Archbishop Peter Akinola, the retired Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), has endorsed the anti-same gender marriage bill which would impose criminal penalties on same-sex unions and LGBT organisations and gatherings. Joseph Okoghenum writes in the Nigeria Guardian:
In what seems to be mounting support for the passage of anti-Same-Sex Marriage Bill by the Senate, many Nigerians, including the immediate past Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Archbishop Peter Jasper Akinola, have urged President Goodluck Jonathan and Members of the House of Representatives to support the Senate and ensure that the bill is passed into law.
Although the anti-Same-Sex Marriage Bill had been passed by Senate, it needs the consent of the members of House of Representatives to sail through to the President for assent before it could become law.
Since its passage by the Senate, Nigeria has received strong criticisms and warnings from the British, Canadian and the United States of America governments, which have individually threatened to withdraw aids and other forms of assistance to Nigeria, if the law is allowed to exist.
But Akinola, in an exclusive interview with The Guardian, urged President Jonathan not to succumb to such pressure, but rather tow the path of God by assenting to the bill.
Akinola, who described the bill as “a new orientation towards transformation and reformation of Nigeria from its moral decadence into a new platform of sound morality,” said President Jonathan would be going against God’s will for Nigeria if he refused to sign the controversial bill into law.
He stated that Nigeria needs such law to preserve the nation’s sacred moral heritage for national development.
The former Primate of Church of Nigeria, who described homosexuality as an aberration, said it was repugnant to the word of God and African beliefs. “Same-sex marriage is against natural order of creation; it is against the laws of our religions, and it is against our African custom and traditions,” he said.
Responding to international protests that the bill would limit the rights of homosexuals in Nigeria, Akinola said human rights have limits by the operative society.
“Can you say you have right to marry anybody you want and because of your right, you now go and marry your mother or sister or daughter in the name of human right? For example, in this community, everybody has the right to own a car, but this community says that you drive your car on the right lane. Can you now say because it is your right to own a car, you must drive on the left, while every other person drives on the right?” he asked.
Adjunct Professor of Scientific Theology and Biblical History at the United Bible University, Lagos and President of Shepherd Organisation, Dr. Felix Jovi Ehwarieme, who has worked with a lot of homosexuals to overcome the condition, said homosexuality is a learnt habit devoid of genetic manipulations.
Ehwarieme, a surgeon and author of Homosexuality, explained that the habit often starts from masturbation taken to extremity.
He added that although homosexuals use the Bible to argue their case, the Bible has clearly shown that those involved in the act would not inherit God’s Kingdom.
“An average male child has masturbated at one stage of his life or the other. If this behaviour were not controlled, it would lead to lack of interest in the opposite sex. This often happens in the subconscious mind, so that by the time one grows into it, one would not know why one hates the opposite sex. This is because when one masturbates, one may have practiced it with other male children,” he argued.
“So, by the time they are qualified to have sexual relations, they just discover that they have something that satisfies them more than natural sex.”
According to Ehwarieme, there is a role played by hormones in masturbation. “One cannot just masturbate without thinking of the opposite sex. When you masturbate, you have a picture in mind of someone you like, a woman, definitely,” he said.
“By the time you masturbate and ejaculate, you end it that way. After a period, if the woman you have in mind is given to you and you find that you do not enjoy her, you would still want to go back to masturbation, because something else has replaced original process.”
“The problem with homosexuals is that they do not know how they become what they are,” he surmised.
Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at Lagos State University and National Director for Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Dr. Ishaq Akintola said Islam, which many Nigerians subscribed to, not only condemns homosexuality in its entirety but prescribes death sentence for those involved in it.
Akintola, who said homosexuality “offends the process of creation, ” urged President Jonathan to ignore the threats of western nations and sign the bill into law.
Akintola said: “Jonathan should ignore those advocatus diaboli who are bent on dragging Nigeria and the rest of the world into the deep sea of Satan. Let them keep their aids.
“Like drowning men, they are groping for any straw to hold onto or drag down to drown with them.
“We urge President Goodluck Jonathan to quickly sign the Bill into law once it is passed by the House of Representatives before these Western countries drag Nigeria down with them. He must not succumb to the intimidation of neo-imperialists.”
“We assure the President that Nigerians are united on this matter. We are solidly behind him and the National Assembly,” Akinola added. “There have always been hidden agenda in foreign aid. Once colonialist, always a colonialist!
“Nigerians should learn a lesson from this. The imperialist will never give you what will benefit your country. All these aids are white elephants; we should call their bluff.
“Nay, we should do more than that. The Minister of Foreign Affairs should summon the High Commissioners of Britain and Canada, as well as the American Ambassador to register our collective displeasure.
“Their intimidation is scandalous, preposterous and unacceptable. What they want is to destroy Nigeria’s social values the same way that their cultural norms have been destroyed.”
Chaplain of Blessed Tansi Catholic Chaplaincy at Anambra State University (ANSU), Rev. Fr. Paul Ifeanyichukwu Obiaga, described homosexuality “ as satanic and sin against nature.”
He added that if God had wanted same –sex marriage, he would have created man that way.
“But he created a man and a woman. That is why a woman will leave her father and mother and go to her husband and they become one body,” he said.
A criminologist and senior lecturer at the Department of Sociology, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Dr. Franca Attoh said the law was the “only way to ensure that the decadence that is sweeping through Europe and America is nipped at the bud,” in Nigeria.
She added that the “ moment we allow same-sex marriage, it would mean that we are actually giving recognition to all kind of promiscuities and other sexual kind of dysfunctions.”
Meanwhile Nigeria homosexuals in Diaspora have described the anti-Same Sex Marriage Bill as violation of their fundamental human rights and limitation of their happiness.
Spokesperson for the lesbians, Otibo Obianwu said: “Fundamental human rights of sexual minorities are violated because of the criminalization of same sex marriage and societal prejudices against them. It is against various human rights and international laws and agreements that Nigeria had ratified. The bill will lead to political and social harassment of people for their sexual orientations. It will also violate freedom of expressions and associations. It will affect Nigerian human rights records. Individuals, institutions and the general society including police will use it as a license to intimidate and harass citizens based on their actual or suspected sexual orientations.”