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    Walter Ude (@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter. He blogs at mymindsnaps.wordpress.com.

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The Things They Tweet…about the Nigerian anti-gay law

00President Jonathan yesterday Monday Jan. 13th reportedly signed a bill that criminalizes same-sex relationships and gay rights groups in Nigeria. The bill contains penalties of up to 14 years in prison.

Some people feel making this into law can get people unjustly killed or jailed and there are those who feel that Nigerians should be worried now because this is a homophobic country. Frankly, I’m more than a little worried myself. We are a country that reacts first and talks about it later. That’s how it is out there on the streets. And since the government has officially made this a crime, it has opened the doors to all sorts of barbarism to rend the streets, all in the name of ‘apprehending’ gay people. You know how Naija people can like to take laws in our own hands and enforce jungle justice. May God be with us.

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35 Comments

  1. In the same country that the National health bill failed to sail through the national assembly, where a national mental health bill was thrown out after five years of redundancy, and by doing so making nigeria one of the countries with the most primitive and backward laws on mental health…

    Misplaced priorities…sanctimonious pigs..

    I shake my head for the future…

    Reply
    • Yemie

       /  January 15, 2014

      I couldn’t agree with you more Topazo, na real misplaced priorities. I guess that’s what happens when a country’s ruled by a set of clueless lots, figureheads with absolutely no idea ’bout what a scale of preference is, to address REAL economic issues. I weep for my country. This is so pathetically sad and they must be darn proud of their so-called achievement. Na una biko, when you guys are done making a humongous fool of yourselves, let us know o. Mtchewwww!

      Reply
  2. I believe that there are more important issues to handle in Nigeria, other than the issue of one’s sexual preference….*drops mic*

    Reply
  3. Excellency

     /  January 16, 2014

    You people, apart from the identified ‘bad timing’ and the inconsequential position on the national scale of preference, as it were, is the recently passed anti gay law, absolutely unjustifiable and a crime against humanity? Please do answer, and do not just follow the poular calculated reasoning of so called liberalism, which is grossly misused, rather search your heart which was given to you by the One who would hold you accountable for your very words… Is the anti gay law a crime against humanity?

    Reply
    • Nwukabu Danjuma

       /  January 16, 2014

      I don’t agree with homosexuality, but I think this law is pretty extreme. One thing we should know is that we cannot force anybody to change and the Nigerian Prison System doesn’t rehabilitate ‘criminals.’ I think there are better ways to go about this. Sending someone to jail for 14 years for being gay will not automatically make the person straight; if anything, it will just harden the person.
      Speaking as a Christian: I believe that homosexuality is a sin, and I also know that people struggle with all sorts of sins. The difference as Christians is that because of Christ’s finished work on the cross we don’t have to obey our flesh. Do we fall? Yes. But what do you do after you fall as a Christian? For some people homosexuality is a serious struggle and it is wrong to condemn them. We CAN let them know it is wrong without hating or discriminating against them. There are a lot of homosexuals who are not Christians and we cannot show them Christ by promoting hatred or discrimination. However, we can show them kindness and gently let them know that there is a God who both understands their struggle and is the solution for their struggle. They are not going to learn this lesson in jail.
      I think we are like the mob, ready to stone the sinner to death and Jesus is saying if you have no sin throw the first stone. Was the mob wrong in recognizing her sin? Obviously not. Was the mob wrong for condemning her? Yes. I think that is exactly what we are doing.
      There are other ways to go about this issue. The way we are addressing it now will not solve anything.
      This is just my perspective sha.

      Reply
      • Yemie

         /  January 16, 2014

        And your perspective my dear, gladdens my heart. You’ve spoken wisely. God bless you.

      • Nwukabu Danjuma

         /  January 16, 2014

        Amen. Thanks Yemie

    • My dearest friend, your question truly surprises me. The law, yes, is not a crime against humanity. But what vile actions that will arise from it are actions against humanity. Unjustly arresting someone because you ‘suspect’ he or she is gay is a crime against humanity. Lynching someone simply because the crowd believes him gay is a crime against humanity. There are all sorts of inhuman acts that will arise becos the government has turn homosexuality into a crime, and this premise alone makes the law indirectly a crime against humanity.
      Be a Christian, but don’t forget your humanity in the process.

      Reply
      • Excellency

         /  January 16, 2014

        Bro, every other law can be exploited in like manner as you have pointed out. What really does the law say, it is against wanton public display of a moral abnormality, if you do it indoors & you’re not caught no one would send you to jail or arrest you, just like if you steal or kill and you’re not caught you remain free (well in the eyes of man). A man wedding a man in full glare of the public, appears harmless, but dat is the true crime against humanity, because once it becomes fashionable, it’ll quickly gain ground & dats a tool for human extinction either by lack of procreation or God’s wrath. Remember evil prevails when good men do nothing & evil communication corrupts good manners…

      • Tell me, which gay man exactly is pushing to wed in Nigeria in the full glare of the public? Who? Which gay Nigerian even wants to make it public that he’s gay? The law is premature and undeserving.

      • Excellency

         /  January 16, 2014

        Let me also add, I do not support lynching of people for any reason. I’m against it. However, spending time in jail is opportunity for one to be corrected. I have seen & heard testimonies of criminals even murderers who received genuine salvation while in jail. Who knows they might never have gotten such if they ran wild outside the prison yard. 14yrs jail term is a deterrent & corrective instrument. As to whether we need it now, well we need not wait until the bud becomes an iroko tree b4 we seek corrective measures…

      • Your blitheness astounds me. I’ll stop at that before I say anything further that will be strenuously disagreeable.

      • excellency

         /  January 16, 2014

        Sir, I’m sorry that I am not sorry for my opinion. As far as I am concerned if we are against the gay law, we should also be against laws that prosecute, thieves, murderers, rapist, wife battery, and all other vices that have a common ground of being morally inappropriate…

      • The fact that you’re comparing one’s sexual preference as a crime to these other crimes that does harm to the victims says something about your convoluted sense of the society.

  4. Excellency

     /  January 16, 2014

    And to dat Ayo Sogunro, you speak for yourself…

    Reply
    • Yemie

       /  January 16, 2014

      Excellency, the anti-gay law’s not a crime against humanity. I’m a Christian through and through and I’m very aware of Christ’s stance as far as this matter’s concerned. However, this law will be against humanity when certain elements hijack it and see it as a free ticket to lynch, maim and kill innocent people senselessly and needlessly, because the law says its criminal. This happened in Uganda when a man was set ablaze for being gay. Danjuma has said most of what I’d like to say but then I still say this: God is the only ONE who has the Absolute right to judge, codemn and sentence any human being found wanting in His sight. And yes, there are more pressing matters like the one shared by Topazo that will change lives positively and makes a lot more sense than this bill.

      Reply
      • Excellency

         /  January 16, 2014

        Dear Yemie,

        I very well understand your point and do not wish to make an argument out of this and as far as God being the judge I am very aware. Judge not that ye be not judged is a scripture that scares me & checks me sometimes. However, I want to ask a question, what we do when someone steals our highly prized blackberry or apple phones, or robs us at gunpoint, or rapes or kills, or oppresses, or sleeps with our spouse what will that be called, is it similar to what is being said or done about the homosexuals? “Only God is the judge” should not be an excuse to silently approve what God has termed abominable, or so I think. I rest my case…

    • Yemie

       /  January 16, 2014

      Excellency, saying that this bill is a misplaced priority in our polity at this time, to you, is synonymous with ‘silently approving homosexuality’. That’s laughable because you got it all wrong my dearest brother. God knows I don’t condone or support same sex relationship in any form, I’m Christain and its against everything Christ stood for.

      Whenever am in a dilemma, I always ask myself this question, ‘What will Jesus do’? If He were physically present in Nigeria now, will He round up and cart off sinners into prisons or will He do everything possible to admonish all sinners in love, so we can see the errors of our ways and repent? Christ did not come for the righteous, and there’s none righteous anyhow; our righteousness are as filthy rags. We all have sinned and fallen short of His glory. Moreover, Christ does not glory in any one man ending up in hell.

      Stating my opinion that there are more serious issues needing the attention of our lawmakers does not make me a gay’s right activist or ‘silently approving of homosexuality’ as you’ve stated. Just needed to make that crystal clear to you. May God help us all and deliver us from ourselves.

      Reply
      • excellency

         /  January 16, 2014

        Amen to your prayer! I say no more…

      • Ms Yemie, even if as you say, the National Assembly congressmen had devoted their time to passing bills ” that
        will change lives positively and makes a lot more sense than
        this bill” we Nigerians would still not be satisfied and find cause to fault such bills. I think it is time we tell ourselves to grow up in this country….
        Even Jesus Christ himself asked us to be obedient to laws and law makers…
        So instead of devoting our energies to arguing the merits and demerits of a bill that has already been signed into law, we should be thinking of how to avoid being arrested on a reasonable suspicion of having committed the offence. Afterall, prevention is better than cure.
        i would suggest for you to start fasting and attending deliverance services if you are gay. As someone rightly said, 14 years is not a small thing.

  5. Abikoye Oluwatosin

     /  January 16, 2014

    i think enough on this gay thing………..have read enough.

    Reply
  6. I agree with Mr President on this one. If you dont like this recent anti-gay law, please look for the nearest transformer to hug. Gays werent born that way, so they should find a way to deal with it.
    Barrister Ayo Sogunro, you baffle me with your tweet… you should know that inasmuch as there is a divide between law and morality, there should still be some common ground for the sake of expediency.
    Mr Walter, if anyone replies my comment, let me know. I support this anti-gay law, and I am ready to defend myself and my opinions.
    Way to go Mr President!

    Reply
  7. Your Excellency, this anti-gay law is not in any way a crime against humanity. in fact, it is a law for the ultimate good of humanity. And it is of course justifiable on moral and legal grounds. If gays are allowed to have a legal prerogative in Nigeria, then psycopaths and serial murders would also demand same and cry foul when such is denied them.
    For a right to be fundamental, it has to be inalienable.. If anyone can prove to me beyond the reasonable vestiges of all preponderance of doubt that the very existence of gays would be seriously threatened if they are denied the imprimatur to excercise their gay privileges, then I would be prepared to decamp from my line of reasoning.

    Reply
    • Yemie

       /  January 17, 2014

      *standing ovation*.Spoiling for a fight, are we? Sorry dude, you need to look elsewhere for a worthier adversary and a more than willing sparring partner. I’ve got places to see, and people to go. Psst!
      And that’s ‘Mrs Yemie’ to you.

      Reply
  8. By their comments you shall know them!

    Reply
    • Nwukabu Danjuma

       /  January 18, 2014

      Indeed.

      Reply
      • Exactly what are you knowing from whose comments?

      • Nwukabu Danjuma

         /  January 18, 2014

        I think you can learn a little more about someone by reading the person’s comments.

      • That’s a very diplomatic remark. And yes, I happen to agree with you. You sure can learn a little more about a person by his comments.

      • Nwukabu Danjuma

         /  January 18, 2014

        I try. lol. I find it difficult to talk to people ‘face to face,’ so I’d rather ‘read about’ them.

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