By Sam Eyoboka
LAGOS — ARCHBISHOP Emeritus of the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Anthony Cardinal Okogie, and founder of Vineyard Christian Centre, Lagos, Archbishop John Osa-Oni, have sent a strong warning to the United States of America and its Western allies to desist from pressurising Nigerian government to soft pedal on its current anti-gay stands, vowing that no amount of intimidation would make the nation succumb to their whims and caprices.
Speaking at different occasions in the wake of pressures on President Goodluck Jonathan by officials of the US and other international human rights groups to have a rethink on the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act recently passed by the National Assembly and dully signed into law by the president, the duo cautioned them to mind their business and stop meddling into the nation’s domestic affairs.
Addressing newsmen in Lagos ahead of a world leadership conference of end-time generals scheduled to take place at the Guiding Light Assembly from Thursday, March 13 to Saturday 15, Osa-Oni said it was most unfortunate that the West, which brought Christianity to Africa, now wants African nations to embrace gay marriage which goes against the very foundation of the Christian faith.
He said: ”The Holy Bible is unambiguous about the issue of homosexuality and I thank God for the National Assembly for passing the bill into an act despite pressure from the West and the courage of President Goodluck Jonathan for signing same into law without giving consideration to threats from Western leaders to stop aides to the nation.”
The Pentecostal archbishop described Jonathan as “God’s appointed for this season,” noting that he should be commended by all men of goodwill in the country for that singular act of bravery and a demonstration of patriotism.
On his part, the Catholic cardinal said: “I don’t know what concerns the United States and the other western nations on a matter that purely concerns our own moral code. As a nation, we have a right to determine what we want and what we don’t want.
”If the western nations decide that homosexuality and lesbianism are good enough for them, fine. But they have no right to impose their will on us. We have made it clear that we do not approve of gay relationship under any guise or its attendant consequences and we have every right to entrench such in our law. That is the wishes of our people, and as you know, the voice of the people is the voice of God.”
On the possibility of Nigerian being sanctioned by the international committee like is the case with Uganda if it fails to bend to their wishes, Okogie said such a move, if contemplated, would be unfortunate as it would only make Nigerians more resolute in their stand.
He said: “I have said it before, and I will continue to say it: nothing can make us bend to their wishes. If, as I gathered, over 83 countries across the world are currently opposed to homosexuality, it shows how unpopular the practice is. It is against our religious belief and custom, and these are very sensitive areas that make us who we are as a people and we cannot compromise them.”