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We won’t surrender- Ex-militants

Emma Amaize
*Ex-militant leader, Commander Ebis blasts John Togo
WARRI- AGGRIEVED ex-militants under the aegis of the Niger-Delta Liberation Force, NDLF, led by “General” John Togo in Delta State remained   recalcitrant,Sunday,  even in the face of the superior firepower of  the Joint Task Force, JTF, on the Niger-Delta, saying they would not surrender.

Spokesman of the group, “Captain” Mark Anthony told Vanguard that the group would not surrender until the Federal Government convened a conference of aggrieved ex-militants to discuss their grievances with the post-amnesty programme.

A sharp controversy, however, emerged between John Togo’s group and ex-militant leader, Commander Ebis, who, yesterday, queried the standing of John Togo to declare an oil war, saying that he was never a militant but a criminal

Commander Ebis who surrendered his surrendered his camp to the Joint Task Force, JTF, on Niger-Delta for destruction, weekend, at Ezetu in Bayelsa state,  said it was wrong for anybody to described John Togo  as a freedom fighter, as he was not part of the Niger-Delta struggle.

According to him, “John Togo is a sea pirate, I am actually surprised that after accepting amnesty as a militant, he went back to start carrying guns again. Truly, a leopard can never change its spot, ask him what is he fighting for if he says that he is fighting for Niger-Delta, he is from Ayakuromo, does his community have oil, it doesn’t have, so what is he fighting for”.

But NDL spokesman, Captain Anthony, who insisted that the cause John Togo was championing at the moment was genuine, said,  “We are not surrendering, we are waiting for more troops, until the government calls for a dialogue to address grey areas with aggrieved ex-militants, the battle is not over, we will continue”.

He said it was wrong for the Federal Government and the JTF to address them as criminals when they had the point clear that they were not criminals, but ex-militants fighting for their rights, adding, “We want Mr. President to apologize to us for calling us criminals, those whose backs he climbed to power. He is the highest beneficiary of our armed struggle in the Niger-Delta. We are not criminals but freedom fighters”.

Meantime, the barricade on the waterways of Delta State by the JTF continued yesterday with reports that there was no free movement from Bomadi, Burutu, Okwagbe axis except from the Warri end to Gbaramatu kingdom.

But residents of Ogodobiri and other communities who fled their communities for fear of attack by the JTF following last Wednesday’s gun battle between soldiers and men NDLF fighters at Ayakuromo militant camp of John Togo, have started returning home.

The councilor representing Ogodobri in the Bomadi local government, Hon. Geofrey Dibofa commended the JTF in the Niger-Delta region for their activities in the area.

President of the Concerned People Forum of Ogodobri community, Pastor Felix Okpe also praised President Goodluck Jonathan for carefully monitoring the task force and ensuring that they did not descend on innocent communities.

Hon Dibofa said, “Presently, the situation is under control, the good people of Ogodobri do not deserve the punishment they gave us in the past just because of John Togo”.


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