded his camp and carted away the guns that were hidden thereâ€.
According to him, â€œit was ignorance that made some people to protest in Bayelsa state against Boyloaf over money they claimed he did not pay them, those people were being used, and some of them have known the truth by now.
â€œHowever, the federal government has to investigate the activities of these vultures in MEND, if it wants the amnesty to succeed because they are deliberately frustrating itâ€.