By Martin Opara
The immediate past chairman, Association of Catholic Medical Practitioners Prof Philip Njemanze, has condemned in very strong terms, the proposed amendment of some sections of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which he alleges are subtly aimed at legalizing abortion, same sex marriage, ordination of women as Catholic and Anglican priests, in addition to eroding and destroying the fabrics of all what makes us Africans and the people of God”.
Njemanze, Medical Director of New Chidicom Medical Centre, Owerri who stated this in a release he made available to newsmen, berated the senate ad-hoc committee on the review of the 1999 constitution for caving into pressure from the Anti-Life Billionaire foundation, that is bent on the domestication of the Maputo protocol that was signed and ratified by Nigeria.
According to him, “as the Senate and-hoc committee on the revew of the constitution has called for memoranda from the executive, and judicial bodies, civil society organizations, and professional bodies, it is obvious that the amendments are aimed at bringing Nigeria in line with the anti-life provisions in the 23-page Maputo protocol, which is a more radical African version of Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), that was rejected by the senate of the United States of America because of it’s anti-life statutes and breach of the Unites State sovereignty”.
He condemned section 33 of chapter IV of the proposed amendment that states that abortion is not permitted, except in the opinion of a trained health professional or when there is need for emergency.
“This is a very deceptive wording that gives the so called trained health professional the power of life and death who is this health professional whose decision over the life of an unborn child is final and does not require medical diagnosis of the patient, thorough medical investigations and/or consultation with other specialists? This could also be grounds for an abortion even at the ninth month”.
“No matter what anybody says or clandestinely tries to achieve, abortion is the murder of an unborn child whose life is fully protected in the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Under no circumstance should anybody be given the right to determine another person’s right to life through abortion”.
He warned that, “the proposed amendment in section 33 of the 1999 constitution that tends to subtly legalize abortion, as canvassed for by the International Anti-Life Billionaires foundation funded with questionable resources should be jettisoned and out-rightly expunged”. “They have succeeded in Kenya and are trying to replay the script across Africa”.
The acclaimed anti abortion crusader also noted that the draft amendment of section 34 (4), which is in alignment with the definition section of the Maputo protocol which states that discrimination against women, means “distinction, exclusion, restriction or any differential treatment on the grounds of sex, and whose objectives or effects, compromise or inhibit the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, regardless of their marital status, of human rights and fundamental freedom on all spheres of life, when interpreted by courts of law will mean that the principles of all male priesthood of the Catholic Church and Anglican Communion or Islamic clerics will be negated and made inconsequential. It also means that any female who possesses relevant qualifications, can also be the Sultan of Sokoto, or Obi of Onitsha. These proposed amendments, may result in the ban of the use of Holy Bible and holy Koran, as their contents, stipulations and instructions may no longer be relevant for teaching and imparting knowledge as their tenets will be seen as being unconstitutional.
Dr. Njemanze, also posited that the amendment in section 37, which talks about right to private family life, which dwells on “equal right to choose a spouse, is an indirect legalization of same sex marriage, because, a spouse could be a man or woman. “”When a law talks about equal right to choose a spouse, it also means that, a man is free to choose a man and a woman is free to choose a woman, thereby making same sex marriage constitutional”.
“We will mobilize Christians and moslems to resist this evil plot of using plain English to deceptively insert constitutional amendments that will have disastrous consequences on Nigeria and her citizens. We will vehemently resist this evil plot that is propelled by foreign, anti-life forces seeking to destroy our cherished noble values as, Africans”.