.- The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria has called on the Nigerian government to ensure that an international meeting on development not be used as an avenue to legalize abortion. Rather, they say, the meeting should be used to advance human dignity.
The conference’s statement, signed by Archbishop Felix Alaba-Job, exhorted Nigerian public leaders to firmly defend life and family, the News Agency of Nigeria says. The statement said that the upcoming Tokyo meeting of the International Conference on African Development (TICAD) should be focused upon ensuring human security rather than the expansion of legalized abortion.
"Our concern derives from the fact that the Tokyo agenda for action foresees the provision for access to abortion and family planning services,” the archbishop explained.
"There is no doubt that this agenda represents a renewed attack on the dignity of human persons, human life and family values," the bishops’ statement said. It called for public officers to publicly affirm the “inviolability” of human persons.
The bishops’ statement advised that TICAD seek for ways to assist African countries in general, and Nigeria in particular, in securing the prerequisites for development. The bishops said that the TICAD meeting is an opportunity for Nigeria to display its democratic progress and to promote the dignity of the human person.
"Nigerian authorities should declare to the world that population is our strength and provide us with the resources for development," the bishops said.