Thursday, 5 November 2009

Getting The Facts Straight: A Response To The Nigerian Guardian Editorial

I am surprised that you claimed in your editorial of Friday November 5, 2009 that Nigeria is not ‘exactly afflicted’ by amongst other things ‘victimisation, discrimination and other forms of oppression’ to warrant the exodus of Nigerians to the west for asylum and refuge.

The fact is that the editorial is misleading bearing in mind that there is a strong case against Nigeria of victimisation and discrimination against homosexuals. In fact, lately the Nigeria National Assembly initiated what has been described as the toughest homophobic bill in Africa. Part of the expectations of the bill is to criminalise and punish the "Registration of Gay Clubs, Societies and organizations" and "publicity, procession and public show of same-sex amorous relationship through the electronic or print media physically, directly, indirectly or otherwise", on penalty of up to 5 years of imprisonment.

Homosexual acts between consenting adults are already illegal in Nigeria. The bill's vague and dangerous prohibition on any public or private show of a "same sex amorous relationship"-which could be construed to cover having dinner with someone of the same sex-would open any known or suspected gay man or lesbian to the threat of arrest at almost any time. This is a clear breach of Nigeria’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and it is basically because of fear of being victimised by this type of bill or law that a good number of homosexual Nigerians are moving out of the country in large numbers seeking for political protection as a result of their sexuality. It is therefore preposterous, naive and a mark of irresponsible journalism for you to claim otherwise.

This is a serious issue and the fact is that Nigeria has to get one thing right and that is the fact that we have homosexuals in Nigeria and they will continue to be there till thy kingdom come. Most are very intelligent, well educated and experienced and when given asylum abroad use the intelligence to contribute to their host country and never for Nigeria and we lose. Sexual orientation has got nothing to do with culture or religion. In fact it is an issue that is more psychological and biological than religious and cultural and for one to use his religious or cultural convictions to emasculate the right of others could be akin to bigotry and tantamount to intolerance.

Homosexuality maybe deplorable but to the best of our knowledge, it is not as deplorable as corruption ravaging Nigeria today which has led to millions of deaths and thousands of Nigerians seeking refuge here in the UK, Europe and America. It is not as deplorable as stoning a human being created in the image of God to death. It is not as deplorable as murdering a person created by God in the name of God. And by the way, why should what happen between two consenting adults in the bedroom bother us at all and how can we tolerate the fact that people are being stoned, hanged, decapitated, imprisoned, ostracised and tortured only because of their sexual orientation? We cannot continue to remain silent and neutral for silence and neutrality empowers the tormentor and ridicules the victim. Therefore the Nigerian homosexuals seeking for asylum and protection which Nigeria cannot afford to them from foreign government are doing the right thing and should be sympathised with.

Once more, no one can claim to believe in God and yet in the name of same God kill his fellow human being. Any religion that advocates violence including killing in the name of God is not a religion. Most of us who are strongly against the homosexuals are heavily involved in fornication, adultery, abortion, sex before marriage, corruption, stealing, cheating and many others condemned by the same Holy Books being used to condemn homosexuals.

In as much as I commend the editorial for highlighting this problem, I would also suggest that you follow it up with another on open discussion and dialogue on this issue of homosexuality. We cannot continue treating it as no go area. It is there and that is the truth. All parties involved including the homosexuals and religious groups should be allowed to continue making intelligent contributions on this issue without being subjected to opprobrium, intimidation or violence.

No comments:

Post a Comment