Fighting for Life in Nigeria

Nigeria Last year, we got an e-mail from Levi-Lucius Elebeonu, who runs Womb 2 Tomb, a grassroots pro-life group in Lagos State, Nigeria, asking us for assistance with his pro-life evangelization efforts. I sent him a copy of our Pro-Life Curriculum, and since then, we have kept in touch periodically. Recently, he wrote me with an update on the situation on the ground in Nigeria. As you’ll see from his eye-opening report — which I’ve included below — the members of the Womb 2 Tomb group have their work cut out for them, but I’m sure you’ll also agree that their efforts are an inspiration.

Report on the Pro-Life Activities of Last Year

I always remember you in my prayers and I know you do remember us in yours too. I strongly believe that this New Year and years ahead will bring about remarkable success in the pro-life activities and dreams. Glory be to God. I must thank you immensely for the GENERATIONS for LIFE PRO-LIFE CLUB CURRICULUM. The contents are very helpful especially during our visitation to schools.

Review of Year 2006 Pro-Life Activities

During the year under review, we visited a lot of schools. Our first visitation was on 22nd February 2006. These schools comprised mostly of teenagers. We started by sending letters to the school authorities and requesting for permissions to give pro-life talks to students and teachers. Pro-life awareness in Nigeria is very low. Most Nigerians don’t know what pro-life is all about, including the elites. Consequently, we are left with the burden of explaining pro-life to the school authorities before they approve our visitation. Another burden was to convince the authorities to accept pro-life issues as against the foundation already laid down by the PLANNED PARENTHOOD FEDERATION OF NIGERIA. While few schools granted us permissions, others refused. However we are ever determined to penetrate more of these schools. We did also prepare pro-life questionnaire for the schools. This is one tool with which we determine the pro-life questions and answers relevant to a particular school. Few schools refused to return the completed questionnaires to us. Those that returned their completed questionnaires, we analysed the results and sent them back to the school authorities, advising the authorities on areas that we must need to talk to the students on. For instance, many students under review did not know exactly when life began. Most students could not see anything wrong in aborting a baby that resulted from an incest or rape. Some argued on why masturbation is evil since they indulged in it to avoid pre-marital sex. In all, the visitations were fruitful and interesting. We intended to start Pro-life Clubs in all the schools that we visited. We also attended some churches’ Youths Activities. We discussed pro-life issues. These comprised of inquisitive fellows who wanted demonstrations of all that we were saying. Some of them have the knowledge that life is sacred but they argue on some life issues. We did our best to answer every question that was directed to us. However, we neither had projectors nor videotapes and machines to demonstrate pro-life. We promised to do all that in a no distant time. We intended to start Pro-life Clubs for these concerned Youths. In all these, we regret that we had neither video clips nor pictures of these events to send to you. We hope to have these and more in our subsequent outings and events.

The True Situation

Pro-life Movement is a new thing in Nigeria. It needs a lot of awareness campaign. The PLANNED PARENTHOOD FEDERATION OF NIGERIA has gained a lot of ground here. All the NGOs and Government Officials here are all involving themselves with HIV/AIDS Campaign because they are receiving foreign assistance hence are “doing well”. No one talks about pro-life. In fact my siblings and friends make jest of me that I am involving myself with an unpopular Movement. I tried to raise fund for pro-life, I received nothing from anyone. Euthanasia is given to the sick and elders here out of ignorant. My grand mother has being sick since 2001. The children are not taking good care of this old woman the way it ought to be. I weep each time I visit my village. I try as much as I can to assist but I cannot do it all alone, as I am not financially sound. She is left all alone in her room; she is partially paralyzed and cannot sit up. She needs assistance to eat, urinate, defecate, and open her door and windows. These needs are not always met timely. I feel that this is a form of euthanasia. It is the case in most of the sick and elderly people here. So Nigerians practice euthanasia without knowing it. Widows are forced to drink the water with which the corpses of their dead husbands are bathed. This is done whenever there is an allegation that the woman conspired and killed the husband. It is an anti-life activity. This is an area that requires work. Some people regarded as “OSU” are seen as aliens and inferior human beings. Westernization has brought about some immodesty here in Nigeria. People now dress nakedly and this is accepted as the fashion in vogue. Nigeria Film and Video Censor Board has not succeeded in stopping Film Producers from showing erotic film where Actors and Actresses kiss and made love to each other in home videos that are expected to be watched by all and sundry. The entire entertainment industry has turned out to be center of immodesty and sexual exploitations. The University Students are not spared of sexual harassments and assaults. Abortion among teenagers is very rampant here. Condoms are seen as “messiahs” for safe sex. Over population myth has taken the day here. We have just had a census. The result is yet to be officially out. I will leave out the peculiarity of the Nigerian Society vis-à-vis Pro-life issues till another day. Meanwhile, I pray you to continue to give us your support.

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