Dec 5, 2011 – Same Sex Bill: No Apologies, We Are Nigerians
All of a sudden, Britain, Canada, and human rights group are openly interested in Nigeria. The issue is the same sex bill that the Senate has passed. They consider it anti-people; they want to punish Nigeria for it.
The bill provides in Section 5, “Persons who entered into a same sex marriage contract, or civil union commit an offence and are each liable on conviction to a term of 14 years in prison.” Section 5 sub-section 2 states, “Any person, who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies, and organisations or directly or indirectly make public show of same sex amorous relationship in Nigeria commits an offence and shall each be liable on conviction to a term of 10 years in prison.”
People who know about the relationship are also punishable under Sub-section 3, “Any person or group of persons that witness, abet and aids the solemnisation of a same sex marriage or civil union or supports the registration, operation and sustenance of gay clubs, societies, organisations, processions or meetings in Nigeria commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a term of 10 years imprisonment.” naijagists.com
Senator Nkechi Nwaogu explained the 14 years jail term. “The country, our culture, tradition and the religions are against it. Same sex marriage has negative effect on the health of anyone that is involved in it. It was a unanimous decision by the Senate to pass the Bill into law. It is very unfortunate that the Western countries want to force their culture on us.”
The point is important. We are Nigerians; we have values and rights that are different from the West. We are proud of those values, which we should not throw away because of threats from societies that want to compromise others to decadent practices on which they have built their places.
“By broadly defining ‘same-sex marriage’ as including all same-sex relationships, and targeting people who ‘witness’, ‘aid’ or ‘abet’ such relationships, the bill threatens the human rights of a large number of people,” Amnesty International said. “Nigeria’s House of Representatives should show leadership and uphold the rights of all in Nigeria by rejecting this reprehensible Bill,” Amnesty in one of the efforts at stalling the law coming into effect.
The Canadian government pompously stated, “Canada calls on Nigeria to immediately ensure that all its citizens enjoy basic rights. A bill passed by Nigeria’s Senate would, if ratified, disregard basic human rights and fundamental freedoms.” What are the fundamental freedoms that Canada just discovered?
When our people do not have access to education, when they do not get drinking water, do not have hospitals, are unemployed, denied justice, Britain and its partners keep quiet. How is same sex marriage a massive violation of basic rights, worse than the other rights enumerated?
Britain’s threat should be ignored, though it is a lesson for Nigeria to depend less on other countries. The row over this bill simply tells us how little the world cares about the future of the Nigerian society, if it thinks Nigeria would be a stronger country by holding to its values. The threats are distractions that we must ignore while we tackle more pressing issues.
The National Assembly should be more decisive in other areas of our lives; it is a bigger challenge than reacting to threats on marriage.(culled fr vanguard)