Does anyone else frequently wonder, as I do, how often young and unmarried adolescent girls from Amaekpu and other Ohafia Communities become pregnant and give birth to children at home with reckless abandon? Pregnancy is now so affordable that no one even bats an eyelid or frowns at it. The Community is totally overburdened.
Maybe you should stroll over to Ime-Ogo. Teenage girls struggling to make ends meet can be seen at Okpu Omama Nde Uyo clutching, cuddling, or carrying their infants behind their backs. They market a variety of goods, the majority of which are economically worthless.
The majority of these young women quit school after becoming pregnant. Uncomfortably, riders on the Okada and Keke, artisans, and loafers are primarily to blame for these pregnancies. Sometimes they claim not to be responsible and accuse the young women of maintaining multiple relationships. Those who accept responsibilities do so to increase the number of children they already have in other Ohafia Communities, They see it more as a way to demonstrate their masculinity and virility than as an acceptance of the duty to raise such unfortunate kids.
Any young woman who became pregnant out of wedlock in the past had to deal with Nde-Inyom & Nde Ikpirikpe. When moral upbringing was at its best in the past, such occurrences were very uncommon.
One starts to question whether Nde ikpirikpe still has complete control over the circumstances in Amaekpu. Does Nde-Inyom continue to be mobilized for “Ikpa m’bogo”? Ikpa M’bogo hasn’t happened in a very long time. Are such measures no longer necessary, or have the laws prohibiting those who consciously violate morality been changed?
What is currently transpiring in our neighborhood regarding the heedless way of life of our teenage girls is deeply unsettling and worrisome. It is definitely “stranger than fiction,” to use the cliche.
We can’t help but make mistakes in life. We all make mistakes because we are fallible human beings. But some errors have serious repercussions. Being pregnant outside of marriage without making arrangements for the child’s care is totally reckless and dangerous, especially in a small town like ours where everyone is genuinely acquainted as relatives, friends, and very close family members. It is a stigma that will always exist.
Because our women were well-behaved and brimming with moral rectitude, any young man living in the city who was ready to get married typically visited home to choose a wife. Young women in the marriageable age range today are more street-smart in rural areas than in cities. They are inexpensive due to greed.
As all four of the female children in one family had off-marital offspring. One wonders if such a family has an annoying tendency. They have all remained happily single and oddly unconcerned up until this point.
Some parents today receive shame and humiliation from their kids as payment for bringing them into the world and raising them. Many of these misbehaving kids fail to realize at the right time that following parental guidance instills self-discipline.
However, a sizable portion of the blame for poor parental training falls on some parents. It can be challenging for some of the village women who are not married to raise their children in a healthy way. This is an instance of one not giving what she lacks. It should be noted that, especially in rural areas, raising children is not solely the responsibility of the biological parents. The whole neighborhood is involved.
Finally, it is past time for the community to take drastic action rather than maintaining a “strange still small silence.”
Nde-Inyom and all other parties involved in Amaekpu projects as well as other Ohafia communities should uphold their obligations by making every effort to encourage “the moral chastity & sanity to restore sanctity” that Amaekpu. Ohafia was once renowned for.
June 2023. @daveuma.