February 14 is a day set aside to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day on its own is a day of celebration of love and affection. This celebration is observed by people in many countries and cultures. Valentine’s Day sometimes gets referred to as the Feast of Saint Valentine, portraying the strong attachment it has to Christendom. People share greetings, gifts, go for outings, share red roses which signify affection and assurance of love, and spend quality time together.
Some youngsters take advantage of the amorous atmosphere to voice out their bottled-up emotions about a love interest by going extra miles to present worthy and ‘costing’ gifts and in many cases, sending love letters to their love interest; saving them from the shame of stuttering to voice out their feelings in the presence of their muse.
However, in recent times, February 14 has misleadingly been promoted as a day of all-day-wild-sex in the secret and open places in Nigeria. On February 15, evidence of the previous day’s orgy can be found in the public recreational water bodies like swimming pools and beaches in the items of used condoms, forgotten underwears (this might delight some evil yahoo-plus-boys), a great number of empty alcoholic drink containers and even aphrodisiacs.
The Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics published in 2020 that 40% or 83 million of Nigeria’s population live in poverty (below $1.90 per day). It is estimated that the number of poor people will increase to 90 million, or 45% of the population this 2022. Nigeria has a youthful population well suited for amorous relations. Young girls from poor homes are on the receiving end in a system of great inequality and maximum socio-economic pressure on the youth. Peer pressure, lack of parental attention and information lead young girls and even boys to indulge in unguarded behaviors and sexual escapades. Young, poor and naïve girls get enticed and, in some cases, go after boys due to peer pressure to prove social status and to receive frivolous and worthless gifts like a plate of fried rice, shawarma, catfish with chips, suya, ice cream or pizza in exchange for valentine sex. Some have their drinks laced with sleeping pills and get raped. I remember back in 2012 on Valentin’s Day in a neighborhood. I saw a young girl I felt was too young to follow men at her age. I quietly advised her to go home but she ignored my advice and was looking at me as a ‘vibeless fellow’.
A shocking number of sex rounds happen in Nigeria on February 14 and Nigeria has a low contraceptive prevalence rate. What this entails is that many unplanned pregnancies are bound to be initiated on February 14. Some will seek abortion at cheap and clandestine locations manned by quacks; this could lead to maternal mortality which for a Nigerian woman has a lifetime risk of 1 in 22 women compared to 1 in 4900 in developed countries. For others, this will be the beginning of the derailment of the hope for a better future as young single mothers find it difficult to further in education. In some Nigerian cultures, if a young girl gets pregnant outside of wedlock, she is forcefully married out to some old widower in the village to save the family from the ‘stigma’ of having an unmarried pregnant member. This marks the end of any hope for a better life for the poor girl.
In conclusion, parents are advised to have small families so that financial pressure will not make you absent from your parental duties. When you have many children, you are simply incurring multiplied bills to yourself. Consequently, when parents are financially stretched, they tend not to pay attention to the little details in the life of their children, to protect them from social vices. The general outlook of a society starts from good parenting in the family units. The rate of moral decadence in the Nigerian society is alarming. The spate of ritual killings of young girls by teenage boys that give no hoot about hard work and due process is proof of failed parenting. This Valentine season, young girls should be careful.
Young girls are advised to be wise as resultant valentine sex pregnancies will be the stressful nine months of pregnancy you would carry (in many cases abandoned by the man responsible) and the ugly experience you would go through if you either choose an abortion or to be a single parent. Contraception is essential. Small family sure pass!