There are good reasons to have a heterosexual sexual appetite, medical and procreation to name a few. African values should not be one of them. It would help to remind people what African values are. If we define African values as those values that we held before the advent of the colonist, then it is fair to say that in 2014 women should have no right, twins should be killed, widows should endure humiliation after the death of their husbands and cloths above the waist should be optional.

 

My point is that it is slippery slope when we start legislating morality. There is no such thing as a majority democratic rule to deny people their fundamental rights. Anyone who speaks out against the recent anti-gay law is immediately tagged pro-gay. My views on homosexuality and those who practice it are not positive, but who am I or we to play God? I am neither pro nor anti gay, I am just anti-stupid. If you find homosexualism deviant or abominable then simply don’t practice it. Gay never killed anyone. Gay is not the reason for poor electrical supply or bad roads or missing NNPC funds or forged school certificate.

 

 I have never been more ashamed to be Nigerian or associated with Goodluck Jonathan. The law makes me very sad.  Freedom of thought, speech or action and a government that is free of corruption and accountable to its people are not western values, they are universal values.

 

I have heard the argument that since a majority of Nigerians support the anti-gay law then it is not a problem, to those people I say the Nazi party won the election in Germany democratically and their anti-Semites laws polled well as well. It did not stop with the anti-Semitism and we all know how it ended.

 

It is not up to the government to decide who has what right or not. It is not up to government to tell you who to love or how much of your own money you are allowed to withdraw from the bank daily. It is not up to the government to restrict you movement because dame or another government official is in the area. It is not up to the government to prevent planes from landing for hours because Goodluck is flying in or substitute election results for what suits them. Those who accept a law based not on merit or any societal harm fail to see how this law radically alters the fundamental relationship between the government and the governed. We are inviting government agencies into our private space.

 

North Korea is a haven of poverty in a region of wealth, when criticised the government says we would not accept western values. In Russia critics are routinely jailed, ethnic Muslim minorities are discriminated against and killed, journalist disappears and corruption is rampant. When human rights activist in the country protest against it Putin calls them foreign (western) agents. China decides how many children a family is allowed to have and forcefully aborts babies from women’s womb because the laws are broken, of course we know the Chinese government response to such criticism. When Nigerians criticize the new anti-gay laws we are told that they are western values. Sounds familiar?

 

As a race, that has long suffered from discrimination, we should keep pushing the boundaries on individual freedom. When the anti-miscegenetion laws in the America were passed the language used to defend such laws are the same used to defend the anti-gay laws today. Christian and cultural values, unnatural etc

 

During the civil rights movement in America the segregationist Governor of Alabama, George Wallace in his inaugural speech declared “In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw a line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever”. He won re-election in 1970. Democratic ? Yes. Morally just? Depends on who you ask.

 

Ifeanyi Odigwe

http://iphyoo.blogspot.co.uk/

 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

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