Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: CAN, ACF, Others Condemn U.S. Criticisms of Anti-Gay Marriage Law

Nigerians yesterday react ed angrily to US criticisms of the country over the anti-same sex bill signed into law by President Goodluck Jonathan, Monday, saying that Nigeria will not become the modern day Sodom and Gomorrah in the name of human rights.

The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, the umbrella association of all Northern socio-political organisations, Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF; Ndigbo Cultural Society of Nigeria, NCSN; Adada Media Forum, ADF; Jama'atu Nasril Islam, JNI; and some individuals including, Senator Rowland Owie condemned the US attack on Nigeria over the same sex marriage law.

A statement signed by the former Senate Chief Whip, Senator Rowland Owie, said that Nigeria does not regret forbidding same sex marriage.

Also, the National Publicity Secretary of ACF, Mr Anthony Sani, said "It is difficult (for Nigerians) to share the sentiments of US and its allies on this matter, considering that it is not long that some of them approved same sex marriage."

Elder statesman and veteran politician, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, commended Jonathan for signing the bill into law.

Yakasai said: "President Jonathan should be commended for taking a bold step to sign the bill into law.

"Same-sex marriage is not only alien to Nigeria but to the entire African continent."

He said that the law was meant for Nigerians, who had expressed their support for it.

"The Federal Government should ignore whatever other countries will say on the law because it is meant for Nigerians only."

Jonathan, NASS took the right path - NCSN

The NCSN commended President Jonathan and the NASS for passing the law against same sex marriage.

The NCSN President, Chief Udo Udeogaranya, said the law would preserve and sustain African culture and insisted that "on the issue of marriage, relationship, social behaviour and our country, members of National Assembly and President Jonathan made the best choice."

His words: "We commend President Jonathan for taking a strong moral stand in the face of vindictive Western world by signing the anti-gay bill into law. This singular act has once again crowned President Jonathan's efforts towards promotion, preservation and sustenance of our African culture, heritage and values.

We urge members of the National Assembly and the President to consider filtering and censoring programmes being disseminated into the country from the Western media, as another major step in protecting our young ones from immoral and uncultured views."

U.S. cannot dictate to us, CAN, others

The umbrella body of Christians in the country, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, also said the US government cannot dictate to us to leave our moral, and accept their own immoral ways of life.

Responding to the US opposition to the recently signed bill banning same-sex marriage in Nigeria, the General Secretary of CAN, Rev. Musa Asake said, "the thing that bothers me is that, none of them in the US that is promoting this thing have gays in their family.

"We are solidly behind our president for doing the right thing. Can they allow their sons and daughters to marry each other like that or why are they bothered to meddle into our own affairs?

"I congratulate our president, our legislature, this is the right thing we are doing. We don't have to drift into a situation, where we don't have moral values, because somebody is helping you with a little money. Let them hold on to their money, we will still survive by the grace of God."

In a similar development, the Secretary General of Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, CSN, Rev. Fr Ralph Madu said: "Don't forget that culturally, morally and biblically it is not right, we cannot swallow everything from Europe and America. These are some of the things they brought to us and want us to swallow.

"The President and the National Assembly are in the right direction as far as this matter is concern. The US is free to raise eyebrow, after all their own government is not against homosexuality and all that.

"This is the first time, we are doing the correct thing that is not in their own way of doing things. They should not forget that in certain matter like this, the tradition, culture, religion and many factors that go beyond giving money will come to play, and that is what Nigeria has done. We have no apology for that."

Jonathan should ignore them--Methodist Church

Prelate, Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence Samuel Uche in his reaction, hailed the Nigerian government for its boldness of signing the controversial anti-gay bill into law, urging that President Goodluck Jonathan should not be bothered about the expressed opposition from the American government.

Speaking through the church's Director of Publicity, Rev. Dapo Daramola, he said that position of the Methodist Church had at all time been very clear.

"We are a church and an unrepentant standard bearer of the true gospel of God. He maintained that God, in His infinite wisdom had created the institution of marriage which must be between a man and a woman for primary purpose of procreation among other things.

"Marriage is created by God between a man and a woman and one of the benefits of marriage is procreation."

Continuing, he argued that if a man and a man or a woman and a woman are allowed to marry each other there would be no procreation, describing it as the height of abomination and perversion.

Director of Social Communications at the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Monsignor Gabriel Osu congratulated the Nigerian government for the commitment demonstrated on the anti-gay bill, saying that the opposition coming from the American government should not be a surprise to anybody.

Catholic Church lauds FG's position

"It is expected for very obvious reasons, that the West which had done everything to sell their cultures to Africa will stop at nothing to want to impose such beliefs on the African continent which is always going to the West for financial aids and loans."

According to him, if African leaders are serious about developing the continent they must find local economic solutions to their problems, pointing out that it is the penchant of African leaders to go cap in hand to Western governments that makes them to attach all manner of conditions to the aids and borrowings.

Osu therefore described the statements credited to the American Secretary of State on the anti-gay bill that has just be signed into law as a wake up call for African, especially Nigerian political leaders to stop borrowing from these Western nations who are determined to impose their pervert nature on us as conditions we must meet to attract foreign aids.

"They are seeking ways to reduce their population and are desperate to make African leaders to, against their culture and religious inclinations, tow their pervert nature to get economic aids and loans from monies that were lodged in their nations by corrupt African leaders," he stated, noting that if Nigerian governments are desirous of reducing its population it should not be through same sex marriages.

Sultan of Sokoto urged Muslims to pray against legalisation of same sex marriage

Earlier, the Jama'atu Nasril Islam, JNI, under the leadership of Sultan of Sokoto, Sa'ad Abubakar 111, had urged Muslims to pray fervently against what it described as conspiracies to legalise gay marriage and under-age marriage in the country.

According to the JNI, there was need for Muslims to pray against all manners of conspiracies on the two issues.

A statement signed by the JNI Secretary General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, said that, "We urge Muslim brothers and sisters to pray fervently especially for the Ummah against all manners of conspiracies in the name of gay marriage, and early or under age marriage as now being touted with seeming impunity in the country."

Canadian govt wants Nigeria to repeal anti-gay law

Meanwhile, the Canadian government has called on Nigerian to repeal the anti-gay law and expressed concern over the criminalization of homosexuality in Nigeria

This came barely 48 hours after the Federal Government signed a bill that criminalise same sex marriage. The bill contains penalties of up to 14 years in prison and banned gay marriage, same sex amorous relationship.

The Canadian government, in a statement by its Foreign Affairs Minister, John Baird, said, "Canada is deeply concerned that Nigeria has adopted a law that further criminalizses homosexuality. This law can be used to impose prison sentences of up to 14 years.

"We call on Nigeria to repeal this law, to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedom of all Nigerians regardless of their sexual orientation.

"Canada has clearly spoken out against human rights violations committed against people on the basis of their sexuality, and we will continue to do so."

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