April 10, 2024

Bobrisky, cowardice and law enforcement, by Ochereome Nnanna

Bobrisky, cowardice and law enforcement, by Ochereome Nnanna

Ochereome Nnanna

I WATCHED with great bemusement the comedic arrest and arraignment of Idris Okuneye (Bobrisky) staged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. Guess what he was charged with? Abuse of the Naira and money laundering. Right before our watchful eyes, EFCC acceded to drop the more serious money laundering charge, leaving Nigeria’s number one openly gay figure with the trite charge of “Naira abuse”.

If you have never abused the Naira, hands up. “Spraying” the Naira is not the only form of abuse. Squeezing it or even rejecting it is an abuse. Indeed, the government is the worst abuser of the Naira because it allows the banknotes to get old, dirty, smelly and torn, yet they are not withdrawn and replaced with decent ones. We saw the truckloads of abandoned, unusable Naira notes on the social media early last year during Muhammadu Buhari’s pathetic Naira policy action.

Government knows they are not serious about protecting the Naira from abuse. It is part of the rot we endure in the Nigerian system. The Naira is so flagrantly abused that politicians and some business outfits (especially hotels and airlines) transact only in the American Dollar, right here in Nigeria, and the law enforcement agencies play deaf, dumb and blind.

When the issue came up recently, controversial Police Spokesman, Muyiwa Adejobi, gave excuses for the inability of the Nigeria Police Force to pull in Bobrisky and his fellow same-sex practitioner/promoters, and rap them with the law. He claimed that Bobrisky was a “crossdresser” or “transvestite”. He further averred that there was “no law” in Nigeria under which such people could be arrested.

I wonder if Adejobi and his fellow uniform wearers have read the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, SSMPA, signed into law by former President Goodluck Jonathan on January 13, 2014. It provides for a 14-year jail term for those found culpable of engaging in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, ETC, LGBTQ, lifestyle, getting involved in their so-called “marriage” or belonging to clubs that promote the same.

Bobrisky lives his queer and shameless lifestyle very much in the public space. He is more than a “transvestite” as Adejobi put it. That’s another word for “crossdresser”. Crossdressing for comic or entertainment purposes (as many content creators do) is harmless enough, but a man dressing up like a woman as a means of attracting same-sex partners is definitely a crime. There are tons of evidences provided by Bobrisky himself modelling himself as a transgender gay man.

Just a click will provide abundant video and photo evidences of this guy’s amorous relationships with other men as provided by Bobrisky himself in the social media. There are photos of him posing with his “boyfriend”. Bobrisky even recently participated in a fashion pageant staged for women where he was pronounced by the show’s promoters as the “winner”. This provoked singer, Portable, to release his Brotherhood track lashing at this fairy and the promoters for giving what was meant for women to a man.

No doubt, he Police regularly make arrests of the queers once their presence in the public is reported. But the biggest of them all – Bobrisky – appears beyond their grasp. A frontline social media critic, Martin Otse (VeryDarkMan) accused the Police of arresting and detaining him over his allegation that Bobrisky was protected by powerful politicians who are his “gay partners”. Even if this is true, it may not be the only reason for the indulgent attitude of the law enforcement architecture (including judicial officers) towards Bobrisky and other openly gay activists.

The main staying hand is the fear of sanctions by the Western powers. Many of our corrupt and powerful politicians, top military, police and security chiefs and judicial officers who have enriched themselves enough send their children to schools abroad. They buy expensive property and frequently travel for health checks and holidays. They know that any “overzealous” reaction to the activities of prominent LGBTQ figures like Bobrisky could lead to their visa denial or even exposure of their loots abroad. They have bigger personal interests to protect than run after greasy street queers.

They know what happened to former President Jonathan for signing the SSMPA into law. When the Bill was passed, every Western country threatened the president and the country. Former US President Barack Obama and his UK peer, David Cameron, conspired to oust Jonathan from power. Joe Biden in the White House today is widely seen as Obama’s white shadow. Our law enforcement architecture is intimidated and Bobrisky and his types can afford to do as they wish.

Why are we against the LGBTQ phenomenon in Nigeria and Africa at large? In the first place, their lifestyle is unnatural, disgusting and completely against the cultural ethics of our people, whether Christians, Muslims or Traditionalists. These people exist in every human setting, admittedly. It is not my intention to go into the debate of whether it is a natural or acquired lifestyle.

In every decent society, queers have a place: in the closet. I believe in the “don’t ask, don’t tell” dictum. Nobody should bother themselves about what you do with your body or with whom, so long as it is done behind securely locked doors and not used to disturb anyone. If you bring yourself out into the sun, the law should immediately get a hold of you and put you out of harm’s way.

Any society that permits the public display or celebration of unnatural sexual lifestyle is doomed. History bears out this claim: Sodom and Gomorrah, Babylon, Rome and now USA and the West. Nigeria is still trying to discover its greatness.

We cannot afford to go down with those who have already squandered theirs.