From NOAH EBIJE, Kaduna
A former lecturer and a one-time musician, who headed a live musical band to Australia, America and other parts of the world in the late 60s, has said that as part of his campaign against abortion, which started about 24 years ago, he would build a home for ladies carrying unwanted pregnancies, so that they would not fall into the temptation of aborting the babies.
According to Sony Pat-Natson, founder and President of Pro-Life Plus, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), he would continue to lose sleep till abortion is stopped in Nigeria, stressing that termination of pregnancy is a sin and wickedness against God and humanity.
Pat-Natson said he would not buy the idea that motherless babies would contribute to population explosion in the country, saying that the more new births are recorded, the more dead people are replaced.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a former lecturer, School of Management, Kano; former lecturer, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; former lecturer, Kaduna Polytechnic, where I spent 29 years before retiring. So, am a retired lecturer and a retired musician. I owned musical band way back in the 60s. I was the first musician to play guitar on NTA, Kaduna. I rode on a donkey to the television house in those days. As long as live music performance was concerned, I was a household name in the North. I also travelled as far as Australia and other countries to play music. Bongos Ikwue, the Benue State-born musician, is my childhood friend, and up till today we communicate. I am 70 years old, married with seven children. I speak seven Nigerian languages, which include Idoma. Of course, I am an Idoma by tribe; I speak Tiv, Igala, Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, Fulfulde and English language.
What are you doing currently?
Before I retired from the teaching profession, I started something called Pro-Life Plus, a registered non-governmental organisation (NGO). Pro-Life Plus simply means that I support life. I agreed with life, the way God has created it, and I go round the country, giving free lectures on the sanctity of human life, irrespective of religion. When I started it, I was still in the polytechnic. I started giving lectures to all manner of groups, the Muslim boys, the Christian boys, and little by little, I graduated to lecturing nurses, midwives, and medical doctors, especially younger ones on the sanctity of human life. The younger generations, especially the young girls in secondary schools are the target of these lectures. We try to reach out to these girls and teach them about the way of life; so that they don’t make the vital mistake that will eventually set them on a different cause from their ambitions. We distribute all manner of books to churches, Islamic schools, everywhere. So, my NGO is for saving souls.
What course did you teach as a lecturer?
I taught in the secretarial department. I was a specialist in shorthand, teaching shorthand mainly, typing writing, and English language. When you are teaching shorthand, you are also teaching English language. Shorthand is English, and English is shorthand. So, these were the two major subjects that I taught.
What inspired you to form the NGO?
Let me just summarise it by saying it is God. One day, there in the Kaduna Polytechnic, one of my students observed my character. Whatever he saw in me, I don’t know. He wrote something on a piece of paper and gave it to me, saying that we should set aside a day to pray for the souls of aborted babies. The appeal touched my spirit so deeply, and I started meditating. I thought about the souls of aborted babies. Nobody seems to care that these children have souls, and that the souls are also sinners. The scripture says that we are born guilty and sinners from moment of conception; that is what Christianity teaches me. So, I started having sympathy for these souls that were sent back to where they came from through immorality, abortion and all manner of behaviours. So, I started praying for the aborted souls every day. And little by little, some students would come to my office to receive advice on the danger of abortion. Today, it has grown into something that I never expected.
Are you planning an orphanage home?
It is not necessarily an orphanage home. I simply need a place that I can build to help these girls that are driven from homes with pregnancies, a place that I can look after them while I reconcile them with their parents. Some of these parents, out of poverty live in one or two rooms with many children; so you can imagine how the place will be in the night. The two rooms are just too tight for all of them. So, I actually need a place to accommodate pregnant girls, who are driven away by their parents. I have acquired the land already somewhere in Kaduna; all I need now is money to develop the place. Unfortunately, my pension is not forthcoming. Over a year now, no pension. And some people see this type of thing as a waste of time; so they will not like to support it. But this is where the real preaching is; this is where to save souls. Many churches have invited us for lecture; we showed films on different types of abortion, free of charge, if they like, they support us. This is what we do at Pro-Life Plus, to discourage pregnant girls from doing abortion, and let the baby live. We have been very successful. God knows this. I don’t sleep in order to ensure the success of the programme. So, by the time we put up the home where we can keep these girls, the job will be easier for us at Pro-Life Plus. And I pray to God to see us through the project.
How old are you, and what do you think is responsible for rapid rise in abortion in the society today?
I am 70 years old now. So many things are responsible for increase in abortion nowadays. In the olden days, there was nothing like Internet browsing and pornography. There was less abortion then; but today only the devil can keep the account of abortion. One of the factors responsible for abortion is poverty; greed is number two; then the rate of immorality, coupled with corruption. In fact, I don’t know how to categorise them; they are so many. Many parents can’t send their children to schools because of poverty. Some of them in schools fall out of schools, and eventually, assisted by Satan, they discovered that they could use their body to make some money through sex. They go into prostitution, and when pregnancy comes, the only answer they use to have is abortion because they don’t want people to know that they have been having sex.
Some parents are also responsible for this abortion explosion. Some of them are so careless about their children, especially parents in one or two bedrooms. When they are doing their thing in the midnight, some of them think that the children are asleep. Well, actually as they have their rights to do the thing, as Mr. & Mrs., the children are suddenly awake, and even peeping through the other room to see what their parents are doing, and later they try to practise this thing outside. So, attach this one to problem of poverty. Some parents are in one room with about four to five children. When will they relate as husband and wife in the same room? Government too is, in one-way or another, encouraging abortion because when it is encouraging the use of contraception, it is on the other hand encouraging abortion, should the contraception fails. They don’t want to listen to the message of abstinence, as if they don’t have sex they will fall sick. Let me ask you: have you ever heard that somebody died or rushed to hospital because he or she was not having sex? It can never be. In other words, abstinence never fails. You will not be sick because you have not been having sex. But people are so obsessed that it is sex, sex, sex all over the place. Some men use money to deceive girls of their granddaughters’ age to have sex with them. A girl that has never seen one thousand naira for a very long time, will succumb if she’s given N5,000. There are so many factors which I cannot say all of them here.
Is condom no longer reliable?
From the viewpoint of Pro-Life Plus, condom is not even good for any true Christian or Muslim. The two religions totally reject the use of condom. Why should you use condom? After all, sex is only for married people; so those using condom are afraid because they know that they are doing something evil. So, why should you use condom with your wife? Perhaps in the name of the so-called family planning. Family planning is for God to do. While creating human beings, God Himself created room for possible family planning. He is a free God. He gave us that freedom, even as He created us to choose when to be pregnant and when not to be pregnant. He created it in the nature of woman, the time a woman can conceive, and when a woman cannot conceive. And as human beings, we have to have self-discipline to allow your wife to be pregnant when you need a child, and to avoid pregnancy, as you like. So, the Pro-Life Plus organisation supports natural family planning. God gave us a choice to have a baby or not to have a baby. He now created a woman with menstrual cycle; so if a woman studies her own menstrual cycle, which differs from woman to woman, a woman can, in agreement with her husband, decide when to have a baby or not. So, a man knows when to meet or keep away from having sex with his wife.
We look at condom as evil because it is a way of destroying the material (sperm) that God uses in creating you and me. Look at the Bible, in Genesis 38: 9-10; you read about somebody called Onan. The Bible said he was allowed to have sex with his late brother’s widow, who cried to God that she didn’t have a child; so Onan, whenever he had sex with this woman, would withdraw from her body and spill the sperm on the ground, killing the sperm and, therefore, destroying God’s instrument for procreation. God saw what he did, and according to the Bible, Onan was struck dead for wasting human seed, which is very precious to God.
The condom again, is most unreliable; it is made of latex rubber and latex rubber, by its nature, has holes all over it, invisible to the ordinary eyes. During the use of condom, due to friction, the condom can tear; it can burst; it does leak sometimes, and sometimes it pulls away totally from the penis. And who is that man who will say, oh, this condom has burst, let me put another one before we continue with the sex? No man can do that. When anything goes wrong with the condom, the HIV/AIDS, STD, gonorrhea, pregnancy and many diseases that you are trying to avoid can happen. So, condom again is a way of encouraging immorality, destroying our children all over the place.
With what you are planning, it’s obvious that motherless babies will explode the country’s population?
There is nothing wrong with our population. I just love this question. There is nothing like population explosion; let’s face it; every day we are killing ourselves; everyday diseases are killing us; people are dying of malaria and HIV everyday; when do we recover from the death of these situations? Some people are saying it is due to poverty. Which poverty? We are not poor. There is plenty of food for everybody. The only thing that is wrong with us is that you see one person taking away plenty of money that belongs to millions of people. He will put it in his personal bank account. For example, if I am given money for feeding you and I, and I put the money into my pocket, how will you not go hungry? You will go starving. So, definitely, there is enough for the over-population. There is enough for everybody God created. People who are trying to teach Nigerians about over-population are those who simply want to depopulate our country for their own interest. There is food at every moment. We should not allow anybody to hoodwink us about over-population. We have everything in abundance in this country to take care of over-population.
Fear of giving birth to what Nigerian society called bastard often leads most women to commit abortion. What is your advice?
These are situations created by human beings. What is bastard, anyway? A bastard is somebody maybe, who has an unknown father. You can’t call anybody a bastard. Every child on earth has a father, and you said a woman delivered a bastard only because you don’t know who the father is? There is no human being on earth who does not have a human father. The father may be somewhere else. The woman maybe hiding the father or the father disappeared into another country. So, the word bastard does not really hold water as far as I am concerned.
What is the record of abortion in Nigeria, either monthly or annually?
We don’t have real data on number of abortion in Nigeria. We know where these abortions are happening; many of them are called clinics. But their right names should be ‘abortuaries.’ In America, where they try to keep statistics of abortions, they are in different categories. Issue of how many abortions in Nigeria, who is keeping records? Even doctors don’t want to keep records because they don’t want to be seen as baby killers or murderers that they are. So, where do you get any records? But some doctors are there who must have taken money from American agencies or foreign agencies to deceive Nigerian authority that abortion can be done by experienced doctors and, therefore, it should be legalised. And abortion is all about terminating the life of an unborn baby. So, they want expert doctors to make money from it. In America, they make massive millions of dollars from abortion. Now, they want such a thing to be happening in Nigeria too, and even without legalising it. It is already too much. No doctor will want to tell you that he has done up to 50 or 100 abortions, not in Nigeria. So, it is very unfortunate. But I am happy that the National Assembly, sometimes ago, kicked against same sex marriage and abortion. So, the issues of statistics of abortion, let nobody tell you lies, whether he is a professor in medicine or gyneacology; there is no statistics.
What will you do if your daughter commits abortion?
If my daughter falls victim of abortion after warning her, God knows that my hands are clean. I did not tell her to do it, I did not show her where to do it. I did not give her money to do it. So, am free. I can never encourage abortion. If I do it, am in for it before God. I have been called names for trying to stop a lady from doing abortion just because I don’t want the baby to be killed.
What mechanism do you put in place to know that your campaign against abortion is succeeding?
I wish you see some of the photographs of my lecture points. The emotions expressed by those who listened to my lectures is more than enough; not only that, I have photographs of children who would have been aborted, but because of Pro-Life talks, they changed their minds. Some years back, I gave a lecture at Saint Paul Catholic Church, Ungwan Rimi, Kaduna here. As a result of that lecture, after sometimes, a reverend father met me at a bookshop; he said, ‘Pat, when are you coming to collect your children from my parish?’ I asked what he meant. He said that after my lecture at the parish some women who wanted to do abortion decided not to. Now they have fine children. He added that one woman was particularly happy and she wanted to see me face-to-face. She had been praying for a baby boy, but she wanted to abort the pregnancy, but my lecture stopped her, and by the time she put to bed, it was a baby boy. So, there are reports from all over the country. I have many pictures of babies that would have been aborted but my lecture prevented the abortion. However, these pictures are not to be published because they are kids.
What are your challenges in this campaign?
My challenges are many. Some girls are pregnant and they told me that their parents have driven them from home. They don’t have any support; nobody to help them. Here is Pro-Life Plus without any money, without finance. These girls need to be helped, one way or the other. The government has never given me one kobo since I began this NGO. Sometimes we find these pregnant girls and put them in a place until we are able to reconcile them with their parents. We have to beg some parents to forgive their daughters and not allow them to do abortion. Sometimes I succeed; sometimes I do not. Luckily, we have up to two medical doctors who are Pro-lifers, who do help these pregnant girls with ante-natal medical attention. They have been doing a lot for these girls who are pregnant and do not know where to go; they help them deliver the babies and even give them pocket money. In this regard, I must appreciate Dr. & Mrs. Innocent Okpe, and Dr. Patrick Polyte. These medical doctors have been simply wonderful to my NGO.