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Religious leaders charged to be family planning advocates

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Group calls for unity in Taraba

Christian and Moslem clerics have been called upon to use their platforms to speak publicly in favour of family planning.

In doing that, they are urged to explain the benefits of child spacing to their congregations by letting them know that neither family planning nor child spacing was designed to reduce population, as being widely perceived, but to save lives.

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The Challenge Initiative (TCI) made the call in Jalingo, Taraba State, at the weekend after a three-day workshop to stimulate religious leaders’ support for family planning.

It was worried that despite the several interventions put in place to encourage child spacing, the level of acceptance remained low.

Dorcas Akila and other TCI programme officers, in their different presentations, held that everybody must intervene in issues concerning family planning, adding that “if religious leaders begin to support it, the people would not only begin access family planning services, but would as well choose the method of their choice.”

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Affirming that religious leaders could provide concise interpretations from the Bible and Qur’an to stimulate the need for family planning, they admonished the clerics to sensitise their followers, co-leaders and groups on its benefits.

Meanwhile, Taraba Volunteer Group has called for unity of purpose among people of the state, rather than indulge in acts that would thwart the peace efforts of Governor Darius Ishaku.

It stressed the need for all hands to be on deck to support the governor in actualising his dream of making the state a better place for all.

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Coordinator of the group, Joseph Terence, who made the appeal yesterday in Jalingo, urged those making derogatory statements over the prolonged absence of the governor to desist, as he had not breached the country’s constitution with his absence.

He observed that the governor’s absence did not tell negatively on the state because “things have being going on smoothly.”

The recent visit to the governor by ministers, ambassadors and other influential persons from within and outside the country, according to him, was geared towards developing the state.

“Our group is not a political group; we have always said things the way they are. We have not for once taken sides with any party, tribe and religion and we shall never do. So what we are saying is that the governor has not erred by staying away for so long because it is for the good of our people and the state at large,” he said.

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