No going back: Death penalty, gay marriage ban are here to stay – FG insists

by Rachel Ogbu

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru (Photo: Punch)
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru
(Photo: Punch)

Federal Government has rejected the recommendation by the United Nations Human Rights Council on the protection of same sex marriage and abolition of the death penalty.

In a draft report to the United Nations Human Rights Council on resolution 16/20 discussed at a Stakeholders’ Consultative Forum on the second cycle of Nigeria’s Universal Periodic Review in Abuja on Friday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Olugbenga Ashiru, said same sex marriage was against out tradition so external forces could not impose it on the country and on the abolition of death penalty, Ashiru said the Criminal Code in use was enacted by the colonial masters.

“If anything is wrong about it, why are they blaming us?” he reportedly said.

According to reports, Ashiru, who wondered why gay rights had generated interest from the United Nations, queried the negative campaign against polygamy, which, according to him, was allowed in African tradition.

“You should not shy away from defending what you believe is right. Whatever is in our constitution, you must defend it. We must stand by our constitution. We must stand by our customs and tradition,” he said.

“If you want to have gay right in your constitution; fine, but we have our own constitution. The same human rights they want to protect for gay people; how about people that want to go into polygamy if they so desire and women are willing to marry them. Polygamy is human rights in our tradition.”

[READ: No going back: Death row prisoner to be executed by firing squad in Edo ]

[READ: Death by hanging: Edo executes 4 convicts on death row, Amnesty Int’l kicks ]

The Punch reports:

Ashiru also denied allegations of extra-judicial killings by the military against the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, where emergency rule had been proclaimed by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Challenging those with credible evidence to come forward, Ashiru maintained that the record of Nigeria’s military in peace keeping mission was unassailable.

The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Prof. Bem Angwe, said Nigeria had done creditably well in Human Rights.

Although he noted that the country had some obligations to the United Nations, he said no country could dictate to another because as a sovereign nation, Nigeria has the right to protect the interests of its citizens


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