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An Editorial by the Nigerian Tribune on the British aid cut.

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

18th November 2011 10:38

Alessia Valenza

THE Senate was recently distracted from its otherwise heavy schedule when its hallowed chambers was invaded by extremist human rights activists who had come to mount pressure or rally support for same-sex marriage to be legalised in Nigeria. A woman who had proudly identified herself as a lesbian had under the klieg lights of national television delivered a seminal lecture on the urgency for the National Assembly to recognise the fundamental human rights of these few misunderstood,stigmatised and marginalised fellows.

IT was as if she had acted to give a fillip to the threatening crusade of the British Prime Minister David Cameron, who had actually without circumspection,used the forum of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeeting (CHOGM) to launch a campaign in support of gay rights. Mr Cameron even linked aid with the promotion of gay rights. In simpler terms, African countries which refused to recognise the fundamental human rights of gays and lesbians might as well forget the idea of receiving any form of aid from Britain, the Commonwealth link notwithstanding.

TO be sure, the issues of sexual preferences and relationships are as private as they are controversial but human societies over the ages have existed and functioned through their institutions, folklore and mores, and human rights are only recognised, endorsed or sanctioned through these structures. In their bid to reflect new frontiers of liberalism, some societies may have hidden under the nebulous phenomenon of development to increase their tolerance levels of certain human behaviours that were once considered to be anti social, permitting their members to give vent to their deviant pleasures.

HISTORICALLY, there was a time when homosexuality was universally adjudged to be antisocial. Indeed, its practitioners were once killed, punished, jailed and ostracised to discourage people from being brought into its snare it was not until in recent history that pressure groups began to use science theories to justify these abberant human behaviours as freaks of nature who cannot be held responsible for their queer sexual preferences. Eventually, modern reasoning seems to be that if they are freaks of nature, why not let them be? It is probably after the respite from negative sanctions and punishments like death, jail terms and ostracism that the homosexuals began to extend their demands and enforce what has now come to be seen as fundamental human rights in society recognising and legalising marriage between two freaks of same sex.

HOWEVER, human societies are imperiled by the obvious dilemma between individual rights and social conformity and control. In the particular case of homosexual rights for instance, there is the compelling need to differentiate between the freaks of nature and those who are simply giving vent to wild passions, the bisexuals and those who have preferences for mating with animals. Do these people have fundamental human rights too? Must society endorse these rights and permit them to obtain certificates legalising such unions?

WE are of the opinion that since the liberalism of western civilisation has accepted and endorsed these hitherto sanctioned sexual behaviours, the human race has witnessed an unprecedented boom in their tribe, a development which may affect the capacity of the human race to perpetuate its kind.

IT is strange to logic that despite western liberalism, the UK will deliberately want to drag Africa into the dragnet of the endorsement of gay rights. It is somehow strangely amusing that the West as exemplified by Mr Cameron is not liberal enough to leave Africa well alone. Although Ghana enjoyed some 36 million pounds of aid in the last financial year, President John Atta Mills has nevertheless denounced Cameron’s threat. Uganda too has described Cameron’s threat to cut bilateral aid as bullying tactics which indeed is an apt description. It is instructive that out of the 54 members of the Commonwealth, some 41 of them still have laws banning homosexuality and these laws date back to British colonial rule. In other words, Mr Cameron is threatening Africa for enforcing laws which his forbears established on the continent.

BUT Africans in leadership positions must share in the blame. If their penchant for robbing the public till had not compromised Africa and ironically enriched the West, perhaps Africa wouldn’t be a continent baying for aid from anywhere under insulting conditions. The aid which Africa enjoys is a tiny percentage of looted funds from Africa that are to be found in the vaults of the West. Mr Cameron’s threat must therefore be seen as a gratuitous insult to Africa.

IT is our view that Africa should resent the rave of homosexuality and strongly resist its rampaging campaign even if it is headed by the highest authority in the Commonwealth.We are also of the opinion that the National Assembly in Nigeria has too many important issues before it that it can barely afford to be distracted by a campaign that is at best frivolous. We are aware, of course that, as it has been reported in the media, many rich and influential citizens are involved in homosexuality, we think a majority in Nigeria still regard it as an aberration which is practised by deviants. It should be left at that level and any attempt to elevate the issue to any higher consideration should be discouraged.