Nigerian presidential contender assures nation he’s also anti-gay


Presidential hopeful Muhammadu Buhari

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s primary challenger has assured the nation that he won’t relax the country’s draconian laws against homosexuality if he comes into power.

Last week Jonathan’s People’s Democratic Party accused General Muhammadu Buhari, who is running for president in next week’s election, of secretly plotting with Western nations to legalise same-sex marriage and homosexuality in order to secure their support.

The claim, made to journalists at a press conference, has seen fear mongering over LGBT rights threatening Nigerian cultural “values” becoming a significant issue in the election.

Buhari’s election campaign group, the Buhari Volunteer Network (BVN), has now confirmed that he has no plans to change the law and is also firmly against LGBT equality.

According to The Nation, BVN National Co-ordinator Olayemi Success told reporters in Abuja that, “There is no relationship between General Buhari and any western nation concerning gay marriage and such pervasive orientations that are not in conformity with our cultures and values.”

In a statement published by Erasing 76 Crimes, Nigerian LGBTI rights activist in exile Davis Mac-Iyalla, commented: “Out of nowhere the issue of same-sex marriage has become a central battlefield for the two main political [parties] in Nigeria.

“It’s now very clear that the ruling party PDP and their religious allies sure have an agenda to win the next presidential election on the blood of Nigeria LGBTI.”

In January last year, President Jonathan signed the country’s Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, which outlaws any kind of same-sex relationship with imprisonment, and criminalises anyone who supports or operates gay clubs, societies or organisations.

Gay sex was already illegal in Nigeria, with penalties including 14 years imprisonment. Twelve northern states in Nigeria operate under Islamic Sharia law that allows homosexuality to be punished with death by stoning.

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