Note: John Togo, former head of the NDLF, was killed in recent clashes with the JTF. The group claims to have regrouped and continues to make press statesments through its spokesman Mark Anthony. It also requested amnesty, a request that was denied.
22 June 2011
By Capt. Mark Anthony Press statement Newsdiaryonline
A press statement e mailed to newsdiaryonline by spokesman of NDLF affirming the group's resolve not to resort to bombing of oil installations now is published below unedited:
There is growing fear on renewed insurgency in the Niger Delta over federal government position of not including NDLF dreaded fighters and others into the presidential amnesty deal. The leadership of the Niger Delta Liberation force (NDLF) hereby wants to assure the multinationals and the general public that the current position of government will not lead NDLF fighters to back out of our current non-violent position by going back to bomb oil installations in Niger Delta and create tension in the region.
We surrendered for JTF and abandoned our
barrack not because we are tired of fighting or are gone out of resources to fight. Our position was basically humanitarian and secondly the factor of President Goodluck Jonathan emergence as president who we have confidence and faith, will help to address injustice, underdevelopment and poverty which are fore burner (sic)issues of our agitation. Israel
We will still insist and urge government to have a rethink of her position, especially with the high caliber of weapons left in our hands at this trying moment. NDLF has stunning military hard wares in our armoury.The JTF field soldiers who have had a romance with NDLF soldiers in battle know the security implication of any faulty decision by federal Government of leaving these dangerous weapons in the hands of local fighters who are willing to hand over to government voluntarily as part of peace process. The issues in Niger Delta are age- long and are dimensional which have created and infected the psyche of numerous youths in Niger Delta. In most cases, violence which was left for us by our martyr Major Isaac Boro is glaringly seen optional.
Therefore, managers of peace building in the nation should not expect total and overnight peace by miracle in Niger Delta, except there is confidence and visible symbol to measure in the system by the agitators over the cause they fought for to willingly revert. It is indeed, psychological. Peace and piece are contrary. While the later is costly and the former is cheaper. Though, both are processes and they must be handled technically by conflict/crisis managers in anywhere in the world without a group feeling of losing one’s honour for the interest of peace in the society. It takes the grace of God for NDLF to reach at this stage through the effort of the chairman of the amnesty council, Hon. Kingsley Kuku and other notable Nigerians, particularly CAN’s President Pastor, Ayo Oritsejarfor. We advise, security Chiefs in the nation should give free hands to Hon. Kingsley Kuku to operate on issues bordering on security and Niger Delta. Nobody should interfere in his job, if the nation wants the best in him as Presidential adviser on Niger Delta. We know him and he knows us across the nooks and crannies in Niger Delta.
On Northern bombing, we urge Boko Haram sects to a restraint and have respect and sanctity for life by sparing innocent lives in the country while agitating for what they feel is legitimate. NDLF does not kill innocent persons. It is against the principles of our NDLF struggle and yet federal troops were deployed to confront us. We must understand the fact, NDLF has one of the best high capacity bombs improvised locally detonated through remote control that may pass US bomb lab test. But we have respect for lives; so we did not use them on human environment, hence we cancelled our land operations for the protection of human lives.
We urge all Niger Delta agitators who are affected by this federal government decision to end amnesty programme to be calm, and embrace the government of President Goodluck Jonathan, as government of “our own government” and expect the best from him by working with them government for the total development and transformation of the neglected region over 50 years, which resources from the region are used to develop other regions, leaving us in wreck and poverty.
Although, we are aware that Presidency is not the solution to the problems of Niger Delta, but it is a means to an end of the problems of underdevelopment, marginalization and neglect, which we should not lose faith as a divine solution, especially to end further bloodshed in Niger Delta, if it is maximized to our benefit and benefit of every Nigerian.
Capt. Mark Anthony, Spokesman NDLF