Ahead of Muhammadu Buhari’s meeting with his American counterpart, Barack Obama, Project for Human Development (PHD), a civil society organisation, has cautioned the Nigerian leader.
Members of PHD urged Buhari not to listen to the US government on issues of gay rights in order to protect laws and values of Nigeria.
PM News reports that the call was made on July 19, Sunday, at a rally titled “Gay Marriage: Obama, Please Leave Nigeria Alone”, which was held in Lagos.
Jerry Okwuosa, the director-general of PHD, said that the aim of the rally was to hint the president that Nigerians are worried that Obama might ask him to decriminalize the same-sex prohibition law of Nigeria. According to him, promotion of gay rights is a part of America foreign policy.
“The US is now the major exporter of gay rights in the world. It has recently pressurized Uganda for a reverse of its anti-gay law. Under the influence of the US, Mozambique has recently decriminalized its anti-gay law. At the moment, US is putting pressure on Kenya to legalize gay marriage.
“President Obama is meeting with President Buhari tomorrow 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,” he said.
Sonnie Ekwowusi, a director of PHD, stressed that homosexuality is not Nigeria culture; it is a taboo or abomination.
“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. Laws are made in consonant with the values of the people. Every country is interested in protecting what it holds dear.”
Speaking on behalf of people taking part in a rally, Ekwowusi concluded:
“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”.
It would be recalled that Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US assistant secretary of state for African affairs, said that America would continue to pressurize Nigeria until it legalizes same-sex marriage.
Earlier this month, leading human rights organisations PEN America and PEN Nigeria urged President Buhari to take a cue from the US and cancel the same sex marriage prohibition Act of 2014.