- Title: NIGERIA: Women in turbulent Delta region pray for peace
- Date: 25th July 2007
- Summary: WOMEN WAVE HANDS IN JUBILATION AT THE END OF THE PRAYER SESSION
- Embargoed: 9th August 2007 13:00
- Location: Nigeria
- Country: Nigeria
- Topics: War / Fighting
- Reuters ID: LVA9HJEKOE3AGTLAH3KY6AY3XVN9
- Story Text: Women in the Niger Delta state of Bayelsa have held a three-day session of prayer and fasting against incessant kidnappings of foreign oil workers by militants in the oil-rich region.
The armed groups' efforts to sabotage the oil industry has also slowed production in the world's eight largest exporter of crude. They claim to be fighting for a greater share of the riches that come from the region which remains impoverished and underdeveloped.
President Umaru Yar'Adua has made the resolution of the Delta's problems a test of his administration's effectiveness in Africa's most populous country.
The event was organised by the state governor's wife, Alaide Sylva, in order to seek a spiritual solution while the region's leaders seek a political one.
"We have come to seek the face of the lord in our problems; I know His Excellency the governor is doing his best in calming the militant issue, I don't want to use the word militant, because I doubt after these three days of fasting, if we are going to hear that word anymore, because I believe in what we are doing here today. I know you didn't come here to play, it is our concern as mothers of the state to pray, to cry to the lord to salvage us," Sylva said.
About a quarter of Nigeria's 2.5 million barrels per day crude production remains shuts in due to militant activity in the Niger Delta.
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