Project for Human Development (PHD), a civil society organisation, on Sunday urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to listen to the US government on issues of Gay rights, so as to protect the laws and values of Nigeria.
The call was made at a rally in Lagos, against the backdrop of Buhari’s visit to the US. Jerry Okwuosa, director-general of PHD, said the rally was to hint Buhari on the fears by Nigerians that Obama might ask him to decriminalise ‘the same sex prohibition law of Nigeria’.
Okwuosa said Obama could use the visit an an opportunity to promote gay rights, which is a part of America foreign policy.
”The US is now the major exporter of gay rights in the world. It has recently pressurised Uganda for a reverse of its anti-gay law,” he said. ”Under the influence of the US, Mozambique has recently decriminalised its anti-gay law. At the moment, US is putting pressure on Kenya to legalise gay Marriage. ”
President Obama is currently meeting with President Buhari to discuss issues which include security, economy, Ebola and gay marriage legalisation in Nigeria.
Fear is being entertained that Obama might trade off US assistance to President Buhari’s government with shooting down Goodluck Jonathan’s anti-gay law.
”We are however, urging President Buhari to reject such a trade-off.” Also speaking, Sonnie Ekwowusi, a director of PHD, noted that the only way to avoid chaos in any society was for the legislature to make laws in accordance with the values and aspirations of the people.
”Homosexuality is not our culture. Every society has its own values and should grow with those values. Nigeria has her own values and we must stick to our values and tradition,” he said. ”Laws are made in consonant with the values of the people. Every country is interested in protecting what it holds dear.
“Our view is that homosexuality is an acquired habit that ought to be eradicated and not be transformed into an acceptable human conduct by law (in Nigeria). “Our recommendation with regard to same sex marriage is absolute prohibition.”
During a live web-chat session with journalists on July 13, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US assistant secretary of state for African affairs, said America would continue to pressurise Nigeria until it legalises same sex marriage.
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