Opinion: Open letter to Pres. Jonathan on the anti-gay law

by Ahanonu Kingsley

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I am not oblivious of the heightened hatred of the majority of Nigerians towards identified gays and I am also not unaware of the criticisms and aspersions against any apparent support for their state. But I make bold to say that I am not pressured by the perspective of the majority. I stand for the truth no matter the density of its antagonists or identifiers.

Your Excellency,

 

THE JUDGE HAS SENTENCED HIMSELF

It is with the utmost regard and honour to your office, first of all and your personality that I write you this piece. I do it bearing in mind that you are my leader and as a Nigerian, I have an unrestricted access to baring my thoughts about issues of state to you.

It is no news that the two chambers of the National assembly have done the final work on the harmonisation of the anti-gay bill. The controversial law with its punitive measures has now been given presidential assent.

I so write on this matter. And in writing, I make to say for the sake of clarity that I am not sympathetic to the act itself but to the rights of the Nigerian individuals who so found themselves into it and whose rights ought to be respected.

This treatise is a genuine outpouring from the mind. Its content is the unshrouded expression of a libertarian, who believes wholesomely in the rights, liberties and privileges of every human, regardless of creed, race or any affiliation to pursue their ordained liberties.

The essence of this write-up, as earlier stated, is not to applaud or give a nod to the sensitive topic of homosexuality that has dominated the public discourse for long. Rather, it is to express a strong displeasure over the usurpation by man to feign imposition on others; to condemn the over-bearing posture of the Nigerian legislature in bringing into subjection willy nilly the rights of people, who like them have been placed by nature to exercise their freedom.

 

What they had proven, as reflected in the recent enactment, is that whereas they themselves with rights can exercise theirs, those individuals, who find themselves wrapped in the web as a result of this development, lack similar prerogative to pursue their bidding but to dangle in line with their dictates.

By successfully passing this bill into law, the Nigerian nation has only succeeded in cowering into reclusiveness the desires of true gays; their predilection has only been denied expression by coercive presence but it still remains in them.  The threats against their drive would but only deny them the vintage for expression; making them dejected and paranoid.

 

The bill has been harmonised and the sanctions clearly specified. But, however, that is not the germane issue. The bill, by its very self, reveals the tendency of most Nigerians to skid gracefully into the bizarre diabolic gall of self-centredness to grease unabashedly their leaning and at the same time holding the next person by the jugular from veering into his crave.

 

Of a truth, there is no good in homosexuality or its pursuits; and more to it, contemplating a union based on it. Nonetheless, the only wrong is that a truth has been subverted. The fact is that some people, by this very act of parliament, are being denied their rights to personal determination; there are LGBTs in our country.

 

A situation  wherein one, by virtue of the disposition that he does not savour alcohol regards his state as utopian and goes to impose draconian posture against those that gladly do it, is unassumingly acting God; a misrepresented ‘holier-than-thou’ demeanour. it is a detestable ‘my sin is better than yours’ approach. Homosexuality (if not a forced act) is a vice; and like the others of its kind should be left in the purview of morality.

 

Many people, in expressing their disdain for the act, had often resorted to the scriptures. Yes, the Bible and may be the Koran abhors gaiety; but it is not the only malfeasance which these sacred books frown against. The same Bible that abhors homosexuality also vilifies pre-marital sex, adultery, etc (I Corinth. 6:9-10). Nonetheless, they are being done without a lid-batting. [I do not advocate that they be barred so far it does not circumvent others’ privileges—and they are moral issues].

 

The grouse, however, is why the emphasis on gaiety? Using the scriptures to justify one’s contempt for homosexuals is only self-serving; for we tend to turn blind to the same scriptures on matters that we ourselves are feeble and remember it when the others are vulnerable. In so doing, we tend to question the individual lives of others. This is why the rightness of the legislative posture is questioned.

 

By the enactment of this law, the law-makers and the entire Nigerian nation has unknowingly convicted themselves before the court of moral justice; for they themselves are not immune to immoral proclivities. Let the one who is free from offence cast the instigating stone (John 8:7); but this won’t be true in Nigeria, I guess.

 

It plunges Nigeria more deep into the degenerative doldrums where egoist domination thrives with unbridled impunity to trample upon the human dignity and freedom. It’s a country where egoistic power soars above the piercing force of reasoning; a terrain wherein the rudiments of human rights are besmirched in the brazen face of selective justice.

 

The right to equal protection of individuals is what must be protected regardless of who is the object of benefaction in the bid. A situation whereby the privileges which nature has bequeathed individuals to explore are granted to some and denied the others, just because it is incongruous with the majority, smacks off discrimination and a ‘mine is better’ syndrome.

 

The fight for equality that has transcended all spheres of humanity and for which men of sound beliefs cried out against has continued to be echoed in the society’s prejudicial responses toward this group. When Nelson Mandela fought against apartheid; he stood against a peculiar form of inequality. The case of Luther King against racial injustices remains a monumental issue.

There are many others, though not much heard of, who challenged other forms of discrimination like class, creed, etc. All these icons in speaking out against a peculiar form of discrimination, stood up against all forms of inequalities; for injustice to one is injustice to all. However, the battle against human domination still rages on and will continue until all humans are free to live out their legitimate yearnings.

The world is a free place remains a restrictive parlance. It is a free space that accommodates all engagements as long as the acts delight the teeming majority. However, this world’s freedom becomes one of a necessary regulation when such acts are unfavourable to them. Everything that fancies the taste of the super-individuals is condoned but once it negates their views, it is disreputable, sacrilegious and termed ‘uncultural’.

 

When people are subjugated for their beliefs and personal affiliations, it behoves on all humans of virtue to stand against such dehumanisation, so far the pursuits are not against the self-determination of others. That a fellow identifies himself or herself with same-sex does not stifle the others rights and privileges. However, it becomes an offence if the rights of the next person are infringed upon—i.e. by unsolicited imposition (e.g. rape).

 

Actually, there are extant laws that lash out against rape and every form of sexual assault, but I have yet to see where one is criminalized for engaging in consensual and wilful sexual exploits. Why then are these realities not applicable to the alternative group? ‘Uncultural’, some may say. And I ask, most of the things freely done here, how cultural are they? The fact is clear.

This case of selective justice has being the weight suffocating the Nigerian populace; one which they yell against but which unfortunately they found themselves fanning to raze. Hence, it could as well thrive in situations that bother them because they give it a sprawling support to thrive in those which they feel buffered from.

Until we learn to stand for the truth and defend it not just because it’s our interests that are challenged or offended, we will continue to ramble and never achieve our desire for genuine justice. Until we speak up because it behoves on us to project the right and expose the ills and tyrannical denials, there won’t be a better Nigeria.

 

I am not oblivious of the heightened hatred of the majority of Nigerians towards identified gays and I am also not unaware of the criticisms and aspersions against any apparent support for their state. But I make bold to say that I am not pressured by the perspective of the majority. I stand for the truth no matter the density of its antagonists or identifiers.

 

And in this light, I so speak against the denial of people’s liberty, in a bid to grease the sprawling ego of the majority, through the recent act of parliament. I speak against sexual discrimination and I speak against all forms of inequality; not because I stand to gain remotely from it but because I stand for the equality of all humans regardless of affiliations. This law is against the very foundation of the constitution.

Even as I am against the explicit enshrinement of homosexuality into the legal framework, I stand against its apt criminalization by the law. This is drawn from the fact that cases as these are better reserved for the morality; the individuals’ consciences. Hence it would be ‘extra-judicial to act on matters of wilful same-sex and its cognates.

Mr President, in writing this, I wouldn’t be suggesting that you reverse the accent of the bill as passed by the national assembly. This is because you were elected the president of a democratic Nigeria; and in democracy, majority prevails. The majority of Nigerians, through the legislature, have spoken. However, it is only unfortunate that the majority in this case have allowed themselves to be driven by personal egos and veering hatred for a course which pitches against their dereliction.

 

I do only hope that the cry for justice which continuously stirs in all facets of the people’s lives and of which they have been blinded to recognise supposedly by irrationality and weird prejudice, shall one day resound to make them realise that even the minority which they have subsumed also yearns for similar equality (of pursuits).

Thanks and God bless Nigeria.

Yours truly,

Ahanonu Kingsley,

 

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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

 

Comments (2)

  1. I use to think human race were all “Rational” (Reasoning soul) until some proved themselves to be lower in reasoning to animals. He goats runs after she goats,Lion to lionessEven male dogs to female dogs…Who is justifying this sick ones?Sick in mind and lost in the spirit.If animals sleep and lust only after their opposite kinds… then who are these homosexuals?Don’t misuse word by calling them animals because this act is below animal reasoning.Are they sick, possessed or lost?If they are sick, I recommend psychiatric hospitals. If it’s possession, bring them to the Church for exorcism.And if they are lost, let’s pray and evangalize them. I fully support anti-homosexual laws. What about you?O’lusi Titus

    1. I also recommend psychiatric hospitals and exorcism for adulterers, fornicators, liars, embezzlers, groupies (3somes, 4somes etc.), the list is countless…and really, the ones that think they think rationally are actually the ones that reason so irrationally!

      Kingsley, made a very valid point and it is very clear and from an informed mind. It’s quite unfortunate that we are schooled/literate but uneducated. Russia, majority of Americans and many more globally, including me do not support same-sex marriage and even supports its ban, but not condemning laws. Do we say they are evil?-of course not.

      The gays are no criminals, clinically speaking, just as they have a preference for their same-sex type, so, does some men have preference for varieties of women-the fact that one seem okay and acceptable to the society, doesn’t make it sane. More people have lost lives and property to fornication and adultery than you can imagine.

      If I were in their shoes, encourage the gays to come forward, know them, make it clear that there would not be same-sex marriage in our country, and help to rehabilitate them. Their states of mind and preference can be worked on to change their preferences.

      Anything other than this, renders human rights policy invalid and makes it faux. Thus, Olusi, please do not ask of this government “freedom of anything”, construction of roads, constant power etc. as I cannot rationally agree with you on all things, as we differ in needs, wants and common sense!

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