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Why Marriages No Longer Last

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One of the institutions
of God that man has embraced with every sense of eagerness and satisfaction is marriage. It is something that every man and woman irrespective of religion or race craves for, something that spreads’ joy across the families of both the bride  and groom,  something that gives some sense of life’s  fulfillment in every human being across the globe.
It is esteemed high to the extent  that   the absence of  it in the life of an average man or woman poses some level of irresponsibility, depression and even  tension.
It has become a normal  thing in recent times, every weekend is packed with marriage ceremonies in village squares, churches and  or  event places with happiness on the faces of attendants.
It is a wonder however, that such an event of life with all its show  of beauty, creativity, joy and blessings, could  still be attended to with levity so much that, the more wedding ceremonies, the more cases of divorce.
Divorce, as it were, has become part of life among  couples, to the extent that is seen as the best option where any form of supposed irregularity is found in marriage. The accompanying shame and stigma has been trivialised so much that “it does not matter, life goes on”.
Supprisingly, divorce was not as rampant even in the late 1980’s as it is now. Challenged with this worry, The Tide’s Women’s Desk  was poised to unravel the mask behind the scene.
A close investigation of the issue reveals that there are  cases of marriage that lasted for just a month. Very shocking was the news of a marriage that ended just after the couple’s honey-moon, where they parted ways on their way back from the ‘moon’.
Some however,  took months and even years before divorce sets in.
A manager of one of the renowned beauty homes in Port Harcourt who pleaded anonymity, told this desk that there are a lot of factors that contribute to the high rate of divorce in recent times.
“The world today cannot  be compared to that of yesteryears. There are  so many changes such that you need a partner that will share  your ideas and help you to accomplish your dreams as a woman. Unfortunately, some of these men are just not  there to help you grow. Instead, they are out to drain every aspect of your life and for any wise woman, there is no need sharing your  life with such a man but to get out and get going,” she said.
She explained that the  incompatibility of the man and woman is enough reason for the marriage not to continue because it could lead to an untimely death of one of the partners.
According to her, “some men are just irresponsible that no significant interest is shown in the progress of the union. They  are just after the sharing of bed” she revealed that such was the situation she endured  for three  years after which she decided to call it a quit.
Mrs Celestina Hekerem, a banker with Eco Bank was of the view  that the present hard economy was a contributory factor to the issue of divorce.
“Today’s economy is very sophisticated and highly demanding. It requires all hands (husband and wife) to be on deck for  the family to push  on. Apart from those that I would describe as being highly favoured  by God,  most couples are either unemployed or one of them making do with one meager salary paid job or the other.
It takes an enduring partner to stay through the marriage  otherwise, it is divorce.” Celestina also  said that  to avoid divorce most young men and young women  would not want to marry an unemployed person ‘because  until you have the experience, you will not understand, she added.
According to Mr. Tonye Fiberesima, “how can  you continue with the marriage that you entered  into  with  the mind that your bride is a virgin only to discover that she is not.”
Fiberesima maintained that marriage was supposed to be built on sincerity and  devoid of every form of pretence. Unfortunately, he noted, most marriages are founded on untruthfulness and pretence  and  because  they must be exposed  someday, the marriage can’t  continue.
Doctors Blessing Amadi and  Godstime Ike of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital were of the view that Infertility/Sterility among couples are major causes of divorce.
“Ofcourse, one of the basic  reasons of marriage  is for procreation and where  this  is absent after many years  of marriage, it is somehow  bound to crash except  for very few enduring couples.”
They also revealed that the libido or romantic aspect of a partner can contribute to the rise and fall of a marriage.
Pastor Anyalebechi Nnunukwe  of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, Port Harcourt, attributed the cause of divorce to adultery, intolerance and lack of patience among couples.
He said “a lot of couples today for reasons known to them have lost sight of the original nature of marriage that a man would leave  his father and mother and cling to his wife and both of them shall become  one flesh. They  have relegated this injunction by God and  turned to sharing their flesh with two or even multiple fleshes.
Besides, they are different entities coming together to live their lives and share a common goal. This requires a high level of tolerance and patience. Unfortunately, these virtues seem  to be lacking in most couples resulting to divorce.
On his part, Chief Nsan Enerene said “marriage is to foster posterity. Your marriage should  provide you with a son that  will continue your lineage. Your wife could give you only female  children and you might be  lenient  enough to pick another wife to give you  the male sex child but your wife may not agree with you and so, the best thing is to get divorced.”
A 92- year old retiree of the federal civil  service, Pa Akande Ishaya, lamented that today’s marriages are made up of  youngsters who are immature and unknowledgeable of the nitty-gritty of marriage, stating that it is a major cause of divorce.
It seems that the quest for marriage among young men and women has neglected the idea of courtship. Most of these issues would have been resolved and the marriage formed with every sense  of understanding, tolerance and hopefulness.
Moreso, life itself is a check and balance, the absence of which would result to unfathomable chaos. Thus, what can not be changed, I think,  should be rationally endured  the original beauty of marriage could be returned.

 

Lady Godknows

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WCD: ‘19.6% Rivers Women Use Contraceptive Methods’

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An estimated 19.6% of married women in Rivers State currently use modern contraceptive methods to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
The state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Princewill Chike, who made this known at the weekend in his broadcast to mark this year’s “World Contraception Day (WCD)”, noted that while this number indicates that something was being done in this direction, more still needs to be done.
“In Rivers State, only 19.6% of currently married women use a modern method of contraceptive. This data shows that although some progress is being made, there’s yet more work to be done”, he said.
Towards this end, the commissioner said the government, through the state Ministry of Health, and its parastatals “are committed to providing women with access to quality information and services in all public as well as private (healthcare) facilities”.
This, he said, was done in partnership with several implementing partners such as “Association of Reproductive and Family Health Initiative”, “Clinton Health Access Initiative”, “The Challenge Initiative”, and “Marie Stopes lnternational”.
“The state government has developed, and is implementing a work plan targeted at improving contraception through ensuring the availability of right information, commodities, consumables, and equipment to offer the services, while also ensuring that there are skilled health workers who are able to provide these services.
“Together with our partners, we have built the capacity of healthcare providers in public and private sectors to provide quality Family Planning services”, the commissioner said.
He added that efforts have also been made to engage “Community Structures” such as youth and women champions, community reproductive health influencers, and religious leaders to “facilitate counselling within communities and referrals to linked facilities”.
In addition, Chike said, “the Social Behaviour Change Committee has been passed with the responsibility to expand information on Family Planning and its services to our communities and people, so that they can take responsibility for their lives through informed choices, and plan their families in line with the new vision for healthcare development”.
While noting that people can access Family Planning services in 328 facilities spread across the state, the commissioner urged people to access the facilities at their convenience.
“You can conveniently access Family Planning services in 328 health facilities in the state, including the private facilities.
“We, therefore, call on everyone to take responsibility for their lives through voluntary exercise of their right to health, as well as their right to reproductive freedom”, he said.
Quoting the National Demographic Health Survey of 2018, Chike also used the opportunity to inform that Nigeria is currently working to attain 27% contraceptive prevalence rate by the end of 2023, saying that “right now the figure stands at 17%”.
Explaining the benefits accruable from contraceptive use, the state health boss said beyond individual and family benefits, countries also benefit immensely.
“Apart from the health benefits of expanding access to contraception, there are also economic benefits.
“Economists estimate that every one dollar invested in universal access to contraception saves countries $120 in reduced need for infrastructure on social spending”, he said.
“Family Planning”, the commissioner stressed, “provides a means through which individuals and couples can have children by choice, and not by chance, or they can have the number of children that they are able to adequately care for”.
The WCD is marked globally on September 25 of annually.

By: Sogbeba Dokubo

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44 Years In Marriage: Couple Celebrate Love

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While some couples have had to quit their union in very short space of time for various reasons, for Mr and Mrs Akpan, the grace of God upon their marriage had been the spice that had kept the union going.
44 years now in marriage, the couple have gannered enough reasons to celebrate God’s goodness, faithfulness upon their lives. Sunday, September 19, 2021 remains remarkable in the history of their relationship as they appeared before a distinquished congregation at Charismatic Renewal Ministries, Woji, in Port Harcourt, to refresh a covenant they had 44 years ago when they first tied the nuptial knot.
Engr Anthony Akpan who doubles as a Pastor and Zonal Secretary, PFN, sees his wife, Mrs Akpan Emilia, as the greatest gift from God to his life, for which he declared that, “she is worth celebrating for her love, hard work and uncountable achievements these 44 years of marriage.”
In his words, “today is a joyous day and double celebration for us. We are 44 years in marriage and my wife is also marking her 69th birthday. God has been so faithful to our union”, he noted.
Commenting on the uniqueness of their relationship, the Rivers State commissioner for information, Pastor. Paulinus Nsirim discribed the couple as role models and inspiration to the old/younger generations.
Pst. Nsirim reiterated that the couple have been a great gift to the church and have mentored many lives/marriages both in the church and secular world, adding that “they are worth celebrating.
“The couple have been a blessing to the body of Christ and nation at large. Their marriage has been an inspiration to me and others. Their marriage would continue to enjoy God’s blessings”.
Meanwile, the Chairman of Pentecostal Followship of Nigeria (PFN), Rivers State, Rev. Dagogo Jack, has appreciated God for keeping them in harmonious marriage for 44 years.
PFN Chairman said the couple has worked so hard in the Lord’s vineyard, adding that their lives have been an example to believers.
Speaking during the thanks giving service, the celebrant, Engr Akpan appreciated God for the grace given to them that called for the double celebration.
On the secret of the successful marriage, he noted the need for couples to “have a good heart and relationship with God, work in forgiveness for one another, make excuses for each other and always striving to be the best husband/wife for one another”.
He reiterated the need for couples to work together and overcome pressure points in their marriages.
Speaking in an interview with The Tide shortly after the thanks giving service, Mrs Akpan recounted God’s grace and faithfulness in her marriage.
Mrs Akpan who noted that the marriage has been a source of joy due to the presence and grace of God, said the secret of her success in marriage is God’s word and command that, “the two should become one”.
For her, success in marriage starts with the choice of spouse. Thus she advised, “don’t choose a husband/wife based on wealth and look, but ensure that he/she is your soul mate”.
And to the younger women, she stressed the need for endurance and the ability to settle marriage challenges on one’s knees.
Their union is blessed with eight children and seven grand children. Mrs Akpan, is the proprietress of Showers Christian High School.

By: Lilian Peters

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Women

Rotary Club To Empower Women On Renewable Energy

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As Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Eco District 9141 gets a new Charter President, there are indications that attention is gradually being shifted from fossil fuel to renewable energy. In her inaugural speech as the first president of the charter, Rotarian Emem Bridget Okon, said, “this club under my leadership will champion alternative source of energy, we are going to promote that in the communities.”
She announced the interest of the club in climate literacy, as she declared that the campaign is on a shift from fossil fuel to renewable energy as it would be good to also make contribution in that aspect.
For this reason, the president said, they would train local communities as well as empower youths and women on renewable energy such as solar, so it can help in the area of having energy stoves and solar power in communities, among others.
She called for support from individuals and organisations as well as donors to ensure that this project makes impact in the lives of community members.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after her installation, last Sunday in Port Harcourt, Rtn Okon explained that the state of mother earth has become a global challenge as such the Rotary Club is interested in finding solutions to some of these challenges as it affects all aspects of human life.
Speaking further, she explained that the club’s mandate is to promote environmental conservation, ecosystem restoration as well as climate change mitigation, adding that the club would also seek to contribute to addressing the challenges in the Niger Delta environment in line with Rotary international focus through the following intervention areas: disease prevention and treatment; mangrove restoration; basic education and climate literacy; peace building and conflict resolution; economic and community development and eco ambassador, among others.
She further explained that the environment area of focus in rotary club was adopted in 2020 during the presidential counsel meeting, adding that this is the first club that particularly focused on the environment in West Africa.
Rtn Okon stated that the core mandate has made it become the first in West Africa and first in Nigeria, noting that this same core mandate was first adopted in Kenya, thereby making the Port Harcourt Eco District 4191s core mandate, second in Africa.
She noted that high level of soot was one of their major reasons and concern to focus on the environment, adding that the club has just unveiled the campaign against soot.
The charter president revealed that the club has also started the ‘Safe The Mangrove Campaign,’ which they are targeting to plant 50,000 mangrove trees by June 2022 when this rotary year would end.
She further revealed more activities they intend to embark on to include carrying out tree planting saying: “All these are necessary because these trees are important in absorbing carbon dioxide from the air and also helps in the restoration of the eco-system.”
“You would agree with me that this year’s World Environment-Day has the theme: ‘Eco-System restoration’, while World Earth-Day has the theme: ‘Restore Our Earth,’ so if we look at keying into those United Nations themes, it is better to take actions that would contribute to restoration of the environment, that is why we have decided to do tree and mangrove planting,” she added.
She explained that there got to be awareness creation, which they can only achieve through conferences, policy dialogue and engagement with environmental justice groups, adding that all these would contribute to taking actions to restore the environment.
“Many of us in the club are people, who have been very passionate about the environment in the Niger Delta, a lot of us are environment justice campaigners even those that are government officials are people, who have held offices in the area of environment, so we are all committed to the process.
“We have already started schools campaign and the production of pamphlets on climate literacy, so between now and June 2022 this club is going to be all over the place, building partnership with government agencies, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) as well as with individuals interested in promoting environmental protection and conservation,”the charter president added.
On her part, the Assistant Governor, Zone 4 2021-2022, District 9141, Rtn Nkiru Enyia, stated that the Charter President, Rtn. Emem Bridget Okon, was fully prepared to lead the club towards achieving its call mandate.
Enyia congratulated her and prayed God to grant her the needed wisdom to do exploits in the task ahead of her.

By: Susan Serekara-Nwikhana

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