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I didn’t blow up Shell pipeline, say Ex-militant leader, John Togo

By Emma Amaize
WARRI—EX-MILITANT leader, John Togo, has said there was no truth in the allegation that militants blew up a pipeline belonging to Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in Bayelsa State, a claim the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger-Delta (MEND) also debunked yesterday.

Togo told Vanguard that he was committed to the post-amnesty programme of the federal government and was waiting for President Umaru Yar’Adua to recover from his illness and return to the country to unveil his package for ex-militants.

He said he was shocked at the rumour that he was the person behind the pipeline explosion, pointing out that there was no pipeline explosion in the first instance.

A source told Vanguard that some oil thieves unfastened a pipeline somewhere at Obotobo area of Bayels State to siphon fuel and could not lock it back after their operation, only for officials of an oil company to raise alarm that militants had bombed their pipeline.

“It’s not true, the information should be verified. We trust you (Vanguard) to find out the truth and tell the whole nation,” the source said.

It was learnt that security agents acting on information called John Togo on phone yesterday to interrogate him on the explosion and he clarified that there was no attack to the best of his knowledge.

On his discussion with the JTF, Togo said “yes, one Lieutenant Yaya called me on phone saying that they heard that I and Henry Okah want to blow up more pipelines, that we are even planning to attack Forcados Terminal this night (yesterday night). I told him it’s not true, they should count me out.

“People who want to make money with such rumours should take my name and Henry Okah’s out of it. I did not rupture any pipeline, security agents should carry out their own investigation and find out the truth.”

A text message, which was sent to Vanguard and security agencies yesterday, linking a MEND leader and John Togo to the explosion, was debunked by Togo.


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