3rd December, 2010
Residents of Ayakoromo village in Delta State, South South Nigeria are still fleeing the town following raids by men of the Joint Military Task Force, JTF, searching for General John Togo, wanted militant leader accused of the recent attacks on oil installations in the Niger Delta and kidnapping of Nigerians and expatriates. The community was razed down on Wednesday ngiht in a raid that lasted till dawn.
The JTF men were said to be pursuing the most wanted Niger Delta militant, â€˜Generalâ€™ John Togo, who hails from Ayakoromo.
FollowingÂ the invasion, over 50 houses were razed down, including the premises of the Delta State High Court and other makeshift structures.
The number of the casualties cannot yet be ascertained. But those killed were said to be many while over 60 others were injured.
Major General Charles Omoregie of the JTF confirmed the invasion. He claimed that JTF had overrun â€˜Generalâ€™ Togoâ€™s camp in the community.
Meanwhile, streets of Ayakoromo were deserted this morning. It has since the invasion remained a ghost town. Men and women who escaped the raids have continued to flee in droves.
A spokesman of the JTF, Col. A Antiga on Wednesday vowed that his men will apprehend John Togo at all costs in order to eliminate the criminal gang from the Niger Delta area.
As a result of the bombardment, several properties worth millions of naira were destroyed. These include building materials, shops and stationeries.
The people of the community are criticizing the JTF bombardment, describing it as unfair to raze down a village while pursuing one man.
â€”Yomi Obaditan/Â Â Â Benin City