Ahead of 2019 general elections, the Diverse, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Rights Movement in Nigeria, has hailed the choice of former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar (Waziri Adamawa) as the flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The group has however, pleaded with the Ex-VP to review the Act that also criminalized same sex union in Nigeria if he becomes president of the country.
According to a statement by the Nigerian and West Africa Community President of the group, Victor Spinky Lee, Atiku’s nomination is a pointer to the fact that the PDP is a real democratic party ready to exercise all the tenets of democracy including upholding human rights.
“We view this nomination as victory for democracy as it provides the electorates the option of a liberal candidate in Atiku Abubakar, who has indicated that he is the only one that can ensure that the rights, preferences and the interests of all Nigerians are accommodated in a country that collectively belongs to us all”
“This is a conclusion that we arrived at after critically assessing the antecedents of all those that have so far emerged as candidates from other political parties for the nation’s number one job, their body language and their reactions in the past to matters that pertain to upholding the rights of Nigerians to freely make choices without being criminalized for preferences that have been widely accepted by countries that are making progress. It is high time we began to do away with the false teachings by some fake Pastors in our country and any religious leader that speaks against killing yet oppose our family or interest in the country.”
“Diverse takes note of how a previous administration initiated, passed and signed the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act that also criminalized homosexual clubs, associations and organizations, with penalties of up to 14 years in jail into law.
“We also note how the present administration has enforced same with a zeal that creates the impression that LGBT is a crime at a time when violent crimes take life across the country every single hour. Our community is daily hounded and exploited by law enforcement agents for no other crime than being who we are. We need a President that understands.”
“This repression of LGBT rights has negatively impacted the ability of the community to meaningfully contribute to the economy because the persecution of government as presently oriented towards sexual preferences stifles creativity and productivity.
The group said it is hoping that Abubakar will reverse the Act criminalizing its members.
“Diverse therefore throws its weight behind the candidacy of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his party the PDP as we are aware that his liberal stance will go a long way to promote harmonisation of all interest groups.
“We urge him to see the hostility to his political aspiration as confirmation that he is the politician to beat in the election and one that the others would gang up against because they know of his capacity to deliver where they had failed.
“Our community further commends the PDP for proving to be a true democratic party for all freedom-loving Nigerians to move our great country into the comity of nation.
“Diverse thus informs that we will mobilise our members in the coming months to ensure the candidate wins to become President.