By Emma Amaize
CHIEF of Army Staff, Lt. General Onyeabo Ihejirika, weekend, said the Joint Task Force , JTF, on the Niger Delta will not call off its search in the creeks of Delta State for wanted former militant leader, John Togo, until he was fished out.
The army boss, who was on a fact finding tour of Delta creeks,stated this when he inspection the militant camps seized from Togo by the task force in Delta State.
He lamented the death of soldiers that were slain by the fighters of the Niger-Delta Liberation Force, NDLF, in an ambush, last month, warning that the military will not condone further lawlessness and advised criminals in the Niger Delta to embrace peace.
He said the military will always be at alert to counter any act capable of smearing the image of the country before the international community.
He said that the present government, led by President Goodluck Jonathan will appreciate rapid development of the nation, warning that any act capable of bringing down the country’s reputation would be viewed seriously.
Accompanied by the JTF, Commander, Major General Charles Omoregie and other top military brass, Gen. Ihejirika, who met with some inhabitants of the area at Ayakoromor, urged them to maintain peace at all times, assuring that the military will not attack them.
“I want to assure you that the soldiers were deployed to this area to maintain peace and not to kill. The only person we are looking for is John Togo, whose evil deeds have resulted in the death of innocent persons,” he said.
He explained that development could only come in an atmosphere of peace and promised that all the buildings destroyed during exchange of fire between John Togo and the soldiers would be rebuilt, and advised the villagers to cooperate with soldiers whenever search was being conducted.
The villagers, who corroborated the fact that only nine persons were killed during the crisis and not 50 or more were moved to tears as the army boss hugged them one after the other and they, in turn, pledged their loyalty to the Federal Government.