An Anglican prelate has urged all Christians in Imo State to join hands and fight the abortion law in the state.
Rt. Rev. Chijioke Oti, Bishop on the Lake, was reacting to a recent revelation that abortion was still legal in the state as a law signed by former Gov. Achike Udenwa at the last days of his administration still subsists.
Bishop Oti condemned the manner the church pursued the demand to repeal the law, initially and observed that it was not co-ordinated and was made to look like a struggle with political undertone.
He said that in dealing with controversial matters such as abortion, politics should be kept aside.
The Bishop, who spoke exclusively to Christian Voice, pointed out that the unrepealed portions of the law could provide cover for those intending to commit the act which, he said, is not permissible by the church of Christ and the society in general.
He, therefore, urged the church to speak with one voice, and make sure the present Governor of the state, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, and the House of Assembly repeal the part signed by Gov. Udenwa in 2007.
“Abortion has to be removed completely”, he said emphatically.
The Bishop, however, commended Gov. Okorocha for his immediate action in repealing the law no. 12 of 2012 which was sponsored by member representing Ahiazu Mbaise, Mrs Adaku Ihuoma.
“The governor is a listening governor, he said. The fact that he repealed the law is one to appreciate God for. Some state governors would not do what Owelle Okorocha did. I urge him to do same with the remaining abortion law which lots of Imolites are ignorant of,” he said.
Adding his voice, a medical practitioner and academician, Prince Dr. Phillip Njemanze, recalled that it was the same law that cost Gov. Kayode Fayose his seat in Ekiti State.
He argued that the governor was silent over the bill passed by the state’s House of Assembly and subsequently attracted protest votes from the Christian community in Ekiti.
“Such a thing could happen in Imo”, said Dr. Njemenze who first blew the whistle on the law when it was passed by the State’s House of Assembly. He alleged that the Bill Gates Foundation using different kinds of non-governmental organizations such as the National Coalition on Affirmative Action (NCAA) has been pushing for the law in this part of the world ostensibly for some selfish reasons.
The controversial abortion law, called Nigeria Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Law No. 12 of 2012, was repealed by the Imo State House of Assembly late last year.
Gov. Okorocha, who had signed the law, made a sharp u-turn after a widespread condemnation of the law by religious leaders and the public.
However, the Nigeria Gender and Equal Opportunities Law No. 7 of 2007 enacted by former Gov. Udenwa was not repealed, making abortion a legal act in the state.