Trouble is brewing over the secret burial of late John Togo, founder of the defunct, Niger Delta Liberation Force (NDLF) at the Warri Cemetery last Thursday, after being killed in a battle with the security outfit in May 2011.
The secret burial was immediately condemned by the Ijaw People Development Initiative (IPDI) through their leader, Comrade Austin Ozobo and Ayakoromo youths led by Comrade Ebi Wayas who termed the secret burial sacrilegious and unacceptable.
In a four paragraph text to Saturday Vanguard, the group also vowed to pursue a legal means to ensuring that his remains be released to his community for proper burial.
Yesterday, NDLF former spokesman, Capt. Mark Anthony condemned the secret burial and stated that the JTF would on their own come and beg the Ijaw people to exhume the remains of John Togo for proper burial with a cost of N2billion.
He said, “A major Ijaw person’s corpse like John Togo’s cannot be buried outside Ijaw land. The public cemetery in Agbasa, where he was secretly buried is in Urhobo land. Those who have buried him secretly should ask those who buried Adaka Boro in a foreign land what happened. Didn’t the government later exhume his body for his burial in Bayelsa?
“We don’t want to confront them (JTF) but we want to warn that they cannot bury John Togo in a foreign land. We could have forcefully removed the corpse from the central hospital, but we didn’t want innocent people to be killed in the crossfire.
“Quote me anytime. JTF will come and beg us to come and exhume his body, the N2billion that was demanded for his burial will also be paid. When they killed Boko Haram members they paid heavily for their burial, so John Togo case will not be different.
“Togo was a warrior, he was killed not in a battle, the security people came and raided the place while he was sleeping. We will not fight them, we won’t do anything but they will come and beg us to exhume it.”
On his part, Comrade Ozobo, a relative of Togo, said the ex-militant leader was a freedom fighter, who fought for the emancipation of his people and also embraced amnesty initiated by the Federal Government.