17th May, 2011
The Joint Task Force has said that hunting down the notorious militant leader, John Togo, operating within the fringes of Delta State is a task that must be accomplished with less collateral damage.
The Spokesman of JTF, Lt. Colonel Timothy Antiga, who spoke on phone to P.M.NEWS this morning, said â€œin continuation of the on-going operation to stamp out the threat of militancy in the Niger Delta region, the JTF is continuing with its efforts to isolate renegade militant leader, John Togo and his gang.â€
As part of the strategy, he said the Task Force, â€œ has been holding consultations with 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 threat to the stability of the nation.â€
Lt. Col. Antiga disclosed that in a clear sign that the militant leader was not ready to surrender or disarm, the â€œ 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.â€
Furthermore, the JTF denied that its operation is not at Ayakoromo, along River Forcados, Delta State as earlier portrayed in some media.
â€œThe ongoing 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,â€ he said.
He explained that the recent operation was as result of the unprovoked attack on a JTF patrol on 10 May 2011, which preceded this on-going operation, when some personnel sustained various degrees of injury and have been evacuated for adequate medical attentionâ€.
He assured that the Task Force will not relent in ensuring that nobody poses a threat to national security and endanger the lives of innocent people living and doing business anywhere in the region.
â€”Okafor Ofiebor/ Port Harcourt