A few weeks ago, I was privileged to have been involved in organising (at the request of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria) a rather historic event in my country.
It took many months of planning, many weeks of deliberations and of course many days of intensive preparations, but on the 5th and 6th of June, it became a reality – the International Pro-Life Conference Abuja (IPCA).
So here is my belated report which I present with much gladness and gratitude because in spite of all the recent security scares and concerns in Nigeria, the conference was a huge success with so many land-mark qualities.
To start with, it was hosted by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria as a response to the disturbing encroachment of the Culture of Death in Nigeria.Indeed it is hard to miss the recent obsession of certain western nations and organisations with the reckless and radical propagation of their distorted views and ideologies on sexual rights. As a result, Africa has been put under enormous pressure to bend or break under the western views of human life, human sexuality, human dignity, marriage, motherhood and family.
So IPCA came as a timely 2-day event which the President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama) joyfully described as a historic and “spring-board” event.
It was an occasion that captured in a beautiful way, the indomitable pro-life spirit of the African people and the ineffaceable pro-family sentiment of the African society .
There were 12 Catholic Bishops and Archbishops in attendance.
There were also some of the most passionate and amazing pro-life leaders and speakers from America, Africa and Europe including US Congressman Chris Smith, renowned British Pro-Life Leader John Smeaton and many others.
EWTN TV crew was there with Dana Scallon (renowned catholic singer and politician) as host for a new series and documentary being produced.
With all of this, IPCA brought together about 1500 enthusiastic attendees from across Nigeria.We had mothers, fathers, grandparents, young adults, students, priests and religious, all of whom came to learn about the defence of human life and the promotion of marriage, motherhood and family in Africa.
IPCA presented the perfect opportunity to discuss and decide on the urgency of keeping Africa pro-life in the rising tide of relativism and hedonism.
The topics were rich and broad arrayed from the promotion of marriage (between one man and one woman) to the protection of unborn babies in the womb and everything in between (natural family planning, the promotion of family-friendly policies, sustainig good curriculum in African schools, understanding and curbing population control, promotion of chastity) all of which have now been beautifully articulated in the post-conference communiquÃ© entitled “Building a Culture of Life“.
On a lighter and melodious note, IPCA featured a wonderful theme-song “Nigeria for Life” which was composed and performed at the conference by renowned Nigerian composer Sir Jude Nnam.
Coming out of this ground-breaking African Pro-Life Conference, one cannot help but hope that the likes of International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), IPAS, Marie Stopes International (MSI), UNFPA and other pro-abortion organizations would look up from their anti-life schemes to see that Africans have an inherent and indomitable love and respect for human life.
They need to realise that forthem to implant their ideas and ideologies in Africa, then the true moral views and values of the African peoplewill have to be dismantled, destroyed and drowned out. And in a modern world like ours where cultural and religious liberty is raised and respected I pray for the preservationandprotection of the Culture of Life of my people.
I pray that the ripples of IPCA will reach every African home, every village, every town, every city and yes, every African nation!
In this way, the respect of life from conception, the dignity of human sexuality, the inviolability of marriage, the beauty of motherhood, the fortitude of faith and the value of family would prevail in Africa today and always.