In continuation of its advocacy/sensitization campaign for teenage girls in secondary schools across the state against premarital sexual relationships and teenage pregnancy, the Family Empowerment and Youth Reorientation Path-initiative (FEYReP), Friday, visited Cornelia Connelly College, Afaha Oku, Uyo.

Leading the team was the wife of the State Governor and founder of FEYReP, Her Excellency, Dr. (Mrs.) Martha Udom Emmanuel.

The campaign tagged “Girls Uphold Your Dignity”, afforded the school girls the opportunity to hear first-hand from the governor’s wife who graduated from the institution about 33 years ago.

Dr. Emmanuel while interacting with the girls on the topic: “Consequences of premarital sex”, admonished the students against indulging in sexual escapades early in life.

She said abstinence remains the only option for them at this early stage in life, stating that “sex was ordained by God for mature people in marriage.”

The First Lady, who cautioned the students against engaging in unruly behaviour that could be detrimental to their future, added that as young girls they were expected to subdue inordinate feelings whenever it arise.

“Don’t succumb to peer-pressure. Be self-conscious and have self-control over your feelings. The power to suppress it is within you,” she remarked.

While advising the female students to be cautious of sexual predators in their respective areas and report to authorities in case of any abuse, the governor’s wife encouraged them to study hard and be focused in life, as these were the prerequisite for a successful life.

Earlier, the principal of the college, Mrs. Grace Ekwere in her welcome address, thanked the governor’s wife for visiting her alma-mata, saying they were honoured to have her in their presence.

She saluted the interest of the First Lady in raising the girl-child in the right way and stated that her coming to the school will motivate the students to maintain a high moral standard.

Also speaking, the coordinator of FEYReP, Mrs. Ime Ephraim Inyang while addressing the students, said the campaign is shifting the paradigm by advocating for complete abstinence from premarital sex.

Inyang reiterated the need for the girl-child to uphold her dignity, stating it was pertinent they concentrate on their studies.

Resource persons, Mrs. Aniebiet Akpan, who spoke on the topic “The girl-child and personal hygiene”, Pastor Utibe Eno who spoke on “Drug abuse and cultism,” and Barr. Sylvia Joshua who spoke on the topic “Rape: domestic violence and the consequences”, advised the female students to stay away from drugs and cultism, ensure a healthy living by keeping their body and surroundings clean and as well avoid friends with negative influence.

They all encouraged the girls to take pride in being a girl child and added that they were beautifully and wonderfully made by God for wonderful works.

There was a question and answer segment where the governor’s wife gladly responded to various questions raised by the students.

(C) Koko Udonquak

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