Re: Why Nigerians still support Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act


Note: This is a rejoinder to an article written by Olumide Makanjuola in the Guardian. 

By J.B Nwachukwu

I wish to commend Olumide Makanjuola for his boldness in writing on issues relating to Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual citizens (LGB), these issues though known aren’t issues that are publicly discussed by many because of its controversial and sentimental nature.  Although I am surprised that, despite his advocacy for equal rights, he isn’t advocating for the rights of the Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual citizens (TQIA). Don’t they need “equal rights” as well? Maybe equality is not so widespread, after all.

The said article which was published on the 17th of May raised many interesting issues, which if not addressed can mislead and impair reader’s judgment on the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act (SSMPA) and LGBTQIA issues.

Olumide seems to be surprised that despite the passage of the SSMPA, Nigerians are still respectful of the rights of the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual citizens (LGB).

He said “Three years on from the passage of the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill into law, it continues to enjoy a high level of public support, despite other indications that more Nigerians are respectful of the rights of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual citizens”.

His surprise seems to be due, either to a total misunderstanding of the Act or a deliberate attempt to misconstrue what the Act provides for. This has to be true because further down in the article, Olumide argues that “by using the words “Same Sex marriage” what lawmakers did was to play on Nigerians fear for cultural change, with a controversial title, when really the law goes beyond banning same—sex marriage” he continues “one needs to go beyond the sensational title and talk about the content of the law that violates fundamental rights guaranteed in the Nigerian constitution. For example, clause 4.2 of the Act talks about public shows of amorous affection between people of the same sex. This is one of the sections aimed at criminalising freedom of association based on perceived identity, as well as criminalising people because of their association or knowledge of someone being lesbian, gay or bisexual”. He further argued that “Many Nigerian’s do not realize that with the way the Act is set up, the dangers of the law can affect anyone – even if they are not an LGB person. The definition of “same sex amorous affection” in section 4.2 of the law is so broad that it can apply to two male friends hugging or female friends hugging or female friends sharing a bed; in short any form of public affection between people of the same gender is criminalised”

I have painstakingly gone through the Act and nowhere does it provide for the things that Olumide is complaining of. This Act in question is so short-that if there was an award for the shortest Act in the history of Nigerian Legislation, this Act would most probably win it – that it should be subject to confusion.

The Act has eight (8) sections, Section 1-3 defines marriage to be a union between a man and woman and provides that any marriage between persons of the same sex either contracted in Nigeria or abroad is invalid in Nigeria. Luckily Olumide has no issues with this ones.

The section 4 which Olumide seems to have problems with, provides that the registration of gay clubs, societies and organisations, processions and meetings is prohibited. In sub section(2) it provides that the public show of same- sex amorous relationship directly or indirectly is prohibited.

Contrary to what Olumide posited, Section 4.2 doesn’t define “same-sex amorous affection”. That section merely prohibits public show of same sex amorous relationship. The Act did not provide for “affection” but “relationship”, these words mean two different things and I wonder what end Olumide seeks to achieve by changing them.  The definition (which I must point out is personal to him) Olumide seeks to ascribe to the section with all due respect is absurd, and it’s geared at erroneously arousing people sentiments. It is important not to forget the qualifying word “amorous”. Amorous is a word that is not subject to misunderstanding. Assuming without conceding that Olumide doesn’t know what amorous means, I will take the pain to provide a definition. Oxford English Dictionary defines it to mean “showing, feeling or relating to sexual desire (emphasis on sexual).  So for Olumide to say that, that provision can affect anyone even if they are not an LGB person is far from the truth. Or do members of the same family have amorous relationships? Can a father give either his son or daughter an amorous hug? Or do brothers give themselves amorous hugs?

Also, contrary to what Olumide said, nowhere does the Act criminalise people for knowing someone who is lesbian, gay or bisexual. Section 5(3) of the Act penalises those that witness, aid or abets the solemnisation of same sex marriage and those that support the sustenance of gay clubs and meetings and not those that know people that are LDB.

Secondly, the Act doesn’t infringe on anyone’s freedom of Association nor does it prevent people of the same sex from staying, meeting or leaving together, if it did, then same sex hostels, schools etc, would have been banned by now. What it prevents is the registration and meetings of gay clubs, societies etc. The Act doesn’t even criminalise Homosexuality, Homosexuality is clearly criminalised under chapter 21 of the Criminal Code. Moreover, it is imperative to point out that the right to association is not even absolute, Section 45 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) clearly provides that such right can be derogated from, in the interest of public morality and public health.

Continuing, Olumide argues that because of the SSMPA, the police, other state and non- state actors have been empowered to think violence, hate and prejudice towards LBG persons. According to him, his organisation has documented evidence to prove that since the Act was passed there has been an increase in the human rights violations against LGB persons. Without demanding for the evidence, I concede that there are violations against LBG persons just as there are violations against many others and I condemn such violations vehemently. But I must quickly point out that those that violate LGB persons do so out of culpable ignorance and if found (indeed they must be found) they should be condemned and prosecuted accordingly. Such persons think that LGB persons are inherently bad or possessed by some evil spirt. I don’t subscribe to such. I believe that LGB persons just like any human being, can be intelligent, hard-working, virtuous, responsible etc. The only contention issue is their sexual orientation. Is it a new way of life or an abnormality / illness? Till date there has been no conclusive evidence to prove that homosexual persons are born that way, indeed it is widely held to be a nurture rather than a nature development. So why do we need to legitimise an act that is not natural or scientific?   Indeed the mere fact that one has the same-sex attraction (SSA) doesn’t mean, one must exhibit it, just the saw way that the mere fact an heterosexual man has attraction to multiple women doesn’t mean he has a right to exhibit it. Indeed, attractions need not dictate our relationships.

As regards the violations by the law enforcement agencies, it is wrong to blame such violations on the SSMPA, as we have examined above, nowhere does the Act empower anyone to violate anyone right including those of LGB. I think that if Olumide is sincere, he will agree that our law enforcement agencies are fraught with lots of irregularities. We’ve heard of numerous instances where for example, policemen enter a bar and accuse those drinking of a crime, all in the name to extort from them, it’s the same policemen that will castigate a woman when she goes to report her husband for battery. Will you blame the law for these infractions? A friend of mine, an adult, who decided to stay on his own had his house raided by his father. When he reported to the police, the police condemned him for being stubborn and obedient. Which law will you blame? It’s the law enforcement agencies and not the law. Indeed LGB persons rights are protected by the laws of Nigeria, there need not be an enactment or repeal of any law. Under the law of Tort and fundamental Human Right, they have lots of remedies available to them.

Based on a survey conducted by his organisation, Olumide further argues that Nigerians agree that LGB citizens deserve equal access to public health, housing and education.  This is very important, I agree with Olumide that LGB need access to public health, they already have access, but I am ready to campaign that they even need a higher access to public health than many of us because of the extreme health risks associated with Men who have sex with Men (MSM). The most recent report by the Centres for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) in the US, provides that more than 9 in 10 new HIV cases among young men and boys ages 13 to 24 in the U.S occur among homosexuals and bisexuals and the LGBT population has the highest number of people living with this virus when compared to other population. They are also at an increased risk of other STDs like syphilis, gonorrhoea and chlamydia. This very clearly proscribes the LGBT lifestyle as an unhealthy one.

Olumide made me laugh when he stated authoritatively that the Nigerian LGB community isn’t clamouring for same sex marriage, really. No country in the world where Gay marriage has been legalised, started advocating for gay marriage from day one. They started by asking for the repeal of sodomy law, to provision of civil partnership, etc. before they got the icing of the cake which is Gay Marriage.

I do agree with Olumide that Nigerians lack understanding on the subject of sexuality and human rights, I wish they knew, because if they knew, not only would they wake up from their somnolence, they will also resist any attempt to apathy and indifference and ensure that the LGBTQIA dictatorship in western countries doesn’t it repeat itself here.





Nwachukwu is a Legal Practitioner and a writer.




By  Sonnie Ekwowusi

Clearly the current Health Minister Prof Isaac Adewole is not the Health Minister that Nigeria needs at the moment to tackle her serious primary healthcare delivery challenges. Apart from telling Nigerian women that they have a “right” to commit abortion, Prof. Adewole has not demonstrated that he can positively transform Nigeria’s healthcare sector.

Shortly after his inauguration as Nigeria’s Health Minister the first health gift which Prof Adewole offered to Nigerian women was what he dubbed “expanded access to comprehensive abortion care”. As if that was not scandalous enough, Prof Adewole was on Channels TV just last week to market his population control gift. He wants Nigerian families to stop having children. He wants married Nigerian women to be on pregnancy- terminating pills in order to avoid having children.  Prof Adewole is obviously under the influence and sponsorship of the United Nations Populations Funds (UNFPA) and The Guttmacher Institute, two agencies which are notorious in Africa for pressuring African governments to reduce human capital through abortion and contraceptive. Whereas Prof. Adewole has not articulated any serious primary healthcare program that would benefit the Nigerian poor who still lack access to the much-vaunted primary health care system he more inclined in venturing into irrelevant complex demographic issues.

In other words, Prof Adewole has abandoned medicine and the real health needs of the Nigerian people and now meddling with demographic issues. What a paradox ! Is President Buhari not aware that attempts to implement population control policy by successive Nigerian governments have consistently failed. For example, when Goodluck Jonathan was in power he entrusted the then chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC) Festus Odimegwu and twenty-two others with the task of controlling the Nigerian population through birth-control and all that. Chief Odimegwu said something at that time that shocked many people: he said that the NPC did not know the population of Nigeria, and that the various population figures declared in the past by the NPC and government-owed agencies had been based on distorted and fictitious figures presented by the World Bank, United Nations and other international bodies. According to Chief Festus Odimegwu,  “we do not really know our population; that is the truth of the matter. We do our work but politicians interfere and at the end, you do not really know what population or census figures are…”, Answering question from the Punch Newspaper during a courtesy visit to the NPC by a delegation of the UNFPA, Odimegwu said,  “…the population of China is over 2 billion, India is 1.2 billion. Nigeria ranks about the 10th in the world population. If other countries are surviving, I don’t think we will kill ourselves…The important thing is having the resources to make people live a good life. Good living is not determined by the population but by so many other things. If some countries have large populations and are living well, Nigerians can also have good lives.”

Odimegwu is right. Good living is not determined by population but by the seriousness of government to improve the living condition of the people. Certainly Prof Adewole’s new population control policy will bring a bad image to the Buhari government. Therefore, President Buhari should act fast and appoint a new Health Minister to replace Prof Adewole. Prof Adewole clearly lacks focus. What has population control got to do with the urgent health needs of the Nigerian people?. If Adewole is looking for something to control, why can’t he control diseases such as malaria, typhoid, polio, high blood pressure, hypertension and so forth that have been killing many Nigerians. Look at exponential rate with which cancer especially cervical and breast cancer is spreading across Nigeria and killing many Nigerians. Why not set up cancer screening centers across Nigeria? Is the Federal Government not aware that many public health institutions in Nigeria lack essentials drugs? Why budget huge sums of money for population control when you cannot provide ordinary drugs in our public hospitals especially in our rural health centers and clinics in Nigeria? Why not use the money budgeted for population control to pay striking doctors so that they stop going on strike and render diligent medical services in Nigeria.

  Last week I visited a medical consultant friend of mine at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Enugu. In the course of our conversation, this diligent doctor informed me that primary and secondary health care systems are virtually non-existent in Nigeria. He regretted that everybody is rushing to Tertiary Heath with utter neglect for community medicine and basic rural medicine that are most beneficial to Nigeria’s numerous rural dwellers. He shocked me with the sad stories of the uncountable children from Enugu, Nsukka, Abakaliki and their environs who die of preventable diseases before they are brought to UNTH.

My UNTH consultant friend further shocked me with the stories of how poor children in Enugu, Nsukka, Abakaliki and  their surrounding villages regularly die in their respective homes from preventable illnesses and from lack of simple vaccination and immunization. This is not a peculiar Enugu State tragedy. It is everyday tragedy across the country. For example, if you step outside the South-East and travel to, maybe, the South-West you will find similar ill-health miseries. Take a trip to Borno State, Kano State, Zamfara State or Sokoto State and you will fall short of words to describe the miserable lives of so many women and children who also lack access to basic primary health care. And if you dare visit the Internally-Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camps, you will shed tears after seeing the uncountable number of children and women dying from food and medical starvation.

It is baffling that amid the aforesaid health challenges, Health Minister Prof Isaac Adewole is more interested in population reduction even though is not our priority at the moment. In any case, Prof Adewole was appointed a Health Minister not a population controller Minister. So, why should a Health Minister be exerting his energies in population control matters and leaving unresolved the more urgent primary health care challenges? Is Adewole not aware that due to the exorbitant ante-natal and post-natal bills, many Nigerian pregnant women are still delivered at home by traditional birth attendants and in the process lose their lives?.  Has Adewole forgotten that primary Health care and outpatient clinic services are yet to be decentralized to reach the suffering and dying women in every State, local government, village community and ward community in Nigeria?. If the answers to the above queries are in the affirmative, why is Prof. Adewole seeking alibi in questionable population control issues instead of focusing on the real health needs of the Nigerian people?

It is an absurdity, if not downright stupidity, to argue that the solution to Nigeria’s deplorable health care system at the moment is population control via contraception and abortion. Why do we fail to get our priorities right in Nigeria?. You may ask: what is the business of the Health Minister with population control? Why is UNFPA Executive Director Prof Babatunde Osotimehin always pressuring every Nigerian government to make abortion and contraception accessible even to Nigerian teens in secondary schools?.  You will recall that Prof. Osotimehin pressurized the Jonathan administration to legalize abortion and contraception in Nigeria but failed in that bid. For example, on page 36 of THISDAY Newspaper of November 22, 2012, Osotimehin stated that only investment in abortion and contraception will lead to increased productivity and economic development in Nigeria. Anyway, having failed to get the Jonathan government to legalize abortion and contraception, the same Osotimehin is now mounting pressure on the Buhari government to make abortion and contraception more accessible to a greater number of Nigerians. Two weeks ago Prof Osotimehin approached President Buhari with the aforesaid demand. This is sad. I am sure President is not listening to Osotimehin and his ilk. In a country in which the average citizen suffers from genteel poverty and illnesses, it is illogical to demand that the Buhari government should spend its hard-earned income on stupidities.

Health Minister Adewole argues that population reduction will boost the economy and improve the quality of life for women and children. This is untrue. As I said earlier, the best way to improve the quality of life for Nigerian women and children is through the provision of qualitative health care that is accessible, acceptable and affordable to Nigerian women and children. I still maintain that Adewole is not properly focused otherwise he would have known by now that now is not the best time for population reduction campaigns. We need a more focused Health Minister. Whereas the Buhari government is bent on diversifying the Nigerian economy through people-oriented agriculture in order to come out of the present economic recession, Prof. Adewole is promoting an anti-people population reduction policy. Agriculture thrives on population growth. Thus population growth is not a threat to Nigeria. Instead of seeing population as a threat, population should be seen as a great catalyst for economic growth. The vibrant young people that constitute the bulk of Nigerian population are indeed a vibrant work force that should be used to fast-track Buhari’s agricultural revolution.

In case Prof Adewole does not know, countries like China, Singapore, Bangladesh, India and many Asia countries have reaped enormous demographic dividends from their respective large populations in the last thirty years. The Chinese economy has been growing steadily in the last fifteen years. The Chinese are everywhere today thanks to their huge population. The demographic catastrophe that hit China as a result of its one-child policy has forced China to recently reverse its one-child population policy. Therefore a large population is an asset not a liability. The popular aphorism is that population is power. Population is money too. Small wonder virtually all the big-player telecommunications companies have invested in the Nigerian market. They are obviously reaping huge profit from Nigeria’s large population.

Those familiar with the population control politics in developing countries will attest that it is being done to destroy the human capital in developing countries. But human capital is the elixir of economic growth. A society that kills its children and neglects to fulfill its obligations towards them is obviously heading for extinction.



Since the terrorist group Boko Haram began their onslaught in 2009, several thousand have been killed and more than 2,000 women and girls abducted.

Since April this year, the Nigerian Armed Forces, with assistance from Cameroon, Chad, and Niger, have forced Boko Haram to be on the defensive. This has enabled the Nigerian government to reclaim several territories previously under the control of Boko Haram. These renewed military efforts have led to the rescue of over 678 women and girls.

After their rescue, the UNFPA’s Executive Director, Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin disclosed that about 214 of the girls are at various stages of pregnancy while many others are still undergoing screening for various diseases and infections. This disclosure, for the first time aroused a national debate as to the status of abortion in Nigeria.

Several pro-life groups accused UNFPA of pushing for abortion and sterilisation for the rescued girls and called rather for the abortion of the thought. (Group Faults UNFPA Over Abortion, Sterilisation On Boko Haram Victims, Rescued girls: UNFPA has abortion agenda, PHD alleges, Don’t abort Boko Haram babies, group pleads.

In a similar vein, the Chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) Health Committee, Most Rev. Anselm Umoren urged that the children should not be aborted and that the Church was as ready as always to help in the healing, rehabilitation and resettlement of the victims. He assured that the church will assist the women in the children’s upbringing after the delivery.

Also, the Bishop of the Diocese of Lagos West, Church of Nigeria(Anglican Communion), Rt. Rev james Olusola Odedeji, faulted the plan to carry out abortions on the girls. He reiterated that the church condemns abortion of nay kind and for any reason.

From the social fora, it is clear that it’s not only UNFPA and the foreign media that want the girls to abort their children, but many individuals and Nigerian NGO’s agree with the idea.

After the backlash from several quarters, the UNFPA through its director, Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin, swiftly responded that the agency does not promote abortion but encourages reproductive health and supports the provision of modern family planning services. He also explained that UNFPA offers psycho-social counselling to internally displaced persons, including women and girls, but certainly not abortion.

This is clearly a lie; realising that the term abortion is repugnant to the cultural and religious views of many Nigerians. The United Nations and its agencies which include UNFPA always use euphemisms like “sexual and reproductive health” and “modern family planning services” in their documents, but it is an accepted fact that this includes abortion.

On page 36 of In its state of the world population 2014, UNFPA, concurring with a statement from the WHO, complained that millions of adolescents and young people lack access to sexual and reproductive health information and services, and to complement this knowledge, young people require a wide range of sexual and reproductive health services, including for the prevention of adolescent pregnancy, ………….safe abortion care. It is worth noting that Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin wrote the foreword of this document.

One of the resolutions of the Bali Global Youth Forum Declaration 2012, which was organised by UNFPA was that “governments must provide comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services that include safe and legal abortion…………..’’.

Also it is on record that the 48th session of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) which took place in April of this year, for the first time in history ended without an outcome document. Because the African group objected to the multiple references in the propose text to comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) and reproductive rights (a term used to promote abortion). Prof Osotimehin who participated was said to have been disappointed.

So who is Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin fooling?

It is clear that anyone calling for the girls to abort their children doesn’t have the girls’ best interest in mind. Since rather than focus on how best to rehabilitate and reintegrate them into the society, by offering them free maternity homes and rehabilitation centres where they can give birth to their babies safely and decide later on how to take care of them, they intend to make these girls pass through the excruciating trauma of abortion.

Apart from the trauma, Dr. Awotoya Waheed a member of Doctor’s Health Initiative (DHI), disclosed that girls who have abortion at an early stage are at high risk of having breast and cervical cancer later in life, and Jerry Okwuosa added that, “it is scientifically proven that a girl that aborts her first pregnancy before 18, her chances of getting breast and cervical cancer increase by 260 percent.”

Abortion is illegal in Nigeria, so publicly stating that the girls should have an abortion is an indirect call for the abortion law to be repealed. As such, it is clear that several interests groups (western countries, the UN and its agencies) want to exploit this situation to legalise abortion in Nigeria. This is an unholy tactic that is not unknown to pro-lifers. It was used in the United States in Roe v. Wade 1973, and many more countries. This same tactic was also tried this year in Paraguay and Uruguay. So we have to be alert.

I realise that these girls’ pregnancy was as a result of rape and violence, which excludes any form of consent or choice on their part. It is very painful no doubt. But this pain should not blind us to a medically established fact that these women are carrying human beings, who are the weakest and most innocent of the parties involved and who also have a birth right to be born. The wrong has been done, but we must realise that two wrongs can’t make a right and that violence cannot be erased with more violence.

The value and dignity of life should not be downplayed or defined by age or circumstances under which one was conceived. In fact it is trite knowledge that these external factors do not define the future of a child. These children can grow up and be of help to the society at large.

As such we should all realise that both the girls and their unborn children are victims of Boko Haram barbarism and they both need access to all necessary medical efforts and also the support of the state and society. It therefore follows that resulting to abortion makes us no different from members of Boko haram sect, who derive joy in harming innocent, harmless and weak citizens.

We must resolutely state that never, never does killing a person resolve a problem, and abortion in this case is no different.



Sonnie Ekwowusi

Last week, some non-governmental organizations (NGOs) community and religious leaders in Nigeria took the United Nations Population Funds (UNFPA) to task for trying to compound the woes of the pregnant Chibok girls recently rescued from Boko Haram and the internally displaced persons (IDPs) by prescribing abortion to them and sterilization procedures to the rest. In condemning the prescription as an unwarranted inhumane and wicked intervention, the Project for Human Development (PHD), an NGO based in Lagos, argued that what those pregnant Chibok girls and IDPs need at this moment in time is the human compassion of effective medical care, social counseling, rehabilitation and re-integration, not life-risking and violent-wrecking abortion or sterilization (Read, “Group rejects Abortion option for pregnant Chibok Girls”, THISDAY, May 18, 2015; “Group Faults UNFPA over Abortion, Sterilization on Boko Harm victims”, The Guardian Newspaper, May 23 2015, Page 6; “Rescued Girls: UNFPA has abortion agenda, PHD alleges”, Vanguard, May 26, 2015, Page 36; “Don’t abort Boko Harm babies, group pleads”, National Mirror, May 27, 2015, Page 21)

But in a swift reaction last week, the UNFPA and its Director-General Prof. Babatunde Osotimehin stated that the UNFPA was not guilty as charged, but paradoxically Osotimehin went ahead to contradict himself by admitting that the UNFPA promotes “reproductive health” and “modern family planning services” which are other phrases used for describing abortion and contraceptive services. How can Osotimehin be speaking from both sides of the mouth?. In one fell swoop, he denies that UNFPA promotes abortion, but in another fell swoop he admits that UNFPA promotes abortion. In any case, if you google the words, “Osotimehin and abortion”, you will come across Osotimehin’s absurd arguments that African women need safe abortion and contraceptives to slow down population growth, enhance women’s health and reduce poverty. In his article entitled: Planned Families, strengthened Communities (The Guardian, Wednesday, November 28, 2012), Osotimehin writes that studies have shown that investing in abortion and contraceptives “reduces poverty… and gives women a greater say in their households and communities”.

Before commenting on pregnant Chibok girls and the UNFPA, permit me to quickly unmask the UNFPA. This is necessary to highlight the damage being caused in many African countries by the UNFPA. Only last April at the 48th Session of the United Nations Commission on Population and Development which took place at the United Nations Building, in New York City,  a fortified African Group led by Ambassador Usman Sarki, a distinguished and widely respected Nigerian ambassador, courageously stood its ground and refused to be coerced or intimidated by the UNFPA, America, Belgium and other European nations into accepting the inclusion of “comprehensive sexuality education” (CSE) and “reproductive rights” (terms that connote  abortion rights and teen-contraceptive-use rights) as part of  the consensus document. Ambassador Sarki made it clear during the negotiations that unless the UNFPA, United States and European nations were ready to withdraw the vexatious CSE and abortion rights from the text, the African Group was not going to accept and adopt the text.

Now, let me unmask the UNFPA. As its name aptly reveals, the main mission of the UNFPA in developing countries like Nigeria is population reduction or human capital reduction or fertility reduction. The UNFPA tries to achieve this by making what it calls “safe abortion” and “unmet contraceptive” services assessing and affordable to the vast African population especially African teen population. Why is the UNFPA bent on reducing the fertility rate in Africa? On December 10, 1974, the United States National Security Council promulgated a top secret document entitled National Security Study Memorandum 200 (NSSM-200), also called The Kissinger Report.  It was subtitledImplications of Worldwide Population Growth For U.S. Security and Overseas Interests.”  This document was declassified in 1989.  It laid out a detailed strategy by which the United States would aggressively promote population control in developing nations in order to regulate (or have better access to) the natural resources of these countries. In order to protect U.S. commercial interests, NSSM-200 cited a number of factors that could interrupt the smooth flow of materials from lesser-developed countries as it called them, to the United States, including a large population of anti-imperialist youth, who must, according to NSSM-200, be limited by population control. The document identified 13 nations by name that would be primary targets of U.S.-funded population control efforts.  The named countries were India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, the Philippines, Thailand, Egypt, Turkey, Ethiopia and Colombia. According to NSSM-200, elements of the implementation of population control programs could include: a) the legalization of abortion; b) financial incentives for countries to increase their abortion, sterilization and contraception-use rates; c) indoctrination of children; and d) mandatory population control, and coercion of other forms, such as withholding disaster and food aid unless developing countries implement population control programs.

NSSM-200 also specifically declared that the United States was to cover up its population control activities and avoid possible charges of imperialism by recruiting some United Nations agencies such as the UNFPA to do its dirty work. Section 30(a) of NSSM-200 states:  “Concentration on Key Countries. … Assistance for population moderation should give primary emphasis to the largest and fastest growing developing countries where there is special U.S. political and strategic interest. Those countries are: India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, the Philippines, Thailand, Egypt, Turkey, Ethiopia and Columbia. Together, they account for 47 percent of the world’s current population increase.” NSSM-200 also states “No country has reduced its population growth without resorting to abortion…since abortion is still repugnant to the peoples of Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and parts of Asia and Oceania, we must mask our desire to legalize abortion by pretending to care about the state of women’s health.  We do this by saying that we want to eliminate “unsafe abortion.”

 In other words, since the word “abortion” is repugnant in the highly-sensitive Nigerian religious culture, the UNFPA avoids using it and instead uses euphemisms or dodgy phrases such as “reproductive health”, sexual and reproductive health services”, “family planning services”, “reproductive health services” which connote abortion and contraceptive services. So when Osotimehin says that the UNFPA promotes “reproductive health”, sexual and reproductive health services”, “family planning services”, “reproductive health services”, he actually means that the UNFPA promotes abortion and contraceptives.


By Sonnie Ekwowusi

What is happening to us in this country? Why should anybody in his right senses target the Nigerian young for destruction? I can’t believe what they are doing to the Nigerian young. While we are still lamenting that Chibok girls have not been released and that many children are victims of Boko Haram senseless murder, some people are meeting in Abuja and corrupting children. We are losing our sense of public shame in this country, and, this, for me, is a big tragedy. Last week the so-called 3rd Nigeria “family planning” Conference was staged at the Sheraton Hotels, Abuja. From all intents and purposes, the Conference was supposed to be a Conference on family planning but the Conference ended being a very big public scandal: it ended up being a Conference to assist Nigerian children and Nigerian minors to have access to all sizes of condoms, and contraceptives and literature on permanent sterilization Vasectomy, deprovera female sterilization (Tubal Ligation), injectable contraceptives, IUCD, postinor2,Lo-femenal, norplant, suction tubes etc.

At the Youth pre-conference sponsored by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) which took place a day to the Conference, a video animation was shown to young Nigerians on how to effectively practise “safe-sex” using the condoms and other contraceptives. The young people also watched another video animation of other young people sharing knowledge and experience on issues related to condom use and contraceptive use. The UNFPA created a social media campaign code-named “No Hoodie No Honey” posted on twitter aimed at supplying condoms and contraceptives to young Nigerians including Nigerian minors. The UNFPA was out to coerce young people into believing that “safe-sex” is their right and therefore they shouldn’t be ashamed to practice “safe sex” even if the different cultures and religions teach otherwise. For example, one of the inscriptions on the No Hoodie No Honey roll up stand posted on twitter reads: “Lets push for easy access to the female condom and that a woman may buy condoms without being shamed”

First: this advert is tainted by fraud and deception. The advert that condom protects its user against infections and against HIV is a fraudulent advert. Scientifically, no condom is safe proof. Every condom has naturally-occurring holes that put its user in serious jeopardy. Because condoms are not safe, the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) has enacted a law that every condom advertised in Nigeria must carry the following Health Risk Warning Clause: “Be warned: condom is not 100 per cent safe: total abstinence or faithfulness is the best option”. The “Gold Circle” condom carelessly and indiscriminately used in Nigeria has been banned in Ghana. On 20th July 2005, Ghana’s Food and Drugs Board (FDB) issued what it called “Consumer Alert on “Gold Circle” Brand of condoms to the effect that the Gold circle condoms do not have adequate physical strength and therefore likely to break during use. Therefore the FDB directed all Ghanaian pharmacies, licensed chemical shops and other outlets that had stocks of “Gold circle” brand of condoms to remove them from their shelves and return them to their sources of supply. I don’t know when the “Gold Circle” condom would be banned in Nigeria.

But assuming condom were effective, condom-use promotes sexual promiscuity and pre-marital pregnancy because of the false sense of security it generates in users. And sexual promiscuity, by definition, spreads sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV.

In any case, condom “safe-sex” is not the first priority of the average young Nigerian in the street: the first priority of the average young Nigerian is to settle down in life-to secure a good job, earn a good salary, have a roof over his or her head and marry a good wife or a good husband later. If the organisers of the Abuja conference were really and truly interested in helping the Nigerian young, why didn’t they organise a job-creation conference or a skill-acquisition Conference or farming Conference to boost food production instead of  a condom Conference?. Is condom food that young Nigerians must eat to stay alive?

More importantly, most contraceptives are deadly. A Study that has been carried out have shown that a woman who takes birth control pills before her first child is born has at least 40% of increased risk of developing breast cancer and that a woman who has taken the pill for four or more times prior to the birth of her first child has a 72% risk factor in developing breast cancer. In October 2011, the New York Times published an article entitled Contraceptive Used in Africa May Double Risk of H.I.V. This article was based on a cohort study by prestigious medical Research journal The Lancet that clearly stated that “the risk of HIV-1 acquisition doubled with the use of hormonal contraception especially the injectable methods.” In addition to the HIV-related effects of this product, there is also the doubled risk of breast cancer demonstrated by various studies like the extensive research done by the Fred Hutchingson Cancer Research centre, Seattle and published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) in February 2012, with the research team stating clearly after their studies : “We found that recent DMPA (Depo-Medroxyprogesterone acetate a.k.a Depo-Provera) use for 12 months or longer was associated with a 2.2-fold increased risk of invasive breast cancer.”

It is sad that most foreign NGOs and agencies are coming to Nigeria to exploit our children to their own gain. The UNFPA, for example, has become notorious for distributing condoms and contraceptives among Nigerian teens. And the government appears to have shut its eyes to this atrocity. This cannot continue. Now is the time to stand up and protect our children if we want them to have a stake in bright future.


nationa 2

There are too many troubling national issues in Nigeria today competing for space that one runs the risk of even overlooking the most critical issues that require urgent attention. For example, the National Health Bill is a very critical national issue requiring urgent attention. Health is wealth. It is only when you are alive that you can, for example, discuss politics, economy, Boko Haram and all that. Dead men don’t speak from the grave. It is inconceivable that in this age of astonishing medical breakthrough many Nigerians are still dying of preventable diseases. That is why the country’s health challenges, like the controversial Obamacare, merits eloquent public commentary.

You may be well aware that the Senate has passed the National Health Bill 2014 into law. Likewise the House of Representatives. The two Houses are now set to harmonize the Bill before sending it to President Jonathan for his assent.

But sadly enough, the National Health Bill 2014 (NHB 2014) is flawed. Little wonder it is mired in the most simmering controversy. First: the NHB 2014 is not substantially different from the controversial National Health Bill 2008 and National health Bill 2012 which the late President Umaru Yar’Adua and President Jonathan respectively refused to sign because they were adjudged to be perverse, discriminatory, inchoate and self-serving. Second and most importantly: the NHB 2014 is completely at variance with the agreed conclusions at the stakeholders’ Public Hearing on the National Health Bill. You will recall that on Monday 11th February 2013 the Senate organised a Public Hearing on the NHB 2014 at Room 231 of the Senate Building. It was well attended by different stakeholders which included the Nigerian Medical Council (NMA), National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM); Association of Radiographers of Nigeria (ARN); society of Physiotherapy (NSN); Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria; Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN); National Association of complementary and Alternative medicine; Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria; Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria; Institute of Health Administrators of Nigeria, Nigerian Phisioterpahy Association of Nigeria. The Public Hearing was chaired by Senator Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa, medical doctor, principal sponsor of the Bill, Chairman Senate Committee on Health and a man of exquisite eloquence.

Prior to the commencement of the Public Hearing, Senator Okowa reassured all stakeholders present that their inputs will be accommodated in the final National Health Bill to be adopted by the Senate. And in all fairness, Senator Okowa truly gave all stakeholders the opportunity to make their respective submissions. While some stakeholders wanted some sections of the National Health Bill to be amended, re-couched, delimited or expanded to accommodate their interest, others wanted some sections of the Bill endorsing trafficking in human organs to be entirely expunged from the Bill.

First, the Senate Health Committee should be commended for prohibiting the manipulation of any genetic materials, including genetic material of human gametes, zygotes or embryos, import and export human embryos, as well as conduct any experimentation for human cloning and other purposes.

Having said this, it is very unfortunate and a big paradox that the Senate and the House of representatives have inserted sections 48, 49, 51, and 53 into the NHB 2014 which are aimed at legalizing trafficking in human organs and trading in human tissues like female eggs cells and so forth. Specifically, section 48 (2) “a person shall not remove “tissue” which is not replaceable by natural processes from a person younger than eighteen years”. Obviously this means that a person can remove tissue replaceable by natural processes from persons who are nineteen years and above. This is sad. Section 49 is ambiguously couched and could be greatly abused. It states that a person shall use “tissue” removed or blood or a blood product withdrawn from a living person only for such medical or dental purposes as may be prescribed. To worsen matters, the word, the interpretation of the word “tissue” is not provided in the interpretation section. Sections 51 and 52 are too wide and could lend themselves to great abuse as well. “Removal of tissue” is unqualified. It could mean anything.

You see, we live in an age of high trafficking in human beings and human organs. At the moment Nigeria is one of the leading countries in the world in human trafficking. The statistics are mind-boggling. Not infrequently, it is reported that uncountable number of Nigerians especially young girls and children are trafficked to many unknown destinations where they are used as sex slaves or forced to do all manner of degrading labour. It is on record that some female students of some Nigerian universities are selling their eggs. Sections 48, 49, 51 and 52 will further fuel greater trafficking in human organs and tissues in Nigeria  There is no doubt that it would be difficult for the authorities to resist the manipulations and financial pressures of unscrupulous groups that stand to gain from trafficking in human eggs, tissues and all that. This is a multibillion dollar business worldwide which is very difficult to check or handle especially in a country like Nigeria with ineffective police system and judicial checks or any effective regulatory agency.

Therefore to effectively guard against the said abuses, sections 48, 49, 51 and 53 of the NHB 2014 should be re-couched to expressly and unambiguously prohibit trafficking in human organs and any form of trading in human tissue. Consequently, President Jonathan should withhold his assent to the NHB 2014 pending the rectification of the aforesaid palpable flaws in the Bill. Anything short of this is unacceptable.



It is surprising that in a world where freedom and human rights are held as condiciones sine quibus non  to peaceful co-existence, the war against the person and dignity of women seems to be thriving and annoyingly its  is growing unchecked.

Almost every week we hear of inhumane acts committed against women in the world, ranging from rape, assault, murder,  etc simply because they are women.

Last week Friday there was a shooting rampage in Isla Vista, Calif by Elliot Rodger’s and the reason for this, is his perceived idea that girls reject him. In his words he says:

“I don’t know why you girls aren’t attracted to me but I will punish you all for it,” the killer warned, according to a transcript of his now-removed YouTube video, “Elliot Rodger’s Retribution.” “It’s an injustice, a crime because I don’t know what you don’t see in me, I’m the perfect guy and yet you throw yourselves at all these obnoxious men instead of me, the supreme gentleman. I will punish all of you for it … On the day of retribution, I am going to enter the hottest sorority house at UCSB and I will slaughter every single spoiled, stuck-up, blond slut I see inside there.”

Also, yesterday a  25 years old Pakistan pregnant woman identified as Farzana Parveen was stoned to death by nearly 20 family members for marrying a man against the families decision.

Arranged marriages is the norm among conservative Pakistanis, and it is on record that  hundreds of women are murdered every year in so-called honor killings carried out by husbands or relatives as a punishment for alleged adultery or other illicit sexual behavior.

Also we know of Meriam Ibrahim who was sentenced to death in Sudan for refusing to denounce her Christian faith. She has been in prison for over 4 months shackled to the floor of a cell.

At the point of her sentence she was  pregnant but she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl yesterday morning.

Back home in Nigeria we are aware of the over 200 secondary school students who were kidnapped last month by Hoko Haram.

These inhumane treatments  infringe on women’s inalienable rights.

We have to shout from the roof tops- both males and females- that women have a

Right to life

Right to religion

Right to marry a husband of their choice

Right of expression

Right to be woman

Right to have children

Which ought to be recognized, respected, protected and defended

We all have to, in our little way to fight for the rights of women, these affected women may not be our mothers and sisters, but if we love and respect our mothers and sisters then we should realize that they are all the same and they too need our love and support.

Martin Luther King Jr once said, “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter

The war against women matters lets not keep silent.

Labeling to Silence


By Nwachukwu Egbunike

Also I cannot but ask: where were you all when this bill went through the first, second and third readings in the Senate and House of Representatives respectively? Has the talk about this bill not been on for the past three to four years? But as soon as the president gave his assent to the legislation, we have been singing non-stop.

The shattering chatter in Nigerian blogosphere that followed the presidential assent to Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill 2013 is yet to fade out. Gay marriage is a sensitive issue and expectedly, there has been dissent and praise from Nigerians. However, as is wont in Twitter Nigeria, the dissenters have been quite vocal and have left none in doubt about their views. They have raised their voices in anger and have tried to label those who disagree with them or cow them into shameful silence.

Let me make it clear right from the outset – I do not hate gays [actually I try not to hate anyone – be they polygamists, bigamists or whatever] but I support the law. I have no wahala with what two men/women do in the privacy of their rooms. It’s just that I prefer that they keep it to their rooms but when they decide to marry, I think it becomes public business. And when it becomes public business, I reserve the right to comment, a right which our dissenters and new defenders of unfettered conjugal freedoms would want to deny me. And they try to do this with a vehemence which I find offensive.

The position on Twitter of these advocates of unfettered rights to all forms of connubial arrangements can be summarized thus; anyone who supports this bill is ignorant and needs to be “educated”. However, this education by our Gnostic-like intellectuals spares no fools and by necessity is achieved via arrogance. For the simpletons who are so daft to accept this legislation, do so because they are prisoners of religious superstition. The slurs have been creative: it goes from “hypocritical bigoted bigot” to “fanatical religious moron”. I have stumbled on others like: arsenic homophobe, close-minded, barbaric dim-wit, etc. The list is endless.

It’s a matter of love and we have been told that it’s vile to deny marriage to gays. However, marriage is not available to all who are in love. Loving a person does not give you the right to marry them. A man cannot marry a woman who is already married; a woman who loves two men cannot marry them both. Besides, allowing gays to marry will not stop marriage discrimination for two consenting adult siblings or a mother and her son. The same applies to the over-hyped expression of sex being between two consenting adults. What happens when those ‘adults’ are two siblings or a father and her daughter?

Also I cannot but ask: where were you all when this bill went through the first, second and third readings in the Senate and House of Representatives respectively? Has the talk about this bill not been on for the past three or four years? But as soon as the president gave his assent to the legislation, we have been singing non-stop. This is democracy, if you want to change this law, join a political party and contest for HOR or Senate from your constituency. After all, 2015 is the year for general elections.

Besides, this law was not made ex nihilo! The pro-gay lobby has been voracious for quite some time now. This bill, to my mind is a reaction – perhaps an over-reaction – but a reaction nonetheless to this lobby. Going by the oft-repeated logic by the dissenters, gay marriage is the least of our problems in Nigeria – corruption and reliable electricity supply are the more pressing problems and these should have occupied the attention of legislature and the executive. Arguing like this is very unhelpful since it is tantamount to saying that all other pursuits of government must be put on hold because we have not yet killed corruption or attained constant electricity? Nothing else should matter, just these two. Arguments like this ignore the multidimensionality of governance and the possibility for a government to pursue multiple targets at the same time.

And it’s quite appalling reading misrepresentations like “14 years in prison for being gay in Nigeria!” Gosh, and from those who should know better that the jail term is not for being gay, but for contracting a same-sex “marriage”. Google is your friend, use it – the bill is here, download and read it.

Let me emphasize that not everything that has an emotional appeal is right, or culturally suitable or biologically proper or in consonance with social norms. And the spirit of all laws derives from the meeting point between these influences from culture, biology and social norms. Wisdom, they say is a bag, let each person carry his own.

Nwachukwu Egbunike is a writer, he authored “Dyed Thoughts: A Conversation In and From My Country” and he blogs at


By Sonnie Ekwowusi

In the last one week my email box has been abuzz with mails emanating from different commentators condemning the recent order from one Committee that calls itself the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. Even commentators on face-book and twitter have been lashing out at this Committee for behaving like a bully. The Committee has ordered the Catholic Church to henceforth desist from opposing unmarried teen sex, teen contraception and teen abortion. In essence, the Committee is saying that children have right under international law to have sex, to use contraceptives and to carry out abortion, and therefore the Catholic Church should henceforth stop teaching otherwise.

I think the main issues calling for determination are not whether teen sex, contraception or abortion is morally or legally justifiable or not: the main issues for determination are, one: whether or not there is a binding international law permitting teen sex, teen contraception and teen abortion. Second: whether or not the Committee can order the Catholic Church to refrain from teaching against teen sex, teen contraception and teen abortion. Third:  whether or not in making the said order the Committee overstepped its bounds or acted ultra vires its functions.

 The truth of the matter is that there is no binding international law permitting teen sex, contraception or abortion. Instead the consensus reached at the various United Nations Conferences, is that all policies and action programs of the United Nations must conform with the purposes and Charter of the United Nations and must reflect the diverse social, economic and environmental conditions of each country, with full respect for the religious and ethical values, cultural backgrounds and philosophical convictions of the people of each country. Abortion, teen sex and teen contraceptives are abhorred in most cultures and by the Vatican. Besides, the consensus reached at both the International conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in 1994, and the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, China in 1995, (Beijing 1995) is that “any measures or changes related to abortion within the health system can only be determined at the national level or local level according to the national legislative process”.

Therefore the promotion of teen sex, teen contraception and teen abortion by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the child is a violation of the ICPD (1994), Beijing (1995), Article 26.3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; Article 18, 4 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Articles 5 and 18, 1 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and, above all, offensive to most cultures. Therefore the recent order made by the aforesaid Committee is illegal, and therefore null and void.

Consequently, the Committee cannot stop the Catholic Church from condemning teen sex, teen contraception and teen abortion. International law binds upon consensus of States, not by force or any form of bullying. In fact, the agreed conclusions at the United Nations conferences are reached by consensus not by any form of bullying. That is why the catchphrase “consensus language” is commonly used at the United Nations Conventions and Conferences. At the moment, no consensus has been reached at any United Nations Conference that teen sex, teen contraceptives or teen abortion should be legalized by all nations. So, why is this Committee resorting to bullying to achieve its unlawful objective?

Teen sexual “rights” contained in the controversial Comprehensive Sexuality Education Syllabus are aimed at promoting promiscuity among children as a “right”; promotion of homosexuality or lesbianism as a “right”; teaching children the various ways of achieving masturbation; teaching children to use condom and other forms of contraceptives. For example, the following are some of the excerpts from the Comprehensive Sexuality Education Syllabus, “masturbation is not harmful”; “both men and women can give or receive sexual pleasure with the partner of the same or opposite sex”.

But as I stated earlier, teen “sexual rights” are in complete break with the ICPD (1994), Beijing (1995), Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and most cultures. Therefore the Committee on the Rights of the child should be dissolved for bringing shame to the United Nations. The United Nations was not founded in 1945 to start corrupting children: It was founded, inter alia, to maintain peace and security and to prevent threat to peace in the world. Paradoxically, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the child is going about threatening peace and corrupting children, our future.

This is very sad. The United Nation’s Declaration on of the Rights of the Child states that “mankind owes the child the best it has to give”. Besides, our common humanity dictates that we should always protect  children, the most vulnerable. In fact, if the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the child truly loves children, it should have been up in arms fighting child prostitution, child pornography child labour, child-soldering and child-sex slavery and sex trafficking. Therefore this Committee should be restrained from acting as a bully and corrupting children.


gay_marriage_not in nigeria

Lagos lawyer and human rights activist Mr. Sonnie Ekwowusi, has  said that the castigation of Nigeria and President Goodluck Jonathan by some members of the international community for outlawing homosexuality and lesbianism in Nigeria is unwarranted and a big threat to national security.

On January 7, 2014 President Jonathan signed into law the Same Gender Marriage (Prohibition) Bill earlier passed and harmonized by the two Houses of the National Assembly. The new anti-gay law completely outlaws gay marriage, gay relationships, registration of Gay Clubs, Societies and organizations; prohibition of Gay publicity, gay procession, gay online meeting and dating and all allied gay practices in Nigeria.

For example, under the new anti-gay law an offender risks going to jail for 14 years for contracting a gay marriage or revelling in other gay practices in Nigeria.

Expectedly, the new anti-gay law has drawn the ire of some members of the international community who describe it as barbaric, unconstitutional, undemocratic and “inconsistent with Nigeria’s international legal obligations.

But speaking to newsmen yesterday, Mr Ekwowusi faulted the above contention. He stated that pursuant to section 4(1) (2) of the 1999 Constitution, our Federal legislators are enjoined to make good laws that conform to the social reality in the country.  The average Nigerian in the street abhors homosexuality, lesbianism or bestiality. In fact the only way to avoid chaos in a society is for the legislature to make laws that accord with the values and aspiration of the people. He stated that the so-called homosexual and lesbian “rights” are unfounded under the Nigerian laws and international law.

Besides, no right to privacy is exercised in vacuum; no freedom of expression is absolute, otherwise right to privacy or freedom of expression becomes a licence for indulging in any stupid deviant behavior. Therefore sections 37 (right to privacy), 38 (right to freedom of thought and conscience) and 39 (right to freedom of expression)  enshrined in the 1999 Constitution are curtailed by section 45(1) of the same Constitution to the effect that nothing in those sections 37, 38 and 39 “shall invalidate any laws that are reasonable justifiable in a democratic society in the interest of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health”.

 The Same Gender Marriage (Prohibition) law is a law reasonable justifiable in Nigeria to promote public morality and public health. Homosexual and lesbians practices are offensive to public morality and public health. Therefore the Same Gender Marriage (Prohibition) law is justified in Nigeria.

More importantly, the binding nature of international law is a matter of consent of sovereign States. There is no time nations including Nigeria met and decided that homosexual and lesbian “rights” should become international laws binding on all nations. Therefore somebody cannot be living in New York or London and be making laws that would have a binding force in Nigeria. To do so is to violate the sovereignty of Nigeria. And such a violation constitutes a big threat to national security.

According to Mr. Ekwowusi, it is unfortunate that the Western Cultural Revolution has turned right into a dynamic and subjective process of change that allows for contradictory choices. Hence choice or license has become an absolute principle and a new point of reference of human rights. This has resulted in a new sexual liberation which deconstructs the anthropological structure of man and woman leading to the negation of reality and sexual barbarism.