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Gov Okowa, Anglican Bishop Drum Support For Family Planning

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Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta State

By Ewomazino Egbo
Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, has advocated the use of modern family planning methods to curb population.

Governor Okowa, made the call Thursday during the Interdenominational Thanksgiving Service at the Cathedral of St. Perter, Asaba, to mark Delta State at 29 years since creation in Aug. 27, 1991.

The Governor said that it was obvious that the country with no fewer than 200 million people, had challenge taken care of the population, adding that the pressure of migrations were already impacting economies of states across the nation.

He said that if these situations were not addressed, the country’s resources may deplete and the consequence severe for the nation.

“We have a lot of natural resources in the country, but when the level of economic growth is less that the growth in our population, then we cannot move forward.

“I am not saying people should not give birth, but there is the need to educate the people to give birth to the number of children they can comfortably care for.

“If we continue the way we are going and incidentally we hit 500 million in population by the year 2050, I wonder what the situation will look like in Nigeria if we continue in that manner.

“It is time for us to have a reassessment of ourselves, individually and collectively, state by state, geographical zones by zones and to have a good national discourse,” Okowa said.

In the same vein,Rt. Rev’d Justus Mogekwu, Bishop of Asaba Diocese, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, says children are like arrows in the quiver of a mighty man.

The bishop who spoke in an interview with newsmen on Friday in Asaba, Delta, said that it was no longer in vogue for a man to marry 10 wives and raise 200 children for farm hands.

He said that times have changed, adding that the country’s economy, financial and social status of people should determine the number of children they want and could care for.

“We believe that children are like the arrows in the quiver of a mighty man.

“At the same time, that should not be a reason why we should keep multiplying like a rat.

“As you know, there are many kinds of quivers; there are quivers that can take five arrows, there are quivers that can take 10 and there are those that can take only three arrows, depending on its capacity.

“It is foolish to equip quiver for three arrows with 20 arrows, you will tear it, so our stand is, let’s accept that children are gift from God but we must also accept that God demands discipline.

“God says, let your moderation be known unto all men; if you try to continue breeding without self control, of which self control is also God’s demand on His people.

“So, you must be self controlled, we must take cognizance of our quiver as conscribed by the ability to hold arrows.

“Economically, financially, and socially, you can not give birth to children when you have no capacity to look after one.

“So, family planning in the sense of not committing abortion, but in the sense of preventing excessive breeding of children, this is something that must be taking into consideration,” he said.

The bishop added, “so, as long as we continue to look after and take adequate care of the few children we have, we give thanks to God.

“We must know that we have passed the age were people have 10 wives and 200 children as farm hands.

“We must begin to look at things from different perspectives now,” he said.

He said that our demographic figure must be put on check, adding that, “if we over grow it, there will be in trouble, then children no longer see themselves as a blessing but as a curse

“So, our economy, social and demographics trend must define our growing of children,” he said.

He said that in the context of Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta prediction, if Nigeria population hit 500 million in 2050, the country may experience disaster.

The bishop said that contrary to belief, many rural women were been sensitised now to understand that uncontrolled child birth has server consequences.

“I know of some women who have ran away from their homes because of their husbands’ uncontrolled drive for sex, so, everybody is becoming sensible now.

“When a woman has had a child and subsequently, she is faced with pregnancy related complications, she will advise herself and people will not hesitate to caution her to seek support to prevent her from dying prematurely if her husband cannot control his urge,” he said.

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