News / Africa

    Nigeria President Jonathan ‘Praised’ For Same-Sex Prohibition Law

    Nigeria - Johnson
    Nigeria - Johnson
    Peter Clottey
    Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan has received overwhelming support from Nigerians after signing a law that prohibits same-sex marriages, according to Reuben Abati, spokesman for Jonathan.

    He says Nigerian lawmakers unanimously voted for the same-sex prohibition measure after receiving inputs from their constituents across the country.

    The law imposes a 14-year jail sentence for same-sex couples. The same-sex marriage prohibition law also bans gay clubs, associations and other activities that promote homosexuality, according to Abati.

      “In accenting to this bill on January 7, President Jonathan took special cognizant of the fact that the bill and its positions reflects the religious and cultural preferences of the Nigerian people,” said Abati. “There is no way in which this [law] violates the Nigerian constitution, either section 42 which talks about freedom from discrimination or other parts of the constitution, and there is no way it violates the criminal code or the penal code.”

    The U.S. State Department, however, said in a statement that the measure is “inconsistent with Nigeria’s international legal obligations and undermines the democratic reforms and human rights protections enshrined in its 1999 Constitution.”

    Nigeria has come under international criticism following the implementation of the same-sex marriage prohibition law that some observers have characterized as “inhumane and draconian.”

    Both the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, expressed concern about the Nigerian law, in a press statement released by the spokesperson of the UN Secretary General.

    “The Secretary-General reiterates that everyone is entitled to enjoy the same basic rights and live a life of worth and dignity without discrimination. This fundamental principle is embedded in the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights… The Secretary-General strongly hopes that the constitutionality of the law can be reviewed,” read part of the statement.

    But, Abati says over 90 percent of Nigerians have praised President Jonathan for signing the law that prohibits same-sex marriages.

    “If President Jonathan had done otherwise, then of course he would have been condemned by the Nigerian people,” said Abati. “What the world must realize is if the president had refused to sign the bill into law the national assembly would have vetoed the president, and [their] position would have been that we are the representative of the people and this is what the Nigerian people want.”

    Some observers say the law gives legal backing to those who violently attack members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

    But Abati says the law does not empower people to create chaos.

    “The law as phrased does not encourage lawlessness. In no way does any law in Nigeria encourage anybody to take the laws into their hands,” said Abati. “What the law says is within the framework of decency within the framework of due process. The law does not saw individuals can attack or demonize or take the law into their own hands against people who claim that they are gay.”

    He says those violently attacked could seek redress in court.
    Clottey interview with Rueben Abati, President Jonathan's adviser
    Clottey interview with Rueben Abati, President Jonathan's adviseri
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
        Next 
    by: Anonymous
    January 25, 2014 4:58 AM
    Is very bad and againt the of the supreme beign which is God,for in the begining God creat Adam and give him a wife which is Eve .But who ever that change what God has made wil recieve the affliction.

    by: LEONARD CHIEMEZIE ODO from: KADUNA
    January 23, 2014 3:24 AM
    THIS TELLS ME THAT GOD REALLY HAS PURPOSE FOR OUR COUNTRY NIGE RIA.

    by: Anonymous
    January 20, 2014 6:22 AM
    We Nigerians still belive in the suprimecy of God and also owe aligence to him, and cannot suport any thing that is against his will for mankind, such like same sex mariage, for God made woman for man, and not man for man or woman for woman, even animals still obey this natural law why would human do otherwise
    In Response

    by: Izzy from: England
    January 23, 2014 3:32 PM
    I think you will find that yes, men and women are made to reproduce together but LOVE is a whole other thing. Anyone can fall in love, and it is not their fault if they do so. Also, their is homosexuality in ALL species of animals, there are even asexual animals who still reproduce.. Do your research, everyone should be equal.

    by: Anonymous
    January 20, 2014 5:55 AM
    We Nigerians still belive in the suprimecy of God and also owe aligence to him, and cannot suport any thing that is against his will for mankind, such like same sex mariage, for God made woman for man, and not man for man or woman for woman, even animals still obey this natural law why would human do otherwise

    by: Anonymous
    January 20, 2014 5:55 AM
    We Nigerians still belive in the suprimecy of God and also owe aligence to him, and cannot suport any thing that is against his will for mankind, such like same sex mariage, for God made woman for man, and not man for man or woman for woman, even animals still obey this natural law why would human do otherwise

    by: John Beck from: United Statez
    January 19, 2014 10:33 PM
    Good for your president ... Go by the Bible ... I dont hate homosexuals but they should fight their disgusting urges goes against why God put us here to marry and love a woman and woman man ... Good for your country ...
    In Response

    by: michael nii kekel from: nigeria laspotech lagos
    January 21, 2014 5:25 AM
    i salute Ur buoyant courage good luck Jonathan.. @ least you make us proud.. we Nigerians are Godly .. we follow what the bible command.. the bible also point out on men who lay with me will never inherit the kingdom of God.. we neither care about the stupidity of USA on useless human right...we worship the almighty not the God of human right.. thanks to you our president...

    by: ebuzor bright Kenneth from: Thailand
    January 19, 2014 3:02 AM
    God bless our president,Dr. Goodluck ebele azikiwe Jonathan.it is better to do the will of God than to please men.all kingdoms,authority,Dominions,nation,power are his.he makes great and can make low.4 obedient to God your generation is blessed for ever.amen

    by: john smith from: texas
    January 18, 2014 8:50 PM
    jJONATHAN MUST BE REALLY STUPID DOES HE NOT KNOW THAT GOD PUT THE GAY MAN ON THE PLANET
    In Response

    by: JERRY JANG from: JOS NIGERIA
    January 19, 2014 4:14 AM
    MR SMITH. GOD CREATED ADAM AND EVE NOT ADAM AND ADAM NOR EVE AND EVE. ANYTHING SAMESEX MARRIAGE IS SATANIC, AND IS AGAINS GOD (ANTI-CHRIST) WE SHOULDN'T MISS LEAD THE WORLD.

    by: Marshall from: Willy
    January 18, 2014 11:33 AM
    Nigeria is a great country and I am glad the people there are still in their right senses. One great thing that keeps bringing Nigerians as One is the fact that we are very religious, whatever we do or the Govt should still be in accordance to our religious beliefs , our constitution. Let us all as Nigerians continue to stand by GEJ signature banning gay marriage. We shouldn't allow the stupid uneccessary freedom of human rights in wrong direction in our country. God bless Nigerians and bless the Federal republic of Nigeria.
    In Response

    by: React from: Nigeria
    January 20, 2014 3:31 AM
    Religious my butt, and we are still suffering from poverty, corruption and terrorism. Nigerians are blind, #GEJ is destroying our nation and some folks think an anti-gay law is worth giving praise. More 3rd world mentality
    In Response

    by: Fernando Martinez from: Madrid - Spain
    January 19, 2014 5:15 AM
    So you say that "One great thing that keeps bringing Nigerians as One is the fact that we are very religious,"

    Needless to say that what we know as Nigeria is an artificial country with borders designed by slave-traders in the past, dividing traditional tribes, making a big mess of religions, cultures and very different people.

    Feel free to say such things if it makes you happier, but building your life and opinions in such a biased reality (that African Countries are countries as we know, with similar culture and beliefs) is the same as pretending that actual USA citizens are all descendant from native North Americans.

    by: Drew from: Memphis, TN
    January 17, 2014 2:34 PM
    It makes me proud that America is a secular nation where no Bible, Torah, Kuran, or religious text can ever set law...gay people are just that...people...and I cannot support my tax dollars going to third-world nations like Nigeria in the form of aid...If Nigeria wants to harass their own citizens they will do it without the support of Europe/North America
    In Response

    by: Don Hogan from: Lagos
    January 23, 2014 6:24 AM
    I'm tired of hearing this freedoom shit and tax dollar craps. Who do you think that you are helping? You came to Africa with guns, you killed our kings and destroyed our kingdoms, you capture our people and forced one tribe on the other to sale themselves as slaves, so that you can build you so called great country. You stole our gold helped roughs loot our treasure and dumped them in your bank, at the expense of the African masses. Are you really serious about you "tax dollars"?
    Today is gay, tomorrow you'll want us to sleep with animals and the next day you want us to accept gun laws,For decades, you force African governments to devalue our currencies, buy arms from you and turn around to sell the same arms to rebels... Are you people really serious? Do you really want us to count you as Allies, friends or partners? With treats and sanctions all the time, when we express our views?
    Each time Africans want to live their own lives and practice their traditions, you threaten us with sanctions, where then is the International right to sovereignty of nations, freedom of expression and democratic values where majority votes decide?
    In Africa, there is polygamy, would you accept that in your country?; Of course NO, but we never forced it on you or practice is in your country. When you came here all we need is, respect our laws and don't force your culture on us. African who are gays can practice where they want but not in our open societies.
    Leave our children alone.
    As for your tax dollars. you can go to hell with them!
    In Response

    by: chyka from: lagos
    January 18, 2014 7:12 PM
    The thing with you Europeans and Americans is that you can't force people to live your uncultured & unreligious lives. We they Nigerian people want same sex ban. Ok?
    In Response

    by: saleem from: lagos , Nigeria
    January 18, 2014 4:48 PM
    For your information Mr drew, Nigeria is not a third world country And its evident we are still in our right senses
    In Response

    by: Anonymous from: USA
    January 18, 2014 11:45 AM
    Its not the upholding of the law that is the issue, rather how many people will be locked up based on false allegations of being gay.
    GJ now has a leverage for the upcoming elections, "lock'em up & say they're gay".

    Enjoy Nigerians

    Comments page of 2
        Next 

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora