By Sonnie Ekwowusi
Last week, an executive director (name withheld) of a famous Nigerian bank (name-withheld) shocked us in a meeting at the Lekki Phase 1, Lagos residence of a lawyer friend. While we busied ourselves discussing business over suya meat and chilled cans of Gulder and Guinness beer, the issue of moral degeneracy in Nigeria cropped up. Then the executive director narrated how one day a certain male employee of his bank went out for a routine marketing only to return with his suit completely torn. Asked by his colleagues in office why his suit got torn, the young man explained how he was homosexually assaulted by a man who had all along been pretending that he would do business with the bank. Anyway, to cut the long bizarre story short, the assault was reported to the Police. But as you know very well, police investigation in Nigeria never ends, and even if it ends it is
not likely to produce any good fruit.
That said, I also gather that there is now a thriving gay club for youngsters in Surulere, Lagos. A friend narrated how one day he ran into a young lesbian in the heart of Surulere, boasting that she was preparing to get “married” to another young lesbian whom she referred to as her “fiancée”. Heard what happened in Anambra State on June 12, 2013?. Two suspected gays were been arraigned at the Atani Chief Magistrate Court when suddenly a group of gay men (or, probably a rented crowd) stormed the court and attempted to disrupt the court proceeding.
Beyond lamentation, these true stories reinforce the argument that homosexuality or lesbianism is a real threat to the Nigerian pre-existing socio-political order. Those who think otherwise or who still argue that the National Assembly should have preoccupied itself with more “serious issues” instead of debating the anti-gay Bill are not reasoning properly. The family institution, as the Nigerian Law Reform Commission has rightly stated, is the fundamental unit of society. It is, above all, a veritable safety-net especially in Africa where social security system is virtually non-existent. Therefore the destruction of the family is tantamount to societal destruction. Even though making marriage-considered as a legally sanctioned union of a man and a woman-a public desideratum is not the job of the State, the State should protect marriage because it is a public good that sustains civil society and promotes the common good. More importantly, the human society, as Professor Douglas Farrow of McGill University, Montreal, Canada, correctly argues, is built on heterosexual social norm. For example, almost hundred per cent of Nigerian citizens, like citizens of every country in the world, are products of parents and grandparents who imbibed and lived heterosexuality as the social norm.
Even all these gay people who are making noise are products of parents
and grandparents of heterosexual relationships.
Therefore President Jonathan should sign the Same Gender Marriage (Prohibition) Bill 2011 into law. Good enough, the House of Representatives had equally passed the Same Gender Marriage (Prohibition) Bill 2011 last Tuesday. Besides, a recent poll conducted by a certain Nigerian NGO showed that about ninety-eight per cent of Nigerian citizens are in favour of outlaying gay marriage and gay practices in Nigeria. This, for me, is a triumph of participatory democracy. That is why President Jonathan should sign this Bill. Mr.President should not be afraid of President Obama or Prime Minister Cameroun. After all, Nigerian is a sovereign nation. Therefore, no President, no Prime Minister of any country can lord it over Nigeria.
The American Supreme Court has recently ruled that there is no rationale other than hostility to homosexuals for defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. That is America for you. Good luck to America! After all President Obama has legalized bestiality among American soldiers. So, let the Americans do whatever they like. But this is Nigeria. We are a different people, with a different culture.
Senate President David Mark has courageously said for the umpteenth time that there is no going back on the criminalization of gay marriage and ban of gay activities in Nigeria. The Nigerian people have also said the same thing. They are right. It is suicidal to import into Nigeria the strange lifestyles of other people all in the name of human right.
Therefore President Jonathan should sign this Bill. If he does so, he would be scoring a great political point. First, he would regain the full confidence of the members of the National Assembly. Second, he would win the full support of religious and traditional leaders, churches, mosques, town unions and communities across the country.
Third, he would earn the respect of the members of the International community for doing what is right despite pressures from abroad to do the contrary. Finally, if President Jonathan signs this bill he would save Nigerian from the new sexual liberation aimed at deconstructing the anthropological structure of man and woman leading to the negation of reality and sexual barbarism.
Sonnie Ekwowusi, is a Nigerian delegate at the United Nations, he is also a lawyer based in Lagos