(Paul Osuyi, ASABA)
Children in Delta State yesterday appealed to members of the emergent militant group, Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) to stop attacks on oil facilities and consider the plight of the vulnerable group in the event of a full blown war in the Niger Delta region.
Avengers which have been claiming responsibilities for series of attacks in the region, had in their previous statements vowed not to spill human blood in the sabotage of oil installations.
But the children are apprehensive that there might be a full scale war in the face of provocation following the invasion of the region by military in search of the elusive militants.
At a forum in Asaba organised to mark this year’s Day of African Child with the theme ‘Conflict and Crisis in Africa: Protecting All Children’s Right’ participants drawn from various schools reviewed the impacts of war on the civilian populace particularly on children in some African countries.
They said the impact of war can better be imagined than experienced as children are forced to live as refugees.
“We beg the Niger Delta Avengers to think about the plight of children in conflict situations. We need to see laughter of children but how can be a reality when they are forced to live in refugee camps. We need government to our rights and guarantee our welfare,” they stated.
The children therefore appealed to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to prevail on President Mohammadu Buhari to find lasting solutions to the lingering crisis in the region and avoid the war episodes in countries such as Burundi, Somalia, Congo, Sudan among others.
Meanwhile, Governor Okowa has sought the face of God in the presence crisis of the Niger Delta region, expressed confidence in the ability of God to end the situation.
Okowa spoke in Warri at a special prayer session for God’s intervention in the Niger Delta crisis organised by South-South branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in conjunction with the state chapter of the Christian body.
The governor who was represented by his Special Assistant on Special Duties, Tiereri Avwomakpa said “there is nothing that is impossible before God and through His Holy book, the bible, He made us know that what we ask f Him, He will grant us.
“I thank CAN for its concern for the situation of things in our country, we need to pray because our God does not not sleep, our God hears prayers and we know that with prayers, He can change positively beyond our imagination the current situation of things in the region and our country.
“Christians are known for their peaceful disposition to issues, it is good that we apply peaceful means in whatever we do to enable us achieve success, we should always give room for dialogue and avoid destruction of things that keep us as one. I believe in the efficacy of prayers, when we call on our God, He will answer us.”
Earlier, Rev. Dr. Venture Omoh, a guest speaker observed that Nigeria was passing through difficult times and urged Christians to pray ceaselessly for God to avert the looming crisis.
Chairman of CAN, South-South, God-Dowell Avwomakpa stated that the prayer session will continue and will feature fasting and prayers as they seek the face of God for peace to reign not only in the Niger Delta region but in the country.
“What we want God to do for us is to establish the peace no man can give in the region and the entire country, we want to see ourselves as Nigerians living in peace and harmony with love for one another,” Avwomakpa said.