|Stephane Tchakam, Charge de Communication Pan Africa ILGA|
Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) - Primate of the Anglican Communion Church in Nigeria, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Tuesday called for the withdrawal of the country from the United Nations, accusing human rights activists of using the UN to win their global campaign for gay marriages.
Okoh, head of the about 25 million members strong Protestant movement, at a National Conference on Human Rights organized by the Anglican Communion, decried the role UN human rights bodies were playing in the fight for two Malawian boys who got married as homosexuals.
The Nigerian Anglican Church is at loggerheads with the world Anglican body over consecration of gay priests and have threatened to severe links with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Head of the global Anglican movement.
The Primate said in Abuja that “if the UN is now an organ for the advancement of homosexual lifestyle, it is time Nigeria pulled out of that organization, in order to protect the moral health of the nation.”
Okoh, stated that “Nigeria should not condescend themselves into being a party to such immoral act. If the United Nations make themselves an agent to promote gay marriages, then Nigeria should pull out from such organization.”
He alleged that the UN is currently being used by human rights bodies, Non-Governmental Organizations and gay rights activist “to ensure the entrenchment of homosexuality globally. What apply in other countries of the world does not necessary apply in Nigeria.”
Speaking in parables, Okoh said, “if in a community we are all farmers and we cultivate yam and we are making progress and one of us decided to cultivate in a way that will ruin the farming, we have right to stop him from employing that method. And if he says it is human rights, what if his human rights was going to ruin us, do we continue to accept it? This human right, if it is not culturally conditioned, does it have a context? What is acceptable in China, does it necessarily become acceptable in Nigeria?”
Regretting that there are some societal malaise that is being imbedded in our culture in the name of human rights, Okoh, a former Nigerian Army senior officer, said the five-day workshop was “to address what human rights are and what is not. It would also address the scope it covers, whether it covers individual idiosyncrasy. Some people are doing some things that they feel is their human rights. So, we want to view it from the church perspective, to see if these people are right or wrong; and how far do they justify societal existence as they believe in personal ways and cover it with human right.”
The Primate further noted the need for the church to understand its role in protecting and promoting human rights, so as to ensure the sustenance of our moral value as a country.
In a keynote address, Dr. Samuel Vinay from India stated that the church must have an understanding of human rights within the Christian context without the violation of such rights.
Vinay said the church is often compelled by the state to align its policies and activities to the view of rights set forth in the states’ policies and activities, pointing out that the importance of understanding individual rights by the church especially cannot be overemphasized.