To these words, some students across some schools in the FCT pledged allegiances. At the Mini Hall of Anglican Girls Grammar School Apo, one of the venues where this pledge was made, it was a sight to behold. But how do these youth hope to keep this narrow way?
Victoria Ojo Ademola , a JSS 1 student of the school says, “ by keeping away from men that will want to lure me into having sex with them. I know it is difficult but I will try to keep to this pledge I have made today.” She says enthusiastically.
Nneka Nsofon a SS 2 student, who pledged as well, said she took the vow because she knows that HIV cannot be cured. “I have decided to abstain from sex which is the main form of transmitting the disease.”
For Siatim John a SS 1 student, she acknowledge that though there was peer pressure which will want to influence her, but she will choose the discipline to abstain from sex, believing that God will help her. She says the symposium have enlightened her as she did not know that t HIV could be contacted by kissing an infected person who may have sores and bleed in the mouth.
Saitim advised other young people to ‘Zip- up’ and be diligent to fulfil their dreams because nobody will do that for them.
In a drama presentation, which portrayed the story of a girl, Shada who was lured into sex after she was given a poisoned drink by her friend’s boyfriend, and later got HIVand got pregnant as well, some of the students said it taught them to keep away from dubious friends.
Uche Ebere the leader of the HIV awareness club in the school says she has come to believe that abstinence is the best cure to HIV as the use of condoms is risky. She advised parents to educate their wards about this adding that “HIV no dey show for face.”
Gbenga Osinubi, President of Corpers Voice on HIV/AIDS (COVHA) organisers of the symposium, says they are passing the message of Abstinence from sex to the students because that is the only way to fight the dreaded virus. “We think abstinence is the wisest choice that these young people can make so as not to contact HIV. We are also chipping in the message of goal setting as well so that as they abstain from sex, they will focus on their goals and strive to achieve it.” Osinubi says.
The schools visited were Government Secondary School Gwarinpa, Nigeria Ghana International College, Mount Faith College, Kabusa , Federal Government Boys College, Apo. Others are Anglican Girls Grammar school, Government Technical school Area 3 and Funtaj High International School, Kuje.