WANTED: A NEW HEALTH MINISTER

images

By  Sonnie Ekwowusi

Clearly the current Health Minister Prof Isaac Adewole is not the Health Minister that Nigeria needs at the moment to tackle her serious primary healthcare delivery challenges. Apart from telling Nigerian women that they have a “right” to commit abortion, Prof. Adewole has not demonstrated that he can positively transform Nigeria’s healthcare sector.

Shortly after his inauguration as Nigeria’s Health Minister the first health gift which Prof Adewole offered to Nigerian women was what he dubbed “expanded access to comprehensive abortion care”. As if that was not scandalous enough, Prof Adewole was on Channels TV just last week to market his population control gift. He wants Nigerian families to stop having children. He wants married Nigerian women to be on pregnancy- terminating pills in order to avoid having children.  Prof Adewole is obviously under the influence and sponsorship of the United Nations Populations Funds (UNFPA) and The Guttmacher Institute, two agencies which are notorious in Africa for pressuring African governments to reduce human capital through abortion and contraceptive. Whereas Prof. Adewole has not articulated any serious primary healthcare program that would benefit the Nigerian poor who still lack access to the much-vaunted primary health care system he more inclined in venturing into irrelevant complex demographic issues.

In other words, Prof Adewole has abandoned medicine and the real health needs of the Nigerian people and now meddling with demographic issues. What a paradox ! Is President Buhari not aware that attempts to implement population control policy by successive Nigerian governments have consistently failed. For example, when Goodluck Jonathan was in power he entrusted the then chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC) Festus Odimegwu and twenty-two others with the task of controlling the Nigerian population through birth-control and all that. Chief Odimegwu said something at that time that shocked many people: he said that the NPC did not know the population of Nigeria, and that the various population figures declared in the past by the NPC and government-owed agencies had been based on distorted and fictitious figures presented by the World Bank, United Nations and other international bodies. According to Chief Festus Odimegwu,  “we do not really know our population; that is the truth of the matter. We do our work but politicians interfere and at the end, you do not really know what population or census figures are…”, Answering question from the Punch Newspaper during a courtesy visit to the NPC by a delegation of the UNFPA, Odimegwu said,  “…the population of China is over 2 billion, India is 1.2 billion. Nigeria ranks about the 10th in the world population. If other countries are surviving, I don’t think we will kill ourselves…The important thing is having the resources to make people live a good life. Good living is not determined by the population but by so many other things. If some countries have large populations and are living well, Nigerians can also have good lives.”

Odimegwu is right. Good living is not determined by population but by the seriousness of government to improve the living condition of the people. Certainly Prof Adewole’s new population control policy will bring a bad image to the Buhari government. Therefore, President Buhari should act fast and appoint a new Health Minister to replace Prof Adewole. Prof Adewole clearly lacks focus. What has population control got to do with the urgent health needs of the Nigerian people?. If Adewole is looking for something to control, why can’t he control diseases such as malaria, typhoid, polio, high blood pressure, hypertension and so forth that have been killing many Nigerians. Look at exponential rate with which cancer especially cervical and breast cancer is spreading across Nigeria and killing many Nigerians. Why not set up cancer screening centers across Nigeria? Is the Federal Government not aware that many public health institutions in Nigeria lack essentials drugs? Why budget huge sums of money for population control when you cannot provide ordinary drugs in our public hospitals especially in our rural health centers and clinics in Nigeria? Why not use the money budgeted for population control to pay striking doctors so that they stop going on strike and render diligent medical services in Nigeria.

  Last week I visited a medical consultant friend of mine at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Enugu. In the course of our conversation, this diligent doctor informed me that primary and secondary health care systems are virtually non-existent in Nigeria. He regretted that everybody is rushing to Tertiary Heath with utter neglect for community medicine and basic rural medicine that are most beneficial to Nigeria’s numerous rural dwellers. He shocked me with the sad stories of the uncountable children from Enugu, Nsukka, Abakaliki and their environs who die of preventable diseases before they are brought to UNTH.

My UNTH consultant friend further shocked me with the stories of how poor children in Enugu, Nsukka, Abakaliki and  their surrounding villages regularly die in their respective homes from preventable illnesses and from lack of simple vaccination and immunization. This is not a peculiar Enugu State tragedy. It is everyday tragedy across the country. For example, if you step outside the South-East and travel to, maybe, the South-West you will find similar ill-health miseries. Take a trip to Borno State, Kano State, Zamfara State or Sokoto State and you will fall short of words to describe the miserable lives of so many women and children who also lack access to basic primary health care. And if you dare visit the Internally-Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camps, you will shed tears after seeing the uncountable number of children and women dying from food and medical starvation.

It is baffling that amid the aforesaid health challenges, Health Minister Prof Isaac Adewole is more interested in population reduction even though is not our priority at the moment. In any case, Prof Adewole was appointed a Health Minister not a population controller Minister. So, why should a Health Minister be exerting his energies in population control matters and leaving unresolved the more urgent primary health care challenges? Is Adewole not aware that due to the exorbitant ante-natal and post-natal bills, many Nigerian pregnant women are still delivered at home by traditional birth attendants and in the process lose their lives?.  Has Adewole forgotten that primary Health care and outpatient clinic services are yet to be decentralized to reach the suffering and dying women in every State, local government, village community and ward community in Nigeria?. If the answers to the above queries are in the affirmative, why is Prof. Adewole seeking alibi in questionable population control issues instead of focusing on the real health needs of the Nigerian people?

It is an absurdity, if not downright stupidity, to argue that the solution to Nigeria’s deplorable health care system at the moment is population control via contraception and abortion. Why do we fail to get our priorities right in Nigeria?. You may ask: what is the business of the Health Minister with population control? Why is UNFPA Executive Director Prof Babatunde Osotimehin always pressuring every Nigerian government to make abortion and contraception accessible even to Nigerian teens in secondary schools?.  You will recall that Prof. Osotimehin pressurized the Jonathan administration to legalize abortion and contraception in Nigeria but failed in that bid. For example, on page 36 of THISDAY Newspaper of November 22, 2012, Osotimehin stated that only investment in abortion and contraception will lead to increased productivity and economic development in Nigeria. Anyway, having failed to get the Jonathan government to legalize abortion and contraception, the same Osotimehin is now mounting pressure on the Buhari government to make abortion and contraception more accessible to a greater number of Nigerians. Two weeks ago Prof Osotimehin approached President Buhari with the aforesaid demand. This is sad. I am sure President is not listening to Osotimehin and his ilk. In a country in which the average citizen suffers from genteel poverty and illnesses, it is illogical to demand that the Buhari government should spend its hard-earned income on stupidities.

Health Minister Adewole argues that population reduction will boost the economy and improve the quality of life for women and children. This is untrue. As I said earlier, the best way to improve the quality of life for Nigerian women and children is through the provision of qualitative health care that is accessible, acceptable and affordable to Nigerian women and children. I still maintain that Adewole is not properly focused otherwise he would have known by now that now is not the best time for population reduction campaigns. We need a more focused Health Minister. Whereas the Buhari government is bent on diversifying the Nigerian economy through people-oriented agriculture in order to come out of the present economic recession, Prof. Adewole is promoting an anti-people population reduction policy. Agriculture thrives on population growth. Thus population growth is not a threat to Nigeria. Instead of seeing population as a threat, population should be seen as a great catalyst for economic growth. The vibrant young people that constitute the bulk of Nigerian population are indeed a vibrant work force that should be used to fast-track Buhari’s agricultural revolution.

In case Prof Adewole does not know, countries like China, Singapore, Bangladesh, India and many Asia countries have reaped enormous demographic dividends from their respective large populations in the last thirty years. The Chinese economy has been growing steadily in the last fifteen years. The Chinese are everywhere today thanks to their huge population. The demographic catastrophe that hit China as a result of its one-child policy has forced China to recently reverse its one-child population policy. Therefore a large population is an asset not a liability. The popular aphorism is that population is power. Population is money too. Small wonder virtually all the big-player telecommunications companies have invested in the Nigerian market. They are obviously reaping huge profit from Nigeria’s large population.

Those familiar with the population control politics in developing countries will attest that it is being done to destroy the human capital in developing countries. But human capital is the elixir of economic growth. A society that kills its children and neglects to fulfill its obligations towards them is obviously heading for extinction.

Advertisements

CHIMPANZEES AT THE SUPREME COURT

By Sonnie Ekwowusi

Our world has become one big theatre for the celebration of theatrics and absurdities of all sorts under the cover and in the name of “human rights”. Nearly three months after the American Supreme Court ruled that a man can “marry” a man, and a woman can “marry” a fellow woman, two New York chimpanzees called Hercules and Leo have taken the Stony Brook University to the New York Supreme Court for “detaining” them in the university zoo and using them for scientific experiment. The seemingly recondite area of law which the Supreme Court was invited to resolve was whether the two animals who are not human beings can bring a legal action against the University. Whereas under the common law and English law (which borrowed heavily from Roman Law), only physical persons (that is, human beings) and juridical persons (that is, legal and corporate entities, limited companies, partnerships, NGOs etc ) can sue and be sue and can enjoy legal personhood.

But in their legal submission before the New York Supreme Court, the two chimpanzees through their lawyer, Steven Wise Esq., prayed the Court to release them from “illegal detention” at the zoo because they were “non-human persons” subject to law and entitled to the enjoyment of legal personhood and therefore eligible for the writ of habeas corpus and release from illegal detention.

In its defence, the Stony Brook University through Assistant Attorney-General Christopher Coulston urged the Supreme Court to dismiss the application of the two chimpanzees for lack of merit. He submitted that the two animals were not human beings recognized by law to enjoy human rights. He told the court that there was no legal precedent anywhere in the world permitting animals to enjoy the same rights as human beings.

After listening to the arguments from both sides, Justice Barbara Jaffe of the Supreme Court ruled in her 33-page judgement that all animals including chimpanzees Hercules and Leo and other “highly intelligent” mammals, are not persons under the law but properties, and therefore, “they are accorded no legal rights beyond being guaranteed the right to be free from physical abuse and other mistreatment.”. According to the judge, in law, “persons” are defined as those who have “rights, duties and obligations that things do not.”

After the judgment, the lawyer to the two chimpanzees Steven Wise Esq., left the court in annoyance. He has vowed to appeal to the American Supreme Court

What the above reveals once again is the depravity of our fallen condition, at least, in recent times. An Igbo lawyer friend simply described it in Igbo as uwa mmebi (meaning, a topsy-turvy world or a world that is upside down). And he is right. We live in a strange world. One danger in between the Scylla and Charybdis of the 21st Century “secularism” and “progressivism” is that it has reduced the human being to the level of an animal. From legalization of gay “marriage” in the U.S, we are now witnessing animals taking human beings to court to enforce their “rights”. The paradox is that the same society that weirdly argues that unborn babies are “human non-persons” who are not entitled to legal protection under the law are now glibly maintaining that  animals are “non-human persons” that are entitled to legal protection under the law. What a warped and irrational quasi-syllogism.

The pertinent question is: What is happening to our world? For example, in 2008, Senator Emie Chambers living in Nebraska, U.S, filed a law suit against God, seeking a perpetual injunction against what he alleged as God’s harmful activities. Of course, the judge dismissed the suit because he said that God could not be properly served with the court process since he has no physical address on earth. According to the Judge, “Given that this court finds that there can never be service effectuated on the named defendant this action will be dismissed with prejudice“.

Anyway, back to the suit filed by chimpanzees Hercules and Leo at the New York Supreme Court. While dismissing the suit for lack of merit, Justice Jaffe issued a prediction. She said that attempts to extend human rights to animals may not succeed today but might succeed in the future. Note that the case of the two New York chimpanzees is not the first of its kind. For example, in December 2014, an Argentine Court of Criminal Appeals granted a writ of habeas corpus to Sandra, an animal living in a zoo in Buenos Aires. That was the first time an animal was recognized as having legal rights—personhood—in a court of law. The appeals court held that Sandra’s right to liberty was violated. The court also held that “it is necessary to ascribe to the animal the character of the subject of rights, since non-human subjects (animals) are rights-bearers…”. But on January 2, 2015 a contrary decision was handed down: the New York State Supreme Court, (Fourth Judicial Department) refused to grant a writ of habeas corpus for Kiko, a privately owned chimpanzee living in New York. Around the same time, the New York Supreme Court held that animal Tommy was not a “legal person” eligible for a writ of habeas corpus.  Relying on its interpretation of what constitutes “legal personhood,” the court held that a legal person must be capable of having both rights and duties. And animals do not have rights and duties.

The judgment of the New York Supreme Court is praiseworthy.  I hope it would not be upturned by the American Supreme Court. Legal personhood only inheres in a person, created by God in his image and likeness and endowed with freedom and intelligence. It doesn’t inhere in animals. Because human beings are created in the image and likeness of God and endowed with freedom and intelligence, they are far superior to animals. This superiority of the human being above animals is what allows us to talk about the “dignity of the human being“. And the foundation of human rights is rooted in the dignity of the human being.   That is why every human being is considered as a subject of law capable of acquiring rights and duties under the law. This is something that belongs to him (is his): it is an attribute of human nature, and not a concession of law.

Having said this, it is worthy of note that the Universal Declaration on Animal Rights 1978, Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare, some international treaties, conventions, protocols, and some countries’ municipal laws have accorded certain rights to animals in order to respect the environment and treat animals with dignity and respect as Pope Francis is urging  in his Encyclical, Laudato Si. Specifically, Article 1 of the Universal Declaration on Animal Rights 1978 stipulates that “all animals have equal rights to exist within the context of biological equilibrium…”; Article 6 states that “experiments on animals entailing physical or psychological suffering violate the rights of animals…”while Article  8 states that “the massacre of wild animals, and the pollution and destruction of biotopes” constitute animal genocide.

In Nigeria, sections 20 and 44(2)(f) of the 1999 Constitution, sections 450, 456 of the Criminal Code, the National Environmental Standard Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) Act  and other Nigerian laws frown at the abuse and maltreatment of animals. In fact, Section 7(c) of the Act mandates the Agency to enforce compliance with the provisions of international agreements, protocols, conventions and treaties on the maltreatment of animal and use of the environment.

But granting animal rights from physical abuse and from unnecessary maltreatment, torture and extermination as adumbrated above is completely different from granting legal personhood to animals. Steven Wise Esq. and other animal rights advocates passionately argue that legal personhood should be granted to chimpanzees, apes and the so-called intelligent animals on the ground that even though they are “non-human persons” they have rights, duties and obligations that things do not have under the law. This is flawed. A human person is a man or woman created by God in his image and likeness and endowed with will and intelligence. It is settled law that legal persons are either natural persons (that is, human beings or human persons) or artificial persons (that is, body corporate, limited liability companies, partnerships, registered non-governmental organizations and other juristic entities )  who can sue and be sued in their names and who are capable of exercising legal rights, duties and obligations  under the law. Animals do not have these legal attributes.  Therefore I agree with Justice Jaffe that “beyond being guaranteed the right to be free from physical abuse and other mistreatment.” chimpanzees, apes and the so-called intelligent animals do not enjoy legal personhood.

However the prediction of Justice Jaffe of the New York Supreme Court merits a deeper reflection. Justice Jaffe predicts in his judgment that even though attempts to extend legal personhood to animals may not succeed today it might succeed in the future.  This is definitely a good prediction. One of the consequences of the questioning of the anthropological configuration of man and woman in this epoch is the erasing or blurring of the essential differences between a human being and an animal. Today in many western cultures man is equated with an animal. Man is depicted as one more animal without any higher destiny; without self-control and without any supernatural end. He is also depicted as a beast of pleasure that merely exist today to only satisfy the sensual appetites and dies tomorrow.

In her article, Pro-Animal, Pro-life, Mary Eberstadt writes that following Jeremy Bentham and other utilitarians, Peter Singer forcefully argues in his book, Animal Liberation, that the capacity to suffer is “the vital characteristic that gives a being a right to equal consideration”. In other words, since animals also suffer like human beings they should enjoy the same rights with human beings.  According to Singer, “in short, when properly understood, animals have rights of the same sorts as humans-and in some cases, depending on the state of sentience, rights that trump those of certain humans…there will be some non-human animals whose lives, by any standards, are more valuable than the lives of some humans”

Some think that somehow Nigeria is immune from all these absurd ideas we come across in America and other places abroad. They forget that we now live in a global village that is out to forge out one global behavior and global attitude for all irrespective of cultural and religious differences. They forget that America has a strong influence on the rest of the world and that anything that happens in the U.S is easily exported across the world. For example, gay cartoons targeted at kids below age six are currently being exported from the U.S to the rest of the world including Nigeria. Why? To expose them to gay cartoons and gay movies early in life so that they grow up they will not find anything wrong with gay practices. Now, if for any reason the American Supreme Court wakes up one day and rules that Chimpanzees, apex and so-called other intelligent animals are legal persons sharing the same rights, duties and obligations with human beings under the law, it will become another legal precedent capable of being exported to Nigeria. And if exported to Nigeria and later embraced as part of the Nigerian law, the owners of dogs, goats, sheep, rams, fowls and other animals in Nigeria would not be allowed to kill them and eat them as meat. No rams will be killed during Sallah. No goats and fowls will be killed at Christmas. No animals would be kept in the Zoo. No dogs in Calabar.

 

THE DECLINE OF AMERICAN CIVILIZATION (1)

usa a

Sonnie Ekwowusi

We all saw the anthropological cataclysm coming. The verdict of the American Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage was foreseeable. Given Justice Anthony Kennedy’s gay antecedents and gay pronouncements especially in the cases of Romer V Evans (1996); Lawrence V Texas 2003 and United States V Windsor (2013), the direction of his swing vote last month was predictable. And Justice Kennedy is not yet finished with America. He is poised to write another judgment legalizing bestiality and animalism once the opportunity presents itself.  

What is unfolding before our eyes is the sodomization and gomorrization of America, in fact, the decline of American civilization. President Obama was born for it. He lives for it. Unlike the Martin Luther King lofty dream, Obama dreams of a new gay American civilization. He doesn’t pretend otherwise. Whereas ex-President Bill Clinton used the White House to resolve his complex pelvic issues, Obama has converted the White House into a House of lesbians, homosexuals, Bisexuals, Transgenders, Beastgenders, Transsexuals, Beastsexuals, animalsexuals, and you name it. He converted June as Gay Pride. Obama legalized bestiality or sex with horses (beasts) among American soldiers. He made homosexuality the centre-piece of American foreign policy. For the first time in the history of America, an American gay envoy has been appointed and gay office opened for the purpose of homosexualization of the world thanks to Obama.

In US foreign policies and international relations, Obama, John Kerry and Hilary Clinton have been consistent in advancing gay “rights” among comity of nations.  The US is now a major exporter of gay “rights”. It has recently pressurized Uganda to reverse its anti-gay law. Under the influence of the US, Mozambique has recently decriminalized its anti-gay law. At the moment the US is putting pressure on Kenya to legalized homosexuality. Obama lately has been dating President Mohammadu Buhari (Hopefully not for homosexual “marriage”, although Robert Mugabe is proposing to “marry” Obama). Obama and Buhari are billed to meet on July 20 to discuss issues which include security, economy and Ebola. But fear is being entertained that Obama might trade off US assistance to Buhari government with shooting down Good luck Jonathan’s anti-gay law. Buhari should reject such a trade-off as if it is coming from the devil. Obama has an ugly agenda: he is poised to homosexualize many parts of the world by 2020. His lack of support for the Jonathan government is traced to Jonathan’s anti-gay law.

Surely, the animals in the animal kingdom must be laughing at us by now. In his usual comical mood, the tortoise in particular must be chuckling with laughter and telling other animals, “these humans think they are rational and wise, but see how barbaric and primitive they are. The homosexual practice which we animals have rejected is now being practiced among humans”. The American founding fathers must be turning in their respective graves by now. In the beginning, the gay right movement was unknown in the United States. Even under the common law, marriage is recognized as a contract between a man and a woman.

But the first organized homosexual rights movement in the United States emerged in the 50s. It sought to change the criminal law in United States in favour of homosexual practice. But it was the sexual revolution of the 60s that helped the American gay movement to take its tap root.  Spurred by the campaigns of the American Law Institute Penal Code in 196os, some homosexual started advocating for what they perceived as their right to privacy and to practice their homosexual acts. The first Supreme Court decision to recognize the so-called right to privacy was Grisworld V Connecticut (1965). Later in Lawrence V Texas (2003), the Supreme Court (with Justice Antonini Scalia, Chief Justice William H. Relinquish and Justice Clarence Thomas heavily dissenting) overruled Bowers V Hardwick and held that consensual sexual conduct which including right to homosexuality was part of the liberty protected by substance due process under the fourth amendment of the American Constitution. But subsequent Federal Laws and State laws had differed from Lawrence’s case (supra) and endorsed the traditional marriage between a man and a woman.

At the dawn of American Revolution, the common law concept was adopted and became part of American laws. Suffice it to say that several States in the United States later passed laws prohibiting sodomy in the United States. Penalty for indulging in sodomy included long sentence and long fines. At the dawn of the 19th century and even early 20th century, several States in the United States imposed law against sexual deviant behaviour like homosexuality. For example, in 1970 the Connecticut authority denied driver’s licence to one man who professed to be homosexual.

The Declaration of American Independence is premised on respect for the Laws of Nature and Laws of God. “The equality” meant in the Declaration is equality in human dignity not in barbarism or in animalism. In his book, We Still Hold These Truths: Rediscovering Our Principles, Reclaiming Our Future, Matthew Spalding writes that “ it is important to understand that the philosophical grounding in natural rights does not create a radical and unlimited sense of freedom, as some claim today.

CHIBOK GIRLS, UNFPA AND ABORTION (2)

download

By Sonnie Ekwowusi

Therefore under the pretext of preventing maternal deaths in Nigeria, the United Nations Population Funds (UNFPA) has been reducing human capital in Nigeria through its aggressive distribution of dangerous pills and abortificients especially among Nigerian teens. I keep on repeating that the UNFPA organised a very shameful gathering last year dubbed “third Family Planning Pre-Conference”. It was held at the Reiz Continental Hotel, Abuja. In that gathering, the UNFPA launched a condom-safe-sex campaign entitled, “No Hoodie No Honey”. This campaign was widely reported in the Nigerian media and posted on twitter, Face book and on other social media.  The campaign was targeted at young Nigerians especially young Nigerian girls in the age bracket of 14-18. It was aimed at supplying condoms and contraceptives to young Nigerians and luring them into believing that “safe-sex” is their right and therefore they shouldn’t be ashamed to practice “safe sex” even if the different cultures and religions teach otherwise. One of the inscriptions on the No Hoodie No Honey roll-up stand which posted on Twitter read: “Lets push for easy access to the female condom and that a woman may buy condoms without being shamed”

Now, it has been widely reported that the UNFPA is offering pregnant Chibok girls abortion and sterilization for the rest. It was also reported that some women and girls in the displacement camps in Borno State Nigeria are visibly pregnant and receiving support from UNFPA, and that the UNFPA is providing them with so called “reproductive health (RH) kits and dignity kits”. “Reproductive health” or “reproductive health services” or “family planning services” is a dodgy phrase used by the UNFPA to promote abortion and contraceptives in Nigeria. This is understandable. Because the word “abortion” is repugnant in the highly-sensitive Nigerian religious and cultural milieu, the UNFPA avoids using the word, “abortion”, but instead use dodgy words such as “reproductive health services” and “family planning services”.  To understand the real meaning of “reproductive health services” or “family planning services”, one must read the publications of the Center for reproductive Law and policy, 120 Wall Street, New York, United States. In this publication, the phrase: “decide when to have children, and how many, or “timing and spacing of children” has been interpreted to mean recourse to legal, safe, and accessible abortion services by women.

Prof Babatunde Osotimehin readily admits that the UNFPA offers abortion and contraceptive services in order to reduce the human capital of a nation. For example, while fielding questions from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday, May 31 2015, Prof Osotimehin announced that the UNFPA had budgeted $75 million to boost reproductive health services or abortion and contraceptive services in Nigeria. In a country plagued by genteel poverty, youth unemployment, disease all that, it is a big scandal that the UNFPA is budgeting a whooping $75 million to boost abortion and contraceptives for young people.  Prof Osotimehin is even trying to win over President Muhammadu Buhari to endorse the UNPFA. Buhari should not listen to Osotimehin. The UNFPA is destroying our cultural and religious values, and it is high time it is sent packing from Nigeria. The UNFPA promotes forced abortion and coercive sterilization.  It has been implicated in some abortion and sterilization scandals in Mexico, China, Peru and other countries. Abortion and sterilization are illegal in Nigeria. The Bible condemns the murder of children and the corruption of young children. The Holy Koran detests anything capable of putting young people in moral jeopardy. The universal fundamental right for humanity which Islam stipulates that must be observed and respected in all circumstances and at all times is sacredness of life. In fact, the first and foremost basic right in the Holy Quran is the right to life. In Islam, the Mohammadiya, the Ahmadiyya, the Quadiniya, and the Shiite Moslems all denounce killing of children. Quran 17:31 stipulates: “slay not your children, fearing a fall of poverty, we shall provide for them and for you, lo the slaying of them is greater sin”.

A society that allows its children to be killed is heading for extinction. If adults are entitled to the enjoyment of right to life, why not children?. Mankind owes the child the best it can give it because it is the leader of tomorrow. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) 1989, signed and ratified by Nigeria, states that every child, before and after birth, should have a right to life

LETTER TO BOKO HARAM

 


 

By     Sonnie Ekwowusi

Greeting: With the certainty that you live among us and often read this page, Oh! Boko Haram, I have decided to communicate you through this medium with the hope that the words of this letter, as poor as they may be, may not only penetrate the depth of your heart but may find a dwelling place in your inner being leading to the immediate release of the abducted Chibok girls and cessation of violence and killings in Northern Nigeria.

Boko Haram sponsors, supporters and sympathizers both in and outside government or in the Nigerian military, home or abroad, my greeting. This letter is equally addressed to you.

Know you brethren, that among the universal fundamental rights of humanity which Islam stipulates that must be observed and respected in all circumstances and at all times is sacredness of life. In Islam, human blood is sacred and cannot be spilled anyhow. The first and foremost basic right in the Holy Quran is the right to life. “Whoever kills a human being without justification like manslaughter or corruption on earth, it is though he had killed all mankind” (Holy Quran; 5:32). “Do not kill a soul which Allah has made scared except through the due process of law” (Holy Quran; 6:151). Islam abhors human slavery and abduction. In the words of the Prophet (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him), “There are three categories of people against whom I shall myself be a plaintiff on the Day of Judgment. Of these three, one is he who enslaves a free man, then sells him and eats this money”.  The life, property and honour of non-Muslims (dhimmis) are to be respected and protected in exactly the same manner as those of Muslims. God Almighty has stipulated in the Holy Quran 4: 93, “Anybody who kills a believer deliberately will receive as his reward (a sentence) to live in Hell for ever. God will be angry with him and curse him, and prepare a dreadful torment for him”. According to the Prophet (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) Muslims who kill non-Muslims (dhimmis) will not even smell the fragrance of paradise. The Holy Quran stipulates that, “there should be no coercion in the matter of Faith” (Holy Qu ran 2:256).

Although Muslims are enjoined to invite people to embrace Islam and spread Islamic teachings, they are not enjoined to do so by force or through terrorism or through abduction. It is the obligation and duty of Muslim community to enjoin its members to shun wickedness and evil (Holy Quran 3:110). Islam recognizes that all human beings are brothers and sisters. That they are descendant from one father and mother and therefore should not be killed. According to Holy Quran 5:3, “Do not let your hatred of a people incite you to aggression”.  Islam teaches that no harm should be done to the civilian population during a war or conflict. The instruction of the Prophet (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) on this is this, “Do not kill any old person, any child or any woman”, “Do not kill the monks in monasteries” and “Do not kill the people who are sitting in places of worship”. Once upon a time during a certain war, the Prophet (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) saw a corpse of a woman lying on the ground and he said, “She is not fighting. How then came she to be killed?”. From this it could be easily deduced that civilian population who are not involved in war or any strife should not be killed.

From the foregoing, it is crystal clear that your killings and abduction are against the teachings of Islam and the Prophet. He who fights against Allah will incur the wrath of Allah the Almighty. My dear Boko Haram; fallen is Northern Region, a region once renowned for its touches for lighting up darkness, now becoming the dwelling place of demons. The sepulchral silence and mourning darkness that has eclipsed Borno State  is so palpably intimidating and frightening. Maiduguri is now the “city of blood”, a beehive of every foul spirit and hateful bird, a citadel of horrendous crimes, evocative of the crimes that led to the downfall of Sodom and Gomorrah and the old Roman Empire. Among the sins which led to the downfall of Sodom and Gomorrah and the old Roman Empire were great harlotry, unbridled violence, killings of human beings and self-indulgence. However before the terrible punishment could befall Sodom Gomorrah and the Roman Empire the people of God inhabiting those places were told to flee them. In the same fashion, some Northerners including the Northern elites are fleeing the North today to escape the punishments that would descend on the North as a result of your idolatrous absolutism.

My dear Boko Haram; remember that one of the most powerful prayers that Allah answers quickly is the prayer of innocent children. Now the abducted Chibok girls are praying that the blood of children that has been split in the North would come back upon the North so that the North will know no peace and progress until the blood split in the North is avenged. Violence begets violence. Murder begets murder. Abduction begets abduction

Therefore to  avert the incoming wrath, let the abducted Chibok girls regain their freedom forthwith. Then sheath your sword. Put an end to your violence. The obligation to avoid inflicting physical or psychological harm on others is a cardinal ethical principle in Islam. For the Prophet (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) said, “He who causes harm will be harmed by Allah and he who acts in a hostile manner will be treated in a hostile manner by Allah”( Jami al-Tirmidhi, No. 1306)

 

LAGOS LAWYER FAULTS PRO-GAY PROTESTS

gay_marriage_not in nigeria

Lagos lawyer and human rights activist Mr. Sonnie Ekwowusi, has  said that the castigation of Nigeria and President Goodluck Jonathan by some members of the international community for outlawing homosexuality and lesbianism in Nigeria is unwarranted and a big threat to national security.

On January 7, 2014 President Jonathan signed into law the Same Gender Marriage (Prohibition) Bill earlier passed and harmonized by the two Houses of the National Assembly. The new anti-gay law completely outlaws gay marriage, gay relationships, registration of Gay Clubs, Societies and organizations; prohibition of Gay publicity, gay procession, gay online meeting and dating and all allied gay practices in Nigeria.

For example, under the new anti-gay law an offender risks going to jail for 14 years for contracting a gay marriage or revelling in other gay practices in Nigeria.

Expectedly, the new anti-gay law has drawn the ire of some members of the international community who describe it as barbaric, unconstitutional, undemocratic and “inconsistent with Nigeria’s international legal obligations.

But speaking to newsmen yesterday, Mr Ekwowusi faulted the above contention. He stated that pursuant to section 4(1) (2) of the 1999 Constitution, our Federal legislators are enjoined to make good laws that conform to the social reality in the country.  The average Nigerian in the street abhors homosexuality, lesbianism or bestiality. In fact the only way to avoid chaos in a society is for the legislature to make laws that accord with the values and aspiration of the people. He stated that the so-called homosexual and lesbian “rights” are unfounded under the Nigerian laws and international law.

Besides, no right to privacy is exercised in vacuum; no freedom of expression is absolute, otherwise right to privacy or freedom of expression becomes a licence for indulging in any stupid deviant behavior. Therefore sections 37 (right to privacy), 38 (right to freedom of thought and conscience) and 39 (right to freedom of expression)  enshrined in the 1999 Constitution are curtailed by section 45(1) of the same Constitution to the effect that nothing in those sections 37, 38 and 39 “shall invalidate any laws that are reasonable justifiable in a democratic society in the interest of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health”.

 The Same Gender Marriage (Prohibition) law is a law reasonable justifiable in Nigeria to promote public morality and public health. Homosexual and lesbians practices are offensive to public morality and public health. Therefore the Same Gender Marriage (Prohibition) law is justified in Nigeria.

More importantly, the binding nature of international law is a matter of consent of sovereign States. There is no time nations including Nigeria met and decided that homosexual and lesbian “rights” should become international laws binding on all nations. Therefore somebody cannot be living in New York or London and be making laws that would have a binding force in Nigeria. To do so is to violate the sovereignty of Nigeria. And such a violation constitutes a big threat to national security.

According to Mr. Ekwowusi, it is unfortunate that the Western Cultural Revolution has turned right into a dynamic and subjective process of change that allows for contradictory choices. Hence choice or license has become an absolute principle and a new point of reference of human rights. This has resulted in a new sexual liberation which deconstructs the anthropological structure of man and woman leading to the negation of reality and sexual barbarism.

MR. PRESIDENT, PLEASE SIGN THIS BILL

gay_marriage_cake_300

By            Sonnie Ekwowusi

Last week, an executive director (name withheld) of a famous Nigerian bank (name-withheld) shocked us in a meeting at the Lekki Phase 1, Lagos residence of a lawyer friend. While we busied ourselves discussing business over suya meat and chilled cans of Gulder and Guinness beer, the issue of moral degeneracy in Nigeria cropped up. Then the executive director narrated how one day a certain male employee of his bank went out for a routine marketing only to return with his suit completely torn. Asked by his colleagues in office why his suit got torn, the young man explained how he was homosexually assaulted by a man who had all along been pretending that he would do business with the bank. Anyway, to cut the long bizarre story short, the assault was reported to the Police. But as you know very well, police investigation in Nigeria never ends, and even if it ends it is
not likely to produce any good fruit.

That said, I also gather that there is now a thriving gay club for youngsters in Surulere, Lagos. A friend narrated how one day he ran into a young lesbian in the heart of Surulere, boasting that she was preparing to get “married” to another young lesbian whom she referred to as her “fiancée”. Heard what happened in Anambra State on June 12, 2013?. Two suspected gays were been arraigned at the Atani Chief Magistrate Court when suddenly a group of gay men (or, probably a rented crowd) stormed the court and attempted to disrupt the court proceeding.
Beyond lamentation, these true stories reinforce the argument that homosexuality or lesbianism is a real threat to the Nigerian pre-existing socio-political order. Those who think otherwise or who still argue that the National Assembly should have preoccupied itself with more “serious issues” instead of debating the anti-gay Bill are not reasoning properly. The family institution, as the Nigerian Law Reform Commission has rightly stated, is the fundamental unit of society. It is, above all, a veritable safety-net especially in Africa where social security system is virtually non-existent. Therefore the destruction of the family is tantamount to societal destruction. Even though making marriage-considered as a legally sanctioned union of a man and a woman-a public desideratum is not the job of the State, the State should protect marriage because it is a public good that sustains civil society and promotes the common good. More importantly, the human society, as Professor Douglas Farrow of McGill University, Montreal, Canada, correctly argues, is built on heterosexual social norm. For example, almost hundred per cent of Nigerian citizens, like citizens of every country in the world, are products of parents and grandparents who imbibed and lived heterosexuality as the social norm.
Even all these gay people who are making noise are products of parents
and grandparents of heterosexual relationships.

Therefore President Jonathan should sign the Same Gender Marriage (Prohibition) Bill 2011 into law. Good enough, the House of Representatives had equally passed the Same Gender Marriage (Prohibition) Bill 2011 last Tuesday. Besides, a recent poll conducted by a certain Nigerian NGO showed that about ninety-eight per cent of Nigerian citizens are in favour of outlaying gay marriage and gay practices in Nigeria. This, for me, is a triumph of participatory democracy.  That is why President Jonathan should sign this Bill. Mr.President should not be afraid of President Obama or Prime Minister Cameroun. After all, Nigerian is a sovereign nation. Therefore, no President, no Prime Minister of any country can lord it over Nigeria.

The American Supreme Court has recently ruled that there is no rationale other than hostility to homosexuals for defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. That is America for you. Good luck to America! After all President Obama has legalized bestiality among American soldiers. So, let the Americans do whatever they like. But this is Nigeria.  We are a different people, with a different culture.
Senate President David Mark has courageously said for the umpteenth time that there is no going back on the criminalization of gay marriage and ban of gay activities in Nigeria. The Nigerian people have also said the same thing. They are right. It is suicidal to import into Nigeria the strange lifestyles of other people all in the name of human right.
Therefore President Jonathan should sign this Bill. If he does so, he would be scoring a great political point. First, he would regain the full confidence of the members of the National Assembly. Second, he would win the full support of religious and traditional leaders, churches, mosques, town unions and communities across the country.
Third, he would earn the respect of the members of the International community for doing what is right despite pressures from abroad to do the contrary. Finally, if President Jonathan signs this bill he would save Nigerian from the new sexual liberation aimed at deconstructing the anthropological structure of man and woman leading to the negation of reality and sexual barbarism.

Sonnie Ekwowusi, is a Nigerian delegate at the United Nations, he is also a lawyer based in Lagos