By AbdulSalam Muhammad

KANO—The National Population Commission, NPC, yesterday, charged the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar; Emir of Kano, Malam Muhammad Sanusi II; fiery Islamic cleric, Malam Abubakar Gumi, and other eminent traditional and religious leaders in the North to champion the spread of family planning gospel in the region.

The Commission’s Chairman, Chief Eze Duruiheoma, while celebrating this year’s World Population Day in Kano, said their involvement was for the sake of building a healthy and prosperous society.

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the Emir of Kano

Duruiheoma, in a speech delivered on his behalf by the state Director, Sank Sa’adu Usman, said “having a large army of uncatered-for children because the mothers are denied access to family planning services, is not in the interest of any community either in the short or long term.”

He explained that Nigeria’s population remained its greatest asset in the quest for sustainable development.

He, however, stressed that the health status and general wellbeing of women and the girl-child had the capacity to influence development process but that “this capacity was being undermined by their continued exposure to preventable phenomena of maternal mortality, unsafe abortion and early pregnancy, which deny them the pursuit of educational and economic opportunities, all occasioned by lack of access to family planning services.

“All the massive investments in building social and physical infrastructure, healthcare, education and other critical sectors of our national life will not yield maximum benefits unless the women and girl-child have unfettered access to sexual and reproductive information and services.”

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