Youths Celebrate Humanity at Conference in Lagos  

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Iyare Esohe Ewaenosa

On September 13, 2019, the Foundation for African Cultural Heritage (FACH), a coalition of over 13 NGOs based in Lagos, gathered youth from all over Nigeria to celebrate and support humanity which are the core values of the family and society.  Hundreds of young people converged at the University of Lagos, Akoka, to listen, interact with, debate and be challenged by speakers of diverse nationalities and professions, on issues which border on the dignity of the human person, and as such affect the family and the society. Speakers such as veteran actor and Professor of Arts Administration at the Lagos State University, Prof Sola Fosudo; Digital Influencer and founder of TrimKitchen, Nicole Chikwe; and Director of Islamic Studies, Imam G.T Miqdad, encouraged the millennials to take charge of their lives by having non-negotiable values on which they can build healthy relationships and thus healthy lives. 

One of the most scintillating conversations was centered on issues of human sexuality, particularly the LGBTQ movement and the abhorrent content of Comprehensive Sexual Education (CSE) being imposed on Nigerian schools by the Western world. Mrs Chinelo Ujubuonu, educator and editor of Ozuzuamaka blog, spoke extensively on the dangerous ideologies regarding CSE and the manner of teaching the inappropriate content to children as young as eight years. Mrs Ujubuonu condemned the teaching of the abhorrent sexual content of the CSE such as mutual masturbation and homosexual practices in our schools without parental consent. She encouraged the youth to channel their outrage at the teaching of this abhorrent CSE sexual content into a brave promotion of self-mastery as an essential manifestation of human dignity and fight this warped hedonistic culture.

 Concerning the LGBTQ movement, there were those who felt that one should be able to ‘agree to disagree’ and live tolerance while also preserving cultural values. However, after several speakers expounded on the ‘dictatorship of tolerance’ in countries that accept LGBTQ ideas, and, the fact that such ‘dictatorship of tolerance’  amounts to suppression of opposing views as well as a complete violation of the right to freedom of thought, religion and conscience (as in the case of the American baker Jack Phillips who refused to bake wedding cake for a gay couple); many began to have second thoughts. The Question and Answers Session ended on a note that those who experience homosexual tendencies are not to be rejected and crucified but loved and helped to realise that it is an aberration often arising from traumatic life experiences; so that they can seek appropriate therapy in order to be healed of their homosexual tendencies. The millennial speakers at the conference Irene Obi, Janice Dibia and Sandra Onwuekwe encouraged their fellow young people to be daring to dream and be change agents.

All in all, it was a day for soul-baring conversations. The entire hall was stunned to awe-filled silence as CEO and founder of Alabasta Africa, Martha Bwore, narrated her life history which was too deep for words. A mother of 9, Martha spoke of how she had come to an unshakable understanding of the dignity of human life. She regretted aborting seven of her babies which were the products of abusive and manipulative relationships. 

She stressed the fact that abortion is murder and that she would always regret all her abortions which left her depressed and suicidal even though they were performed in the best medical facilities abroad and in her country Kenya. She narrated horror stories of women who had abortions and ended up with ruptured womb or being unable to have children of theirs afterwards. She encouraged the youth that it is possible to live secondary virginity in spite of the push to make sex a casual affair.

 The Conference ended with emphasis on the importance of communicating wholesome values about personality, sexuality and family during the formative years of childhood. Joy, a student of the Lagoon Institute of Hospitality spontaneously expressed her joy and thanked all the speakers especially Martha from Kenya for sharing her nasty abortion experiences. Joy was glad that Matha was courageous enough to share her horrifying abortion experiences which turned out to be very educative and formative to the young attendees.