By Ifeanyi Olannye
Asaba – Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Friday charged Christians to pray to God to take away the ravaging Coronavirus (COVID -19) pandemic and revive the state and nation’s economies.
The governor gave the charge at an interdenominational Thanksgiving Service to mark the first anniversary of his second term in office, at the Government House Chapel, Asaba.
He said that the COVID-19 had posed a major challenge to economies of the world, hence, the need to pray fervently to God for a solution to the scourge.
Okowa said that the global lockdown occasioned by the pandemic had led to slump in price of crude oil, which had remained Nigeria’s major source of revenue.
The governor, however, said that with God, there would be victory over the pandemic, urging the people to put their trust in Him.
He said that the thanksgiving was necessary because God made it possible for him and his deputy to emerge victorious in the last election.
“We thank God for making it possible for us to gather here today.
“If not for the season that we find ourselves, I am sure that by now we would have been at the Event Centre with many gospel artistes coming to perform for us, while we dance to glorify the name of God.
“I thank the Chaplain and his assistant for being able to arrange the Chapel in such a manner that we are able to obey the rules of the state, regarding COVID-19 protocols.
“It is unfortunate that all of us cannot worship the way we desire, but for those of us who are able to gather together and are able to call on the name of the Lord, He will answer us.
“For those who are at home praying and giving God glory for this day, as we celebrate our first year in the second term and the fifth year in office, we give God glory for their lives,” he said.
Quoting some verses in the Bible, the governor said: “It is necessary that we continue to praise the name of the Lord our God, because when He fights for us, we shall hold our peace.
“In the last five years, the Lord has continued to fight for us, and I am a witness to all the things He has done, even for the challenge that we have at the moment, we will continue to trust in His name”.
Okowa acknowledged that God alone, would approve and provide solution to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Everybody is rushing to find the vaccine, but it is only when God permits, that the vaccine will come, because He is the one that gives us power to have knowledge to solve life’s challenges.
“The Lord has led us thus far these five years and we must recognise that it is the Lord that made it possible and I want to urge us to continue to call on the name of God, because He is ever faithful,” he said.
Okowa said that Nigeria’s economy was negatively impacted by the effect of the COVID-19 because of its dependence on oil revenue.
“We produce oil now and there is nobody to buy, and the prices have crashed because the world is sitting at home.
“The engines have stopped running and even vehicles have stopped moving. So, obviously it is a big challenge globally,” he said.
The governor said his administration had some targets which had been negatively impacted by the pandemic.
He, however, expressed confidence that even in the face of the current economic challenge, the Lord would turn things around and the things lined up to be done by the administration would be accomplished.
Okowa thanked God for a peaceful and united Delta under his watch in the last five years, especially among the various arms of government.
He said that though the state had recorded some security challenges, the new security outfit “Operation Delta Hawk” being established by the state government would stem the challenges.
The Assistant Chaplain of the Chapel, Pastor Matthew Ezedom, in his sermon, themed: “I Know my Redeemer Liveth”, said that it was important to give God thanks, because “it is God that protects all’’.
The pastor urged Christians to always put their trust in God.
“He alone can keep us away from all evil,” the cleric said.