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Foundation writes UN to declare Dec. 2 Mary Slessor Day as Twins celebrate survival in Nigeria

Foundation writes UN to declare December 2 Mary Slessor Day as Twins celebrate survival in Nigeria

The Twins and Multiple Births Care Foundation has written to the United Nations to declare December 2, as a day to remember Mary Mitchell Slessor, the Scottish missionary to Nigeria who fought for the survival of twins babies.

The Foundation made this known in a statement on Tuesday, December 8, by Mr Godwin Nonso Ezeaka, the vision bearer of the Foundation and Chairman, Media and Publicity Committee of the 2020 Twins National Convention held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state.

The Foundation which recently held a convention to celebrate the humanitarian works of Mary Slessor and survival of twins in Nigeria, reminiscenced how Twins and Multiple Births Heritage evoked bipolar reactions in different ethnic groups, Daily Times reports.

Ezeaka said that ‘’The Hausa and Yoruba welcomed, accepted and celebrated twins as blessings, but the Southern and Eastern regions rejected them and saw them as curses meant to be thrown away in the evil forests.’’

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He said, ‘’So many years back, Twin and Multiple Births were seen as evil children in some communities in Nigeria and as such they were always killed until the advent Christian Mission and Western Education.

‘A Scottish missionary by name “Mary Slessor” who in the19th century, helped to enlighten the people in the dark about the uniqueness, peculiarity and dignity of the twin and Multiple Birth children.

‘’This enlightenment brought about the gradual abrogation of the killing of twins and other obnoxious practices, customs and traditions.

‘’Her work and strong personality allowed her to be trusted and accepted by the locals while spreading the Gospel, protecting native children and promoting women’s rights.’’

The Foundation appealed to the UN to honour Mary Slessor by declaring 2nd December (her birthday) Mary Slessor Day.

They also urged the UN to honour her as a Woman and Child Protection Human Rights’ Activist.

At the convention, the Foundation also recognized the efforts of other Missionaries, notably significant among them, are Bryan William Imbush and Rev. Fr. Raymond Ezeonu.

‘’The 2020 Twins and Multiple Births National Convention presented a wonderful opportunity for these special creatures with their families, spouses and friends to celebrate Twins Heritage and exhibition of their extraordinary bonds which started in the womb.

‘’The event showcased the Twins talents and the stuff they are made of. It’s also an avenue that reflected the multiple aspects of Nigeria’s rich Cultural Heritage,’’ Ezeaka added.

Speaking to the founder of the Foundation, Mr Idongesit Bassey, he appealed to Nigerians to help rescue dying indigent twins especially those of them who are begging for a living.

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Augustine Aminu

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