At the World Population Day, that was celebrated some weeks ago, the National Population Commission (NPC) disclosed that teenage pregnancy among young girls between the ages 15 and 19 might increase to over 60 million by the year 2015. According to Mohammed Akubo Aikoye, the Federal Commissioner of the NPC in Kogi State, the figures were worrisome, stressing the need for drastic measures to prevent teenage pregnancy. He pointed out about one third of Nigeria population that is 44.5 million young people between the ages of 10-24 got pregnant in 2006.
The health, social and economic implications of this trend is alarming, it should noted that teenage pregnancy is the greatest killer of teenage girls worldwide, since many resort to abortion, and with poor ante-natal care, and weak pelvic bones, the girls are more likely to face pregnancy complications .
Reasons for the increase, Akubo rationalised, can be linked to poverty, sexual abuse, ignorance, cultural and religious beliefs. He also added that teenage pregnancy varied markedly in the North and South, with 1 in 3 teenage girls in the North and 1 in 10 in the South.
It is true that the with erosion of our societal values and morals and promotion of wrong notions of sexuality, many teenagers and adults engage in promiscuous sex. However, I have reason to suspect that Mr. Akubo is using his notion as a ruse to push for population control measures such as abortion, sterilisation, contraceptives and other artificial family planning techniques. That is probably what he meant by “government should take drastic measures at preventing teenage pregnancy.”
Already, the Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH) through its president Oladapo Ladipo is calling for “age-appropriate comprehensive sex education to develop the knowledge and skills of youths.” He also went on to say that education and information are not enough. Good quality reproductive health services must also be readily available for our adolescents to make informed choices and be healthy”. Everyone know that reproductive health simply means unfettered access to condoms, abortion and contraceptives.
The government is already succumbing to these lies and baseless predictions. Last year, the Nigerian government allocated the sum of $11.5 million to purchase condoms and contraceptive to reduce maternal mortality as disclosed by Dr. Bridget Okoeguale the Director of Family Health.
Europe and America are not comfortable with the population growth of Africa, seeing as a threat to their dominance of the world political power and even their existence. They camouflage their malicious intent, with ideas like over population, or the expectant explosion of the population bomb, and the need to curtail population growth. Already many are speculating that by the end of the century we all will be doomed since global population will be 10 billion. To prevent this population explosion, women are told to stop giving birth.
Please, Nigerians, do not listen to what these doom Sayers are saying. Nigeria is not over-populated. Moreover, population is a very big blessing. Why do population doom Sayers ignore the evidence that population is the major factor for development, as seen in countries like China, India and Indonesia? They do not want us to become economically developed. If not why would Europe and America be populating their economises through immigration, but turn around and tell us Nigerians and other AU countries that population is a curse and we should depopulate. They know that plenty of muscles and brains makes a country a world leader, and they would not have us become that.
We have to be wise.