Abuja – Residents of the FCT on Friday expressed divergent opinions on free distribution of condoms by civil society groups and health related NGOs as Valentine celebrations approached.
Ahead of the February 14 valentine celebrations, condoms were being distributed in parks and event centres in the territory by the groups.
A cross section of Abuja resident who spoke welcomed the gesture while others abhorred it.
Mr. Tunde Olabode, a teacher, said valentine as a season of love, distributing condoms was not out of place and not something new.
“The main purpose of this distribution is to discourage the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and various infections.
“It can also help in the control of the rate of abortion among the youths,’’ he said
Olabode, however said that “it can be negative when one look at it from the perspective of religion which forbids immorality’’.
A civil servant, Mrs. Nkechi Amadi, who said she was given a roll of ten gold circle condoms, said there was nothing wrong with the development.
Amadi said the NGOs were using the auspicious occasion of valentine to give sex education on the dangers involved in having unprotected sex.
“As parents, we give sex education to our children at home, including the use of condoms; so I see nothing wrong in what the NGOs are doing.
“It serves as a medium to tell the youths that they must not have unprotected sex to have good health.
On the other hand, Miss Uche George, a civil servant said that “distributing condom openly is like encouraging immoralities and evil in the society’’
She said the practice is “Western way of life, not known to Africa’’. She therefore advised that emphasis should be placed on teaching moral values.
Mr Felix Ajide, a journalist and pastor said that the NGOs have a misconception of what valentine celebration was all about.
He noted that, “distributing condoms openly is endorsing and encouraging fornication and adultery’’.
Ajide explained “love and sex are two different terms; but this action makes people to believe that the terms mean the same thing’’
“Valentine’s Day is a day originally celebrated to remember the love that God has for man and the love man is expected to have for his neighbour.
“However, we are losing focus on the main point and now trying to focus on sex and lust’’.
Ajide stressed that Valentine’s Day must not be used as an excuse for erotic love, but a day to celebrate the love and care received from our loved ones.
“I urge these NGO’s to find measures that focus on love and not sex.
“The sexual encounter between people that are not partners should be discouraged.
“They are not helping the society. Instead, they should distribute materials that encourage genuine love amongst the public,” he added. (NAN)