A Senate Without Vision By Godwin Onyeacholem

By Godwin Onyeacholem

David Bonaventure Alechenu Mark, the Nigerian senate president courtesy of a cruel irony, was in that accustomed mood of sadism. Not that one expects anything less. Clearly, not disposed to taking a fleeting look across the floor for a last-minute hint of objection -- even as unlikely as that might seem -- the retired army general heedlessly hammered the gavel on his massive desk. Bang! With that misguided action, Mr. Mark delivered a devastating blow to the emotional stability of sexual minorities, and struck the final nail in the coffin of an increasingly haunting same sex marriage in this clime.

Mark you, the applause for this singular act can only come from those who ignorantly hopped on the senate’s bullet train for a long ride back into the dark past. Without doubt, all these people lining up behind the senate on this are those whose psyches are formed and shaped by the immutability of conventions; they are the unfortunate mental slaves held back in the unyielding fortress of dogma. Like the senators, they simply cannot see beyond the dim world they have created for themselves.

In the warped wisdom of our fossilized senate, it is now a crime to be punished with long years in prison if one is found guilty of promoting or succumbing to a sexual orientation which repudiates the so-called natural order. And there seems to be no other impulse for ratifying such a backward bill, promoted by 25 senators who can only have been afflicted by indolence and provincialism, than the spurious need to “protect our culture.” Yes, it’s all false because here’s a senate that’s never been driven by any altruistic motive.

Need our haughty senators, who never miss any chance to proclaim their democratic integrity, be reminded that if they are ever keen on shielding our culture, the abridgement of basic rights of fellow citizens, or anyone for that matter, is not the place to begin? In sanctioning same sex relationship, the senate has unwittingly provoked further questions about the democratic credentials of its members and cast that institution in bad light in the community of civilized people.

Right thinking people have to question the propriety in the speedy passage of gay laws in a society where about 80 percent can hardly afford one decent meal every day. How, for instance, will banning same sex union create jobs, reduce poverty, upgrade security, and rebuild dilapidated infrastructure littered across the country? In what ways will this law impact positively on the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals in which Nigeria has been shown to be embarrassingly several miles behind less endowed countries like Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, and Malawi?

Were our senators duly cognizant of their briefs, they would know that there is a legion of existential problems plaguing Nigerians today than taking note of the sexual lives of individuals. One would have expected Domingo Obende, the ACN senator from Edo State who originated the bill, to fix his gaze on the persistent abuse of power by the ruling PDP who use the police and other security agents to harass and curtail movements of innocent citizens, including members of his own party.

At least, Obende would not say he is not aware that PDP members from Bayelsa State on their way to Abuja to witness the court case involving Gov. Timipre Sylva were stopped and detained at Lokoja and later “deported” to Bayelsa. Before that, ACN members travelling from Lagos and Osogbo to Abuja for legitimate purposes were stopped by the police at different times around Lokoja, detained and eventually refused entry into a city that should be accessible to every Nigerian. Or would he say such a brazen violation of the right of citizens to move and associate freely in their country is not serious enough for him to raise his voice on the floor of the senate? What has Obende done about it? Nada, as the Spanish would say.

Instead, a man who ought to be troubled by the menace of soil erosion back home in Edo North senatorial district, or by the recent damning UNEP report on environmental degradation in the Niger Delta, has found contentment in railroading through the senate a law that adds nothing to improve the quality of governance at all levels.

Of course, all our senators wear clothes designed by well-known, long-established names in the fashion industry. If they are not aware, then someone must tell them that many of those designer attires, footwear, and bags with which they strut about and show off at the National Assembly are products of the creative ingenuity of those in the same sexual league with those whom they now want to crucify in Nigeria. And one can bet that on the day that bill was passed more than half the senators wore labels associated with gays.

Since it began sitting, this senate, on all counts, has displayed an acute lack of focus. Discount the senate president’s rhetoric on the threat by Britain to deny aid to countries with anti-gay laws. The way he spoke brashly about the British threat, you would think that Mr. Mark stands on any convincing pedestal to summon the subliminal pride of his compatriots. No. Not from a man who just launched a brand new golf course on a terrain where grinding poverty walks on four legs.    
Godwin Onyeacholem is editor, GIRAFFE magazine.

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Samson, are you sick or something?

"In the beginning God created them male and female" Tha's from the Bible. If you are a Christian you have no reason to support same sex marriage. I don't know of the Quran. But going by your name, I suppose you are a Christian. Put everything aside, I have never seeing a Constitution that guarantees the freedom of humans like the Bible, yet it doesn't support same sex marriage. Reprobates!!!!

mr. author

mr. godwin, do not condemn the prohibition of gay marriage by the senate as it is a welcome development. there may have been more pressing issues as of the time they were passing the law, it still does not call for any justification of gay marriage by you. if you believe gay marriage is right, then why condemn incest or sex with animals? write articles to criticize the senators for not expediting the passing of other bills that affect our respective lives into law but do not in any way support homosexuality for it tells us different things about you.


OLD BOY YOU BE GAY like Atiku, sunday njokede and otile

Godwin: Are you Cursed?

Were you paid to do this write up? If you dad married a man, how would you have been born? If your mum married another girl, would you have been born? Why are you defending in the dark what you will be ashamed to discuss in the daylight? Re-examine your mind and channel your energy to things that edify and dignify humanity. Have you seen a male dog mate with another male dog; or a he-goat and another he-goat? Even hen does not mate with another hen. Even, lizards are hetrosexuals. Haba, Godwin, dem swear for you?

u are like them

did u find time to critize Mr. cameron about his utterances on this issue, mabe u wanted it approved and forced down on others to satisfy ur 'intellectul elitism' maybe approving it will solve your listed problems. and coventions, traditions and dogma do constitute body of law everywhere, u should find out why the countries legalized it after all it isnt legal in the Us, the bastion of 'equality'. we should stop critize just for its sake, maybe we should legalize abortion(like western europe), porno(the west), sex with animals(holland and denmark), individualism, lack of family values, unlimited freedom etc, perhaps it can develop our suicide rate, divorce, paedophily

thank you o.these senseless

thank you o.these senseless senators did not find it appropriate to make a law that the salary of Nigerian Public Officers be reduced, rather they busied their idle minds with same sex marriage.this country is just a joke,seriuosly.

David Mark one of the worst evil to befall Nigeria

David Mark one of the worst evil to befall Nigeria. This man has been rigging elections and imposing himself on the Benue people who don't like him for his atrocities since 1999. In this 21st century when the civilised world are pulling out supersonic jets and computers,our idle, over-paid Senators are talking of putting people in "prison" because of what two consenting adults decide to do in their bedroom. Its either that they have no work to do or clueless as to what to do. Bunch of extremely greedy, pot-bellied paedophiles and young-prostitutes chasers. Let them legislate against the virus of Corruption and extortion. Do you know how many Nigerians are dying needlessly everyday because of the atrocities of these over-fed clowns in government?




We all witnessed the resolute stance of the senate in passing this legislation baning same sex marriages and associations,it implies that apart from earning more than the president of the USA and engaging in other forms of corruption and lazyness,they can at least work when the issue does not have anything to do with anti-corruption.
The same senate led by David Mark is blackmailing the President by refusing to support his oil subsidy policy if he insists on asking them to cut back thier outreageous salaries and allowances,these are not what one would refer to as "patriotic",they are selfish and have no mercy for the impovrishment which corruption has inflicted on the masses of Nigeria
There is need for special courts to deal with corruption cases,the abolition of the fraudulent plea-bargain,time limit for corruption cases,abolition of bail when collosal amounts are involved like the Bankole case etc,rather they dwell on irrelevances.

Too much Grammar no sense

with all the grammar you have presented your write-up,how does it help to improve all the problems you have presented that we are facing as a nation? To your mind the senate was wrong to have thrown that foolish bill aside not to compound the problems we are already facing.Single sex marriage is what we should be debating by this time? This points to the fact that most of our senators do not have any business doing in that chamber. If people really voted the senators supporting single sex marriage, They should expedite action by calling them back before they think of more evil and abominations that would drag us deep more than where we are now.For people like you I think you must have lost your mind.