By Emma Amaize
WARRI- FIVE days after its gun battle with militants in the creek of Delta State, the Joint Task Force, JTF, on the Niger-Delta, Sunday, confirmed that some of its personnel sustained various degrees of injuries in the skirmish with combatants of the Niger-Delta Liberation Force, NDLF, led by ex-militant leader, John Togo.
Spokesman of the task force, Lt. Col T.A Antigha in an email statement giving reasons why the task would not backtrack in the current military operation for Togo said the injured personnel had been evacuated for medical treatment”.
In his words, “Finally, I wish to add that following the unprovoked attack on a JTF patrol on 10th May 2011, which preceded this on-going operation, some personnel sustained various degrees of injuries and have been evacuated for adequate medical attention”.
His statement reads in part, “Further to previous updates on the on-going operation to stamp out the threat of militancy in the Niger Delta region, I am pleased to provide the following updates: The JTF is continuing with its efforts to isolate renegade militant leader; John Togo and his gang”.
“In this regard, the JTF has been holding consultations with community leaders of riverine communities where John Togo has been hiding. The essence of this effort is to carry the leaders along and intimate them of the risk in providing safe haven for people who constitute clear and present threat to the stability of the nation”, he added.
Antigha stated, “I would also like to disclose that the JTF has so far discovered some recently constructed camps, built by John Togo within Obubu Creek and environs. The import of this discovery is that Togo is not considering giving up on militancy and criminal activities”.
“Furthermore, the JTF would also want to clarity that the on-going operation is not in Ayakoromo as mischievously portrayed in some media. The on- going operation is around Tambou Creek.
“Therefore, the imputation that the JTF is destroying houses and killing people in Ayakoromo is not only callous and irresponsible; it is also false and misleading and therefore should be disregarded”, he asserted.