Anti-gay law: Lawyers urge FG not to succumb to foreign pressure

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Some prominent lawyers in Lagos on Thursday urged the Federal Government not to succumb to foreign pressure to decriminalise same-sex relationships in the country.

gayThe lawyers, in separate interviews with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), lauded President Goodluck Jonathan for signing the bill into law.

NAN reports that the law prescribes penalties of up to 14 years in prison and bans gay marriage, same-sex “amorous relationships” and membership of gay rights groups.

Mr Onyekachi Ubani, Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja branch, said that majority of Nigerians were very happy with the law.

Ubani said: “Nigerians have the right to determine what we want in our country because we are a sovereign nation.

“Our culture supports sexual purity and natural means of conception.

“If you carry out a plebiscite today, you will see that majority of Nigerians are very happy with the law.”

Also speaking, Mr Mussodiq Sanni, the Chairman, Muslim Lawyers’ Association of Nigeria (MULAN), Lagos State chapter, told NAN that it was a welcome development.

“We commend the president for what he has done and we all support it.

“The international community cannot sanction Nigeria because they need our resources. So it is just a mere threat,” Sanni said.

Another lawyer, Mr Wale Ogunade, said it was hypocritical that the same international community which could not sanction some countries with gross human rights abuses was threatening Nigeria.

Ogunade said: “What sanctions have they imposed on the likes of Saudi Arabia, Russia and China with all the abuses being recorded there?

“They can only threaten Nigeria because our leaders have not been able to utilise our abundant resources for the benefit of the country.”

According to him, God in his infinite wisdom created man and woman for the purpose of procreation.

“So, anyone that is against that is anti-God and to that extent, the practise of homosexuality should be condemned by all,” he added.

On his part, Mr Victor Okpara, a Lawyer, said he would have been surprised if the president did not assent to the bill which was passed by the National Assembly in May 2013.

“If the president had failed to sign the bill, it would have meant that he was supporting gay marriage, which is religiously criminal and socially unacceptable in Nigeria.

“As far as I am concerned, the president has actually signed a law that is consented to by majority of Nigerians,” Okpara said. (NAN)

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