Nigerian president tells US that homosexuality is abhorrent


President Muhammadu Buhari

Nigeria’s president has apparently told American lawmakers “point blank” that homosexuality will not be tolerated in his country.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s comments were reportedly made during a visit to the US this week. According to his special adviser of media and publicity, Femi Adesina, the issue of same-sex marriage came up in discussions with members of the US congress.

“PMB was point blank. Sodomy is against the law in Nigeria, and abhorrent to our culture,” Adesina tweeted.

He added that, “Talks shifted to another matter once PMB emphatically stated Nigeria’s stand on same sex marriage. The issue was not pushed.”

It is unclear why the lawmakers would have discussed same-sex marriage with Buhari instead of the criminalisation of homosexuality, which is a far more pressing issue for LGBT people in Nigeria.

Although the two matters are quite distinct, Adesina’s tweets reinforce ongoing propaganda by Nigeria’s anti-gay lobby (and in other countries in Africa) equating any tolerance of consensual adult gay sex with legalising same-sex marriage.

The comments also paint the president as a heroic figure who is defended African “values” in the face of pressure from the West.

Last week, the Nigerian media claimed that the US government is planning to force the country to accept same-sex marriage.

In January last year, former Nigerian President Jonathan signed the 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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