Niger Delta Stakeholders and Officers and men of Nigerian Army 19 Battalion, Koko, Delta state, has tasked youths in the Niger Delta to drop their guns and embrace pen militancy noting that government need peace to develop the region.
The Commanding Officer, Nigerian Army 19 Battalion, Lt. Col. M.A Maaji¸ speaking during a medical outreach organized by the Battalion, at Koko, Warri North Local Government area, Thursday, as parts of activities to mark this year Nigerian Army Day Celebration (NADCEL), charged youths to embrace education.
At the medical outreach over 500 free mosquito insecticide treated nets were given out to members of the communities who came for free medical checkup where they were screened for hypertension, blood sugar and drugs were also given.
The command also gave out over 2,000 notebooks and over 1,000 writing pens to pupils from three public schools and other schools in the Warri North axis, to re-echo their sub-them; “Gun Militancy, to Pen Militancy.”
Lt. Col. Maaji stated that Army Day Celebration is a day, sit aside to remember and celebrate our past heroes and soldiers who fought to keep us as one by paying the supreme scarifies.
According to him, “we felt it right to give back to our host communities for their support so far in ensuring peace in our area of operation.
“We also felt that there is need for our children to have better education and that is why we came together to contribute the little we had to buy books and pen for our pupils. Children are the leaders of tomorrow, so we must nurture them from the cradle for them to become better citizens.”
On the free medical outreach Col. Maaji said, “Health is vital to us. We discovered that a lot of us are ignorant of our health status. That is why we came up with this program to help people facing health challenges. It is our wish that people live healthy and that is why we came up with this initiative.”
The Commanding Officer assured the host community that the Army is ready to work with them. “I wish to thank everyone that has contributed to our success story so far. We are here for you and we are ready to work with the Communities and the Press in other to safe guard lives and properties “.
Maaji thanked everyone for honoring his invitation to the annual Nigerian Army Day Celebration 2017. He emphasized that he was overwhelmed by the mass turn out of people despite their busy schedule.
The National president, Niger Delta students Warri North Local Government Delta state, Comrade Martins Abebe also called on the youths in the Niger Delta to embrace the pen rather than the gun.
In his remark, Comrade Martins Abebe said, “I feel elated and privileged to witness such a tremendous thing happening in our local community. We are grateful to the Army for embracing us and showing us such kind gesture.
“The Niger Delta has been a region of turbulence for a while, but today I make bold to say we are in peace. Gone are the days of militants with guns in our communities, we are now militants with pen because we have embraced education.
“A pen they say is mightier than the sword. So we are here to embrace the pen. It is imperative for our children to be educated because it is part of their fundamental human right. Youths must shun violence and embrace peace because without peace, there can be no prosperity “.
He went further to thank the Commanding Officer Nigerian Army 19 Battalion Lt. Col. M.A Maaji for deeming it fit to come up with the idea of developing education in the rural areas.
He pledged the undying support of the Niger Delta students association with the Nigerian Army 19 Battalion in making sure that peace and tranquility prevail in the region.
“We the Niger Deltan Students pledge our unwavering support to the Army. We are ready to work with them and foster peace in our region because we are peaceful people. I urge all youths in the Niger Delta to embrace the pen today and make our communities a safe haven for development “.
Others who called on the youths to embrace peace includes; the local government Chairman, Chief Francis Maku, Chairman, council of Elders Koko, Chief V. Nanna and Bishop Dr. Godday Iboyi, Founder, Promise Kingdom Ministry aka Overflow Chapel.