'Why we had temporal ceasefire' â€“Militant John Togo
John Togo led militant group, code named, Niger Delta Liberation Force (NDLF) has said it has maintained a ceasefire in the bombing oil facilities for the past two weeks, following the intervention of the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Papa Ayo Oritsejarfor.
The Joint Military Task Force (JTF), manning the Niger Delta waters had descended on the militant group with aerial bombardment on Ayakoromor community in search of its leader, John Togo, who had embraced the federal government amnesty programme by surrendering large chunk of arms in his possession.
The militants group is demanding that the federal government convene a post-amnesty conference to address the fundamental problems of the oil and gas wealthy Niger Delta region.
A statement signed by spokesman of NDLF, Capt. Mark Anthony said, 'Our resolve to cripple the nation's economy over failure of the federal government to convene the post-amnesty conference to address the fundamental problems of Niger Delta by bombing oil facilities had a break for the past two weeks, was due to the intervention of the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Papa Ayo Oritsejarfor who appealed through a phone conversation with the leader of the NDLF General John Togo, urging him not to carry out any attack during the Christmas and New year and that CAN is sincerely negotiating with the federal government to broker peace between our organization and federal government for permanent peace in Niger Delta.
The statement adds that, 'We obeyed the words of the highly respected religious leader that is why we ordered for a temporal cease fire'.
Mark Anthony, in the statement denounced claims by the JTF that the NDLF leader, John Togo has been overpowered by the military and sympathized with victims of the Abuja and Jos bombings.
'We want to denounce the report by the army that it had caged NDLF leader General John Togo and NDLF soldiers. Nobody has caged NDLF and if the report was true what had stopped the army by acting true to their claim by arresting NDLF leader and his fighters. NDLF till now has an unlimited supply in its barracks and we denounce the top army officer report as fake and mere propaganda.
'We once again sympathize and empathize with the victims of the Abuja and Jos bomb blasts which have claimed lives of uncountable Nigerians and many others wounded. NDLF wants to urge President Goodluck Jonathan to send his murderers Joint Task Force to carry out bombing of suspected bombers villages and towns in the North who have claimed responsibility, particularly in the Jos bombing as the usual case in Niger Delta.
'If Mr. President does not carry out any attack on the hometown of the Jos bombers in the North, we will assume that Mr. President bombed Ayakoromor on the 1st December, 2010 under political colouration as the President an Ijaw man wants to curry favour and votes from his ache Northern opponents as detribalized President in 2011. That is, Ayakoromor is being used as a campaign strategy of President Goodluck Jonathan. If Ayakoromor is not used as a campaign tool, we are waiting for his action on those bombing and killing innocent people in the north.
'For the record, NDLF suspends its land operations because land operations, particularly bombing kills more than the target enemies and we as Christians have respect and sanctity of lives. But the oil facilities remain our primary target to draw federal government attention to the insensitivity to the sufferings of the people of Niger Delta'.