Governor of Cross River State, Senator Ben Ayade has called on youths to desist from sex before marriage, saying it is the best way to avoid contacting the dreaded HIV/AIDS virus.
The governor who made the call in Calabar on Thursday during the 2016 World Aids Day, said engaging in premarital relationships can put the future of youths in jeopardy.
He said the best virtue any girl or woman would give to her husband is to get married as a virgin, a virtue which Africans are known and reputed for, adding that there was need to reintroduce these core African values into our modern development for our teeming youths to learn.
Describing his wife, Linda Ayade, as one of such rare women who exhibited a virtuous lifestyle when she got married to him as a virgin some years ago, Ayade said, “I am emphasizing on this core value because I married my wife as a virgin and she has remain faithful. So I charge all women to remain faithful to their spouses.
“Condom is not a guarantee to safe sexual life. It can fail one. There is no alternative to abstinence in sex life.”
He appealed to youths to see HIV/ AIDS as real because it has destroyed many families, rendered many children orphans, many men and women widows and widowers respectively.
He contended that though poverty and some social pressure may have pushed many young girls into early exposure, there is need to teach our upcoming youths the true values of Africa which frowns at immorality which is now the order of the day.
The governor also advised Nigerians to be cautious of anything that can make them come in close contact with unsterilized kits used for barbing and hairdressing.
Earlier in her address, the Director-General, State Action for Committee on Aids (SACA), Dr. Rose Nyman told the audience that according to research, Nigeria has the third highest burden of HIV/ AIDS in the world, while Cross River ranks fifth in the National HIV prevalence scale with a prevalence rate of 6.6 per cent.
She said with the governor’s political will to transform the socio- economic status of the state, they were sure he will give much attention to the fight against HIV/AIDS scourge.