Gay Marriage is the Least of Nigeria’s Problems

President Goodluck Jonathan speaking at the United Nations in 2013 (AFP Photo/Stan Honda)
President Goodluck Jonathan speaking at the United Nations in 2013 (AFP Photo/Stan Honda)

So, this may not go down well with everyone, it may upset some people, and may make me some enemies; but that’s fine because I believe gay marriage and laws relating to it are the very least of Nigeria’s problems right now. I’ll say now that I am a Christian and do not believe that same-sex marriage is right, but that is not the point I am trying to make here. I came across an article on Yahoo! News saying there is international concern over the new law passed criminalising gay relationships.

Nigeria, today faces a myriad of problems: the education system is in tatters, politics in disarray, health care well below mediocre, transport in a state of “dismal bismal”, poverty consumes most of the population. There is way too much on the Nigerian list of things to do; this is not the time to begin a great debate on whether or not gay marriage should be approved. Anyway, parliament has passed the bill, and the president has signed off on it according to the news article. You can read it:

US Secretary of State, John Kerry, is apparently “deeply concerned” over the law. Sir, please be deeply concerned that majority of Nigerians live below the poverty line on less than $1 a day; be concerned that in a nation as rich as ours many homes do not have electricity and running water for days (and not in the villages! in the so-called cities); be concerned that a secondary school graduate has to write the same exams for 6 years before getting admission into higher education; be concerned that the Nigerian police force is almost useless, threatening the safety of millions; be concerned that some of our Muslim brothers in the north are becoming radicalised, and killing thousands, be concerned that a civilian, democratic government has achieved little in the past 15 years. To put it simply, Nigeria has bigger fish to fry.

Now, I am not for sentencing people who have chosen the homosexual lifestyle to jail. What is that supposed to achieve? I don’t see it. Furthermore, as long as you’re an adult, I believe you can choose to do what you want with your life (you will still answer for it anyway). I just do not feel the discourse on homosexuality is what the spotlight of Nigerian debate should be shifted unto.

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