Stakeholders, including clerics, parents and youths, have called on Nigerians and governments at all levels to say no to illegal abortion and its funding.The stakeholders made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria in separate interviews in Ibadan on Tuesday.Most Rev. Emmanuel Badejo, President, Pan African Episcopal Committee for Communications for The Bishops of Africa (CEPACS), says in every abortion, human life is terminated.According to Badejo, who is also the Catholic Bishop of Oyo Diocese, abortion is a crime and can never be a constitutional or human right.“In fact, I call abortion a ‘constitutional wrong’; one can only see insensitivity in any leader or government that funds abortion in Nigeria or in Africa.“It must either be that such government or leader is completely disconnected from the reality or that powerful interests benefiting from the crime are pushing such government or leaders.“Our cultures and religions support life, not killing.“Africa and Nigeria need funding for education, good infrastructure, good healthcare and jobs. To starve these critical areas, which improve the quality of life, of funds and then fund abortion can only be wicked and evil.“The striking down of the 50-year-old ‘Roe and Wade’ in the United States of America has energised the pro-life movement all over the world. More importantly, it has reversed a grave institutionalised injustice and crime against humanity.“Human life is equally sacred, but millions of children have already been murdered under the law. May they rest in peace and may God have mercy,” he said.Badejo remarked that women needed to be taught that pregnancy was not a disease and the unborn baby not an aggressor.He added that women deserved to be given good education, good health services and employment.According to him, maternal health should be given priority, along with sincere and counselling services, including information on how to put children up for adoption or welfare.“Even now, many credible people will like to adopt children, but are not able to. Women who cannot support the children they have conceived need this kind of support, not abortion.“They need to know that there is no such thing as safe abortion. It is certainly never safe for the baby or for the prospective mother who suffers great trauma, a huge sense of guilt and medical complications that follow.“These risks have to be revealed to women in a sincere way. It is the pharmaceutical companies and unscrupulous medical personnel who gain from abortion.“Parents should actually parent their children. They should be alert and resist whatever can ruin the lives of their wards. Youths should also be taught and encouraged to live disciplined and morally-upright lives,” he said.The Catholic bishop said that a country like Nigeria, with majority Christian and Muslim population, should not be seen to accommodate abortion, which neither of the two religions support.“Religious institutions and stakeholders should live up to their moral responsibilities by working for a morally- upright society. We all are stakeholders in building such a society. We all will benefit from it,” Badejo said.To Bishop of Ibadan Anglican Diocese, Most Rev. Joseph Akinfenwa, abortion is wrong, adding that sanctity of life must be maintained.Akinfenwa said that women in developing countries, such as Nigeria, could be helped through empowerment, education and enlightenment.He stressed the need for the people, including parents, to take sex education very seriously, explaining, however, that sex should be for married couples, while pre-marital sex should be discouraged.“Also, religious leaders should always preach the fear of God, to constant remind people to respect life, which only Him can give.“We should learn to preserve life, so as to avoid the wrath of God,” he said.Similarly, Very Rev. Olayinka Akande, Presbyter, Methodist Cathedral, Agbeni, Ibadan, noted that the Bible consistently proclaims the utmost importance of protecting life in the womb.This portrayal, he said, could be found in both the Old Testament and New Testament, especially in Psalms 51 and139; even in the life of Jesus, while resting in Mary’s womb as found in Luke 1.According to him, in Jeremiah 1:4-5 and Isaiah 49:1b, God clearly emphasises the value of life in the womb and His compassionate care for the pre-born.“Both passages are similar, as each prophet reflects on his call from heaven. Jeremiah and Isaiah consistently heard from the Lord and were used as mouthpieces to His people.“They both had long lasting personal relationship with God and claimed they were appointed to complete kingdom work while in the womb.“So, from God’s perspective, there is no barrier between pre-natal and post-natal life. God sees life from the moment of conception,” he said.Akande said that the Biblical idea that God could form personal relationships with His people in the womb was another evidence that pre-born children possessed full personhood.The Methodist cleric said that from both the earthly and Biblical points of view, anti-abortion, and not abortion, should be legalised.Meanwhile, an elderly man, Mr Francis Oghuma, described the attempt to fund illegal abortion as funding and fuelling illicit sex, prostitution and related vices at all levels.“Africa is a place of values; it is exceptional. So illegally funding abortion hereto is not an African style. It must, therefore, be seen as absurd and criminal.“Overturning the Roe v Wade is necessary, because it would have further deteriorated family ties, partners’ trust and promise, sexual abuses, while reducing pregnancy to naught.“The impact of its overturn is further making abortion illegal and strengthening reproduction integrity and values,” he said.Oghuma said that rather than funding or legalising abortion, continuous amendment of rights of women at all facets of the polity was germane.He advocated for women and mothers’ empowerment, social security, welfarism for under-age children and maternal care.Oghuma advised governments, religious leaders, parents and concerned stakeholders to ensure that sexual relationship and intimacy remained sacred.“The major cause of abortion is projection or inability to cater for children and non-acceptability of unwanted pregnancy as well as stigmatisation of same in a society, which regards them as bastards.“So, there is the need for sensitisation on a child’s right to live.Also, Mrs Grace Olubunmi, while affirming that abortion should not be legalised, advised both the married and singles to curb illicit sex.According to Olubunmi, the foetus or embryo has the right to live.“God wants humans to multiply, but through lawful or legalised union.“We cannot, because of incest and rape, legalise abortion. Rather, its prevention should be legalised.“Lots of talents and great presidents of nations will end up being victims of abortion, if it is legalised,” she said.NAN reports that the case is not different for the youth.One of them, Miss Surprise Omolara, said abortion should not be legalised, because of its many negative effects, such as causing premature deaths and damage to wombs.“Sometimes ago, I heard that a bill was passed concerning illegal abortion. I was happy with the move, because the fear of going to jail will make youths to desist from having premature sex. Even if they must do it, it will be with protection.“Many people are now regretting due to the abortion they did in the past. If eventually they escaped death, they might now be battling with infection or inability to conceive due to the use of quack doctors or unsterilised equipment.“Prostitution will also reduce if abortion is eradicated, because if they start getting pregnant without means of aborting it, the shame will make others to stop such practice,” she said.NAN recalls that IPAS, an international non-profit advocacy group, seeking to improve and expand women’s sexual and reproductive rights, recently disclosed that despite Nigeria’s restrictive abortion law, over two million abortions occur annually.“The Abortion Law in the country permits abortion, only to save a woman’s life, making it restrictive and inaccessible to many women.“The fact that abortion is legally restrictive in the country has not stopped the large number of abortion procedures.“Many women end up in the hands of quacks; some die in the process, while many are permanently maimed due to unsafe abortion.“To quote a past President of International Federation of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, our women are not dying, because of untreatable diseases, but they are dying because the society has yet to make the decision that their lives are worth saving,” the Country Director of IPAS, Mr Lucky Palmer, had said. (NewsSourceCredit: NAN
An Anglican Cleric, Ven. Adewale Sanda has urged newly ordained ordinands and deacons to avoid church politics if they would succeed.Sanda, of the St Anne’s Anglican Church, Molete, Ibadan gave the advice on Sunday during the Ibadan Diocesan 2022 Trinity Ordination, held at the Cathedral of St. James The Great, Ibadan.Sanda urged newly ordained priests to remain faithful as good stewards of God. He advised them to always lead and serve in love and avoid politics of divide and rule.The Anglican cleric also enjoined them to treat people with respect and dignity; be teachable, faithful, and always return all Glory to God.“When you serve in love, and faithfulness, there will be unity and manifestation of miracles.“Never lose focus on your main duty, which is to win souls for Christ. Always depend on the Holy Spirit because the work will be a burden if you are not empowered.“You must be blameless, do good as Jesus showed us, be a husband of one wife, hospitable, humble, accommodating, and take your position seriously.“Also, a minister must be self-controlled, holy, have good character, a person of integrity, and must not be given to wine,” he said.Quoting from the Book of Proverbs, Sanda also enjoined them to always ask God for wisdom in all they do to be successful.He urged members of the congregation to always pray for the priest and give him the necessary support needed for him to fulfill his destiny.The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the priests were ordained by the Anglican Bishop of Ibadan Diocese, Most Rev. Joseph Akinfenwa.Akinfenwa urged the ordained priests to do their prophetic and priestly work according to the order of Christ.“Receive this Bible as the sign of authority which God has given you this day to preach the gospel of Christ, and to minister His Holy sacraments.“Receive the Holy Spirit for the office of a priest in the church now committed to you, by the imposition of our hands, may He bless your ministry,” he said.NewsSourceCredit: NAN
The Anglican Bishop of Ibadan, Most Rev. Joseph Akinfenwa has urged Nigerians to be more prayerful and alive to their civic responsibilities.
Akinfenwa, who made the call in a statement issued on Monday in Ibadan, urged all citizens to pray earnestly for Nigeria.
According to the cleric, by doing so, the will of God may be done in the forthcoming general elections and everything else about the country at large.
“Our need for prayers is in fact more urgent because, as the politicians go through their primaries, our fortune as a nation post-2023 hangs in the balance.
“So far, we have seen how the role played by party delegates can swing the direction of our politics, and limit the options available to the rest of the populace.
“While we may not be able to control them physically, we can indeed hand them over to God (who has power over the minds of all men)”.
Akinfenwa urged Nigerians to pray more intently and with greater urgency, noting that the economies of many nations were challenged as a natural consequence of recent disruptions in the global order.
“While praying for a quick end to hostilities between Russia and Ukraine, we encourage all and sundry to deepen trust in God for sustenance at a trying time like this.
“We also appeal that those who have should share more readily with those in need, let us all commit to greater acts of love, basic altruism and philanthropy.
“The magnitude of need around us should not be allowed to overwhelm us; a single needy person helped has reduced the number, and every single gesture of charity will surely uplift humanity at this time of need”, he said.
The Ibadan Anglican Bishop also implored all and sundry to be more security conscious.
Akinfenwa urged people to learn as much as possible about how to maintain personal security while putting their trust in God for safety.
“The Lord told us that there shall be troubles in the world, so we should not be surprised at all that there is so much upheaval in our world; or that episodes of disturbing events are unending.
“However, our Lord assured us that He shall be with us till the end of the age; therefore He offered us His peace which surpasses all the conflicts and contradictions in the world
“Our own work is to receive the peace and comfort of the Lord in the midst of trouble; and by so doing we shall live above all the vicissitudes of life.
“Our prayers are with Christians and peoples in various parts of the world who are currently victims of violent conflict,” he said.
Akinfenwa further stated that the Pentecost Sunday marked by the Anglican Communion on Sunday, was one of the most important dates in the traditional Church calendar.
“There was an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost (Acts Chapter 2).
“We pray the good Lord pours out His Spirit upon us once again as we celebrate Pentecost Sunday.
”May we receive grace and power to become effective witnesses for Him in our land, and to the uttermost parts of the earth,” he said.
The Bishop of Ibadan Anglican Diocese, Most Rev. Joseph Akinfenwa, has advised Nigerians to thank God more instead of complaining.
Akinfenwa gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on the sidelines of his 66th birthday anniversary celebration in Ibadan on Tuesday.
The bishop said that Nigerians should celebrate God’s faithfulness and thank HIM for mercy.
“We need to appreciate God more, He has been faithful to us.
“If you compare the things that have been happening in our country to those in other nations, you will see that great is His faithfulness,” he said.
The cleric urged Nigerians not to be tired of praying for the country.
“Prayer is the adequate defence we need.
“Churches, mosques, everyone should go back to God in prayers, call upon Him to have mercy on us,” he said.
Akinfenwa urged governments to intensify efforts in ensuring justice, peace and security.
“All sorts of people enter our country without any relevant papers.
“We cannot do any meaningful census now because we don’t know who and who are Nigerians, so we hardly recognise those who are the perpetrators of evil, whether they are Nigerians or not.
“Leaders at all levels should lead in the fear of God and do their best to protect the interest of citizens,” he said.
He said that Anglican Diocese of Ibadan had been moving forward, especially in the areas of charity and evangelism.
“We have been doing great works, especially in caring for the needy; people have been supportive, but we need to do more,” he said.
Akinfenwa thanked God for adding another year to his age and giving him the grace to serve the diocese in the last 22 years.
He thanked members of the clergy and laity for support.
NAN reports that Akinfenwa, who attained the age of 66 on May 24, has served the diocese as the bishop for 22 years.
The diocese had 20 churches when the bishop assumed office but now has no fewer than135 churches. (