BY EMMA AMAIZE
WARRI – THE creek war in the Niger Delta between the Joint Task Force, JTF, on the Niger Delta and militants, led by “General” John Togo, which had kept the nation on edge in the last one week, came to a dramatic end, yesterday, with the former militant leader accepting defeat and abandoning his camp, known as Israel Barracks in Delta State.
Togo, who is the leader of the Niger-Delta Liberation Force, NDLF, a militant group that was formed last year by former militants, who returned to the creeks after accepting amnesty from the Federal Government on the grounds of disenchantment with the manner the programme was being handled, was the last “general” standing before he surrendered, yesterday, by formally disbanding the militant group.
The former militant leader, who was rumoured to have died during a gun battle with Joint Task Force, JTF was, said to have escaped from Delta State.
He was purported to have been rushed to Ogodobiri community, where he died and was buried, but the chairman of the community told Vanguard that there was no truth in the allegation, when contacted.
NDLF spokesman in a response to an inquiry from Vanguard said, “Gen. John Togo is hale and hearty. He has left for an undisclosed fishing hamlet in a different Niger Delta coastal state, waiting for Mr. President’s statement.”
In a statement, entitled, “End of the last battle; why we surrendered and abandoned Israel Barracks,” spokesman of the group, “Captain” Mark Anthony said, “this is much like a speech of a fallen hero in battle with tears and heavy face. Today, we hereby declare that the JTF has won the final battle in the creeks.”
By virtue of the disbandment, the NDLF leadership, which said it had reached a “gentleman” agreement with the authorities on the amnesty programme, directed all its combatants in its camps, to vacate the creeks to their various towns and villages.
It asked them to await further instructions to hand over unconditionally all NDLF weapons to the Nigerian Army through the coordinator of the federal amnesty programme and Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Mr. Kingsley Kuku and his team on a later date.