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[afro-nets] Abstinence Message Endorsed by Nigerian University Dons

Abstinence/Fidelity Message Endorsed by Nigerian University Dons

Nigeria Abstinence Coalition
October 24, 2005

Lagos University Teaching Hospital Hosts Abstinence Leadership

The message of sexual chastity stormed Nigeria's foremost cita-
del of learning with a bang. The occasion was the 3-day second
National Abstinence Leadership training workshop hosted October
19 - 21, 2005 by the Nigeria Abstinence Coalition at the Lagos
University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba. Over 350 dignitaries
converged at the Institute of Child Health and Primary Care
venue of the opening ceremony, which was addressed by six uni-
versity dons from across the country.

Professor (Mrs.) Mercy Olumide, Consultant Venerologist and Der-
matologist of LUTH who chaired the session drilled the captive
audience with scriptural dissertation, debunking the "21 rotten
reasons" people peddle for sexual impropriety. She opined that
sexual misconduct always has medical and spiritual repercus-
sions, either immediate or remote, often both. Sex outside of
marriage always hurts someone.

The guest speaker, Professor Mike Asuzu of the Community Medi-
cine Department, University of Ibadan took an overview of absti-
nence/fidelity lifestyle across cultures with special reference
to Nigeria. He submitted that the chastity culture remains an
admirable feature of most societies. What has happened over time
is a twisted logic of attempts to justify selfish and bad con-
duct due to influences by alien cultures and corruptive informa-
tion. He provided an academic dissection of love and its pro-
gressive forms from eros, fillia, platony to the zenith, agape.
According to him, modern trends espouse and exploit primordial
eroticism while disregarding the higher forms of chaste univer-
sal brotherhood. In the process, sexually transmitted diseases
and complicating deaths result. HIV/AIDS thrives under unbridled
eroticism while the superior love forms are required to tame it
and mitigate its impacts.

Professor Obioma Nwaorgu, President of GHARF, an NGO based in
Enugu eulogized the Nigeria Abstinence Coalition, and endorsed
the abstinence/fidelity strategy as a necessary intervention in
the face of the epidemics of STIs, HIV/AIDS, teen pregnancy,
abortion and social dislocations.

Other dignitaries who presented papers included wife of the vice
President and founder of Gede Foundation, Dr (Mrs.) Jamelia
Atiku-Abubakar, and the representatives of Lagos State Commis-
sioners for Health, Education, Youth and Social Development and
Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation. Goodwill messages were
delivered by Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Catho-
lic Secretariat of Nigeria, Action Aid International, Nigeria,
Global HIV/AIDS Initiative, Nigeria.

There was witnessing by young men and women who are virgins or
secondary virgins and mutually faithful spouses. School children
conducted a parliamentary session on HIV/AIDS and adopted pre-
marital abstinence as the healthiest prevention while youth
groups and resource persons from the Family Heritage Initiative
made educational presentations. Seventy-five abstinence/fidelity
advocates representing NGOs, FBOs and the media were trained in
the intensive sessions that lasted two days. At the end, they
all committed to within five years raise one million Nigerians
who believe in, live out and promote the premarital and intra-
marital sexual self-control.

President of the Nigeria Abstinence Coalition - Dr. EIB Oke-
chukwu, and the Coalition's Advisory Board chairman, Dr. J.C.
Gogo enthused that the group is poised to spread the absti-
nence/fidelity messages to all parts of the country. One of the
participants, Abdulrahman Abdu of YHEDI NGO based in moslem-
heartland, Kano surmised: "abstinence is a lifestyle that enjoys
trans-religious and trans-cultural acceptance all over the coun-
try. This workshop should be replicated across the six geo-
political zones".

Dr. Emmanuel Okechukwu
Nigeria Abstinence Coalition
c/o Action Family Foundation
Jose-Maria Clinic Bldg.
3/5, Olabisi Street, Shangisha - Ketu
Lagos, Nigeria
Tel: +234-8034745345

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