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Mary Wagner and Obianuju Ekeocha in Toronto, Nov. 2017. Uju Ekeocha / Twitter
Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne

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African activist shares moving story of meeting Canadian jailed for pro-life witness

Lianne Laurence Lianne Laurence Follow Lianne

TORONTO, November 14, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Bursting into tears is something Obianuju Ekeocha just doesn’t do.

After all, the Nigerian-born founder of Culture of Life Africa is a pro-life advocate, and like so many involved in that mission, “we’ve seen it all, we’ve seen so many difficult things.”

Indeed, for those who don’t know, Ekeocha has sangfroid to spare.

She faced down a hostile BBC television host to unflappably debunk the myth that contraception is a “human right” and the answer to poverty in Africa.

She coolly rebuked a socialist Danish delegate at the United Nations for the neo-colonialism in pushing abortion without asking Africans if they want it — which they don’t.

She researched and wrote a book on the abortion agenda in Africa that Ignatius Press will publish this spring, and her documentary on the same subject, Strings Attached, is in post-production and also set for release in early 2018.

And with a B.Sc. in microbiology from the University of Nigeria, and a Masters in biomedical science from the University of East London, she has done all this while working full time as a specialist biomedical scientist in Canterbury, England.

But all this seemed of little account when Ekeocha met Canadian pro-life activist Mary Wagner for the first time.

On the final leg of a seven-day Campaign Life Coalition-sponsored trip to Canada, Ekeocha was in CLC’s Toronto office before an activist meeting when Wagner walked in.

“We just saw each other, and she called me Uju, and something just broke within me,” Ekeocha told LifeSiteNews in a wide-ranging interview.

“I ran up to her and I embraced her,” she said.

“As we hugged, so much emotions, you know, just came up within me and I started to weep like a child. This is so very much unlike me.”

Wagner, “for those who don’t know, is a woman, very peaceful, very gentle, and very holy, if I may say that,” who has lived “about four years of her life in prison for no other reason other than the fact that she has gone peacefully to abortion clinics, and she has tried to beg women to not abort their babies; she has peacefully offered them roses and pamphlets,” Ekeocha explained.

"It was like the dam broke and I started to weep, and I was crying, you know, as she was telling me how much they were praying for me and how, how she was so happy with the work I was doing and I just kept feeling, ‘What have I done?,’” she added.

“We talked quite a bit,” Ekeocha said.

“I just kept feeling so grateful for this amazing woman that not even many people know about, but whose witness is so powerful that I know will be heard of in the generations to come when abortion … becomes unthinkable, and then they begin to litigate us as far as history is concerned,” she observed.

“It is people like Mary Wagner who made the ultimate sacrifice, I think, whose names will be heard at that time.”

During her November 4-10 trip, Ekeocha blasted Canada’s foreign policy for pushing abortion and contraception in Africa instead of responding to people’s genuine needs. She accused Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government of tying abortion to foreign aid, and of funding radical feminist groups that oppose and undermine Africa’s mainstream women’s movements, which have always valued motherhood and traditional family.

In Ottawa, Ekeocha met privately with several MPs, spoke at a parliamentary breakfast organized by MP David Anderson, at a CLC Ottawa activist meeting, and a CLC clergy luncheon attended several faith leaders, including Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast. In Toronto, she attended the Cardinal Collins breakfast and spoke at the activist meeting, attended by 60 people, including Wagner.

Originally from British Columbia, Wagner is currently seeking funds to continue a constitutional challenge to have the unborn child recognized in Canadian law.

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