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Same Sex Marriage: What Nigerians Say

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Mr. Barisua Samuel Mkpe – Public Affairs Analyst

The French President, legalised gay marriage some weeks ago, making France the 14th country in the world that has legalised gay marriage. In my opinion, I think these things are done by the supposedly developed countries for political reasons. They are not done for cultural nor religious reasons.

At any point in time when they are drawing closer to election years and they want to solicit support from the populace, because they have realised that in these countries, the homo-sexual population is increasing geometrically by the day and they need their votes, they will go ahead to legalise gay marriage for political reasons.

Coming down to Africa, I have said it time and time again that Africa used to be a culturally committed people. Most of the things we copy from the western world are alien to us and what they are doing is cultural globalisation, using their culture to penetrate our space and make us to do what our parents and our fore-fathers never used to do.

Talking about world leaders like David Cameron and Barak Obama supporting gay marriage, and even threatening to withdraw aids to developing economies, it’s still world politics. And I thank God that African nations and their leaders have stamped their feet on the ground to tell them “go to hell with your aid, we can do without your aid. We’ll do what is good as far as our culture permits”.

So for once, I think I have seen the House of Representatives  do what the generality of the people want. Hitherto, we had seen situations where they came out with legislations that are anti-people, unpopular legislations.

But on the issue of legalising gay marriage or otherwise, they  have done well. I even think fourteen years prison term is lenient. I believe that human beings are supposed to be higher animals in terms of our thoughts and all of that. If animals and insects know that there are male and female species in their own kingdom, then human beings too should know that when God took a rib out of Adam, He did not use it to produce another man, in Genesis chapter two. He used it to produce a woman, ( a man with a womb), to comfort Adam.

So even scripturally, there is no way a man can comfort a man. It is a woman that was created to help and comfort the man.

On the argument in some quarters that out-lawing gay marriage will infringe on peoples’ freedom of association, some times I think we misunderstand what freedom of association means. If the people are coming together for a common vision, no body stops them from going ahead to assemble and pursue their vision and their goal. But when two adults come together in a society where the young ones are expectedly looking up to the senior ones for morals and all of that, it would amount to a polluted society if the young ones see their so called parents doing what is dirty, uncivilised and unacceptable in our society.

I have always posed this challenge to those who claim they are champions of gay rights, if you are involved in same – sex marriage, don’t adopt a child, reproduce your kind in that marriage, because the perfect will of God for man as regards marriage is to go into the world and multiply.

So if Barak Obama and David Cameron want to prove to the world that they passionately love homosexuality, they should divorce their wives and get married. When the two of them get married, they would have shown the world that they are examples for gay – marriage.

 

Barr. Chuks Obimba – Lawyer.

Personally, I think the actions of the National assembly are commendable. The origin of same sex marriage dates back to the time of Sodom and Gormorah.

That word sodomy is derived from the word Sodom, a city God destroyed because they were involved in homesexuality and it is one issue that God hates. It is not sane, it is strange for a man and a man to co-habit sexually.

So it is quite commendable for the law makers to have out – lawed it. And I think the proposed 14 years jail term is adequate. We must dare to be different from other nations.

I also believe that in some of these Islamic nations, such issue cannot be raised at all. I think Nigeria must strive as a nation to become independent. If Britain withdraws aids to Nigeria, because of this issue, it may spur us to become more independent to start walking on our own. Afterall, we cannot continue to depend on some of these foreign aids. Nigeria has a lot of intelligent persons. We are endowed both naturally and physically, we can do something on our own. The issue of same – sex marriage is strange and it must be deprecated.

I think there is an extent to which we should have our liberty. Every liberty that is not curtailed will tend to excess use. So, everybody should have a liberty but there are occasions one’s liberty should be curtailed.

So to me, the issue of legalising gay marriage has nothing to do with freedom of association. If we must associate with one another, there has to be a limitation to such association. So, I believe that illegalising gay marriage does not infringe on any person’s right. There could be certain traits that are in – born, which must be checked. That is the essence of law. If somebody picks up a gun and tells you that he has a penchant towards violence, you will not ask him to go and start killing people because he has a penchant toward violence. So if someone says he is not attracted to the opposite sex, I don’t think it is proper and valid for us to go ahead with what he is doing. There must be a law.

Every nation is different and every nation has a law that guides its conduct. For instance in Europe, there is no death sentence to murder cases, but in Nigeria if someone kills another unlawfully, the person certainly, will go for it.

So, I commend the boldness of the National Assembly in outlawing same-sex marriage.

In 1997, I heard Obama define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. That was when he was campaigning. Now, it is not proper for a man to approbate and at the same time re-approbate. The same Obama that said that same – sex – marriage is strange, is now campaigning for the adoption of same-sex marriage. I believe that the issue of same-sex marriage is strange and it should be highly deprecated, abhord.

 

Hon. Gbosidam Prince Agbara – Politician

First of all, I thank the person who moved the motion against same – sex marriage in the House. Same sex marriage is not Nigerian custom and there’s no how Nigeria can adopt it. I am an Ogoni man, and in Ogoniland, I have not witnessed when a woman marries another woman. What our custom permits is for a woman who could not bear children for her husand to marry another woman for her husband. But that a woman will sleep with a woman, or a man sleeps with another man, it is not done! If such practice is legalised; it will destroy this country.

Therefore, I support the House of Representatives not to allow that kind of marriage happen in Nigeria because it will tarnish the image of Nigeria. Britain and other world powers should realise that Nigeria is an independent country. We have a President. we have members of the National Assembly, they make laws for us, not Britain, not America. So, if Britain wants to withdraw its aids to Nigeria, over this issue, let them go ahead. Nigeria will still stand. Even the President will not accept that. In Ogoniland a woman cannot marry a woman and sleep with her, we’ll kill you immediately. So we don’t support that. All these borrowed Western ways of life is what is killing us today. Before in Rivers State, women tie wrappers and  wear skirts. All this low waist, trouser and what have you, weren’t  there. They were borrowed from the Western world and that is what is killing us today. If you go to the schools you see women exposing their breasts and other parts of their bodies, and if we should legalise same – sex marriage, it will be the worst. You will start seeing women and men romancing themselves in the public. We should try and make this country a perfect country, a respected place where we live.

 

Rev. Fr. Bartholomow Uzoma – Priest.

I think the lawmakers are responding to the isssues of the moment because the issue of same-sex marriage has become topical in the past few years. I don’t even know why people are going for this same-sex marriage. I’m yet to know the justification, what is unusual, what is abnormal is what people are beginning to clamour for. Much as I know as a person, same – sex marriage is unnatural, abnormal, unusual. So, that law makers are beginning to rise up to the occasion means that they are listening to people and they are willing to condemn what is wrong.

I’m not moved by what the western world is doing. We all know that the family system has collapsed in the western world and the family is the hope of the society and that tendency is now coming down to us. Yes granted, the world is a global village and we are being influenced by what happens in other areas. It is not everything that happens there that we must borrow. Already the family system is in crisis, bringing same sex marriage into already existing crisis, we cannot manage it.

So I think the lawmakers are rising up to save our society and I wouldn’t like to dance to the popular opinion of the Western world.

They can withdraw their aids from Nigeria, and what about it.?  Nigeria will not die. Let them withdraw it and there will always be a way out. Our lives do not depend on them. Our lives depend on God. If they have been giving us aids and Nigeria is still like this, then what have they achieved so far?

All of us know the state of things in Nigeria, what can we boast of, is  it the economy, is it moral life,  is it education, is it power, what do we have in this country?

So what is the aid they have been giving to us and of what use has aid been to us. Let them withdraw it. Let us know we are on our own and then go back to the drawing board and pray God to help us to know how to manage our country, Nigeria and how to make things better for us. Infact they are part of those confusing us in this country.

They colonised Nigeria. Have we ever been the same since then? Before the contact with the British, there was a stage of development in this country, no matter how slow it was. And with that contact, the whole thing was changed and we are no longer the Africans we used to be, we are not Europeans. We are at a confused stage. And they are bringing that confusion now to the marital system. So far, you can see, our culture has been able to put together the family system. Same –sex marriage is not for a family. A man and a man cannot form family. So it’s all about people satisfying their illicit sexual urge and desire.

Well, I may not subscribe to jail term for offenders because in Nigeria the prisons do not reform people. People go to prisons and they become worse than they were before they went to prison. The mere fact that the law prohibits it means that it is not going to be allowed and you can’t go to the court and say you want to get married to a male if you are one for example!.

 

The court won’t allow it. If so if two men decided to misbehave and have sex, well, people do all sorts of things under the cover of darkness and it remains at that level.

 

So that right that permits man and man to go into marriage also affects the right of the family. People have right to become armed robbers,  They want to rob as a means of livelihood, why do we stop them? Why will the law stop them from robbing because that’s what makes them happy? So we should give them right to rob bank, government, to kill people because that’s what makes them happy.

Those involved in same – sex marriage often claim they can adopt. Whose child will they adopt? If we are saying let us approve same – sex marriage, okay, no problem, but whose child will they adopt? It is inhuman for any body involved in same – sex marriage to adopt somebody else’s child. A child is mearnt to be brought up within the context of a family – male and female, father and mother. So adopting a child means denying that child the right to exist within the family of a father and a mother.

So they are also infringing on the right of another person. So they have no right to adopt. Okay, let us say everybody should go into gay marriage, women marry women, men marry men, then the society will fizzle out graudually.

The bible says God made them male and female. So this same – sex marriage is anti-God. It’s a revole against the order of creation. It is a protest against God also.

 

Mrs Gina Sampson – a teacher.

Of course, no normal human being will support same – sex marriage. So the law makers did the right thing by out – lawing it. Homosexuality is a problem that has been in our society for a long time, though they do it secretly. People are lured into it right from their secondary school days. In my school days, it was called “supe”. Different groups have different names for it. So parents should monitor their children and know the kind of friends they keep. I have also heard that some women, especially the married ones indulge in lesbianism either because their husbands are never there for them or their husbands cannot satisfy them sexually. And instead of keeping male sex partners which the society frowns at, they sleep with their fellow women. Some go into it for monetary and  material gains. So for me, illegalizing same – sex marriage is good, because we need to sanitize our society.

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Opinion

The Enemy Within

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Political scientists would talk about an Iron Law of Oligarchy whose custodians and protectors are the barons of the wit cult. The wit cult members are patrons of the cult of weeds, whose protectors are usually drawn from the security circles. A former president of this country once said that “some desperate politicians and people in power are known to protect notorious outlaws often linked to violent crimes”. Curious readers can check The Tide newspaper of 26/7/2019, Page 2. The credo of the Law of Oligarchy is that “whoever has the most power makes the rule and takes the gold”. Gangsterist Law?
What is oligarchy? It is defined as government or control by a small group of people, using democracy as a camouflage. Do we have a cabal in Nigeria? Yes! Who controls that cabal? A Presidency! Who is Presidency? A camouflage! Who are the small groups of people controlling power in Nigeria? Ask General Jibril Musa Sarki (Born to Rule) and Badu Salisu Ahmadu who told Nigerians that there is a standing Fulani Strike Force ready to claim the lands which they inherited from the British.
What does it take to make the rule and take the gold? Power, in its raw form! How do you get power? Ruthless exploitation of weaknesses and loop-holes! Are there weaknesses and loop-holes in the Nigerian environment? Yes! They include ignorance, timidity, cowardice, myopia and the desire to attend to stomach infrastructure, via hustling and scrambling for the crumbs from the table of the champions. Hungry dogs! Kept poor!
Who are the champions of the Nigerian political economy? Someone provided an answer, saying: “the wealth buried in the bowels of Oloibiri and in other oil-bearing communities in the Niger Delta region is being cornered by a few Nigerians and foreigners”. The culture of parasitism had been a long issue in human history, but its modernised version takes the form of national and international politics. At the international level, the culture of parasitism operates through big corporations and conglomerates, via monopolies.
Any intelligent Nigerian would figure out easily that there are spirited efforts from various nebulous quarters to divert attention from what is actually going on in the country. For example, international borders in Southern Nigeria are not only blocked but manned with strictness, while similar borders in the Northern parts are left open. The heightened state of insecurity in Southern Nigeria in recent times cannot be for nothing, but indicative of an effort to divert attention from some ulterior motives. What are the motives?
Rivers State is of a particular importance in the current political drama, because of its status as a major pillar in Nigeria’s political economy. What unsuspecting Nigerian masses must know is that a number of the people are paid agents in the service of some vested interests. Many of such paid agents are not usually aware of whose interests or what purposes that they serve with zeal and commitment. Sponsors of acts of brigandage and banditry are members of an organized cabal, in whose clutches Nigerians are now helpless.
Apart from political parties and their propaganda machines, power holders and power mongers do use security agencies as tools and hirelings in their services. Apart from fueling crisis and animosities where there are stakes for such purposes, security agencies, via security votes, are handy tools in the service of power mongers. We find such tools and errand boys as regular participants in phone-in radio programmes, whose utterances and opinions are usually coloured by ideological leanings and sympathies.
It is particularly pathetic that indigenes of Southern Nigeria can become so myopic and blind that they become willing stooges in the current political shenanigans. “Fall guys” in this on-going power game are not usually insignificant persons but highly-placed members of the political elites. A common strategy of roping in such Southern elite is to lure them into some financial sleaze and scandal, which in the end would allow them the option of joining the party in power. We have seen many of such strategies in the past few years, resulting in political decampment and joining the party in power.
The time has come to alert Southern Nigerians that many of them are being used and co-opted into serving some sectional interests and hidden agenda, to the detriment of such stooges and hirelings. This has been going on for quite a long time, aimed not only at advancing some agenda, but also winning sympathies, via patronage and sinecure. A hate speech law was also crafted for the purpose of intimidating those who discern the game plan.
During the General Sani Abacha regime discerning Nigerians saw how operatives of the security and intelligence agencies served the sinister agenda of a section of the country. Acts of brigandage and criminality purportedly committed by armed or unknown persons were placed at the door-steps of NADECO or groups hostile to military rule. Now even in a democratic regime “armed and unknown gunmen” are still engaged in their trade. Soon after military rule came the clamour for Sharia Law, followed by the menace of Boko Haram.
Even though a large number of Nigerians are ignorant and capable of being led by the nose like assess, there are a few discerning ones who can perceive the shape of things to come. Behind all the shenanigans lies the truth that a few Nigerians, with the collaboration of some foreigners, cornered the wealth of the nation, represented by mineral oil and gas. Despite the use of intimidation, divide-and-rule strategies and other cover-ups, the game is up and the disenfranchised groups are wiser now. Agitations will rise further.
Let it be added, as an aside, that Scotland-Yard trained private eyes rarely write or speak carelessly. In this case, those who take interest in this article should heed the message, rather than ask that supportive evidence be brought, in chapters and verses, for the message to be considered valid. An enemy within usually operates like a chameleon, whose antics include vengeful attacks when short of further camouflage. The game is up! We have taken too much for the owner to know!
Dr Amirize is a retired lecturer from the Rivers State University, Port Harcourt.

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Opinion

Checking High Bride Price

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Marriage is a sacrament which every couple is expected to obey as instituted by God. But today the reverse is the case, especially in African societies where most people violate this sacrament due to their selfish desires and sometimes, pressure from parents.
It is no longer news that in most African societies today, bride prices have gone so high that marriage ceremonies have become an economically viable venture. As such, most poor young men have remained unmarried  until they get so old. Yet, the rich young ones easily get wives to marry because they are buoyant enough to lavish money.
Although many leaders recognise this in Nigeria, especially in the southern part of the country, they are afraid to talk about it. This is mainly because they fear how the society would react. The fact is that whether high dowries are paid on brides or not, there is no marriage all over the world that would enjoy stability if Christ is not its pillar, and the anchor that those who make the contract rely on. Those who have accepted Jesus as their personal saviour also enjoy His spirit of love in their marriages. And there are a lot of testimonies to this effect. This is why most couples are able to stay till death do them part.
Talking about high bride prices in this society, the ability to haggle and bargain has an unhappy angle associated with the process itself. You can agree with me that in every marriage, there is some selfish human heart that comes into play. If not, how can a man pay well over N100,000 for a lady, and another pays as little as N200 and sometimes, no cash deposit to bring a wife under his roof?
However, because the game has become an expensive and dicey one, many young men have been frustrated and defeated, and most end up eloping with their heartthrobs as wives. But as long as the customs of the land remain, eloping with a lady boils down to  immorality, which may not be the direct sin of the man  in question.
In fact, numerous cases abound where men eloped  with their girlfriends, and began to live together as  husband and wife. They are, in most cases, blessed  with children, even in the midst of illegality. They ignore the parents of the woman or man, and go into their  own procreation process.
But the unfortunate thing is that sometimes the  problem associated with that strategy is that if the woman dies in the man’s house, the parents of the  deceased are likely to demand that the man marries the woman even in death, sometimes at very exorbitant prices. In fact, a lot of things may be lined up as  requirements for the marriage of the dead woman. In  some other cases, the children produced in that marriage are classified as bastards or children of the woman’s father until the man does the right thing, that is to pay her bride price.
I think as long as mankind lives on earth,  high bride prices never make husbands price their wives (like property) better. Instead, there are reported cases of men who have treated their wives as slaves because  of the huge sum of money spent as bride price. Methinks that if young men are able to prove to their supposed parents in-law that they can love and hold their daughters, this should be enough dowry than paying fabulous amounts of money that do not equate true love.
The high dowry on women has disadvantages on the bride too. Many women have confessed openly that high bride prices have compelled their real husbands out of the work contest, leaving unlovable wealthy men available in the market. The result is an unnecessary joining of  incompatible couples because money has become the  name of the game.
High dowries make women slaves as most of them  remain unhappy in their marriages. Perhaps, they just stay to satisfy the man who has spent so much on  them. The consequence of this is that a wide gap exists for infidelity, and a display of fake and smokescreen love, which is far from being genuine.
This is not to say that those with low income have not  married wives. No! On the contrary, some have actually found themselves wives, and they lived as happy couples  for decades. But we have also heard stories where men  go on to borrow huge amounts of money just to get  married. In a situation like this, such couples are forced  to go through terrible and agonising marriages.
In perspective, it has been imperative that high bride prices are no guarantees to long, stable and well-enjoyed   marriages. High bride prices only help to force men who are not rich into borrowing, thereby putting men with such financial crisis into slavery while the women are boxed into a corner, with little or no choice than to settle for men with the money. In the end, such women  look more like the men’s personal properties.
It is high time the state government or better still, local  government councils fixed equal amount to be paid as dowry for all women. Although this suggestion may sound primitive, I think it is workable and the right path to toe. This can be done by encouraging would-be husbands to go to their local governments to pay for their wives. This action should attract receipts, and such monies should later be handed over to parents of the  brides.
If all Nigerians go to the same markets, schools, workplaces, among others, then I do not see any reason why bride prices should vary. And until this is done,  women will ever suffer, and men without money will remain unmarried.
Etim writes from Port Harcourt.

By:  Sintrials Etim

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Opinion

No To Abolition Of NYSC

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A bill to alter the 1999 Constitution to abolish the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme has been initiated by a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Awaji-Inimbek Abiante (PDP, Rivers). The intent of this bill is to invalidate Section 315 (5a) of the 1999 Constitution and the National Youth Service Act.
The Youth Corps programme, which started on May 22, 1973, was established during the military regime of Gen Yakubu Gowon under Decree No. 24 of 1973 to reconcile and reintegrate Nigerians after the Civil War. It was also created to bridge ethnic and religious divisions across the country and promote the spirit of nationalism through understanding and appreciating others’ cultures and religions.
At the initial stage, it was compulsory for all graduates of tertiary institutions to be part of the service, but the age was later pegged at 30 years in 1984, while holders of the National Certificate in Education (NCE) were excluded perhaps to reduce the number of participants in the service to save costs.
Despite the goals of the NYSC, many Nigerians believe it is time for the scheme to be abandoned or reviewed, contending that it has lost its pertinence. Abiante’s suggestion to abolish the scheme undoubtedly strengthens this argument that the objectives of the NYSC should be reviewed or updated following the present realities of modern Nigeria.
Abiante, in his explanatory statement to the proposal, gave reasons for abandoning the NYSC. He noted the incessant killings of corpers and their frequent rejection by some public and private organisations as some of the justifications.
Furthermore, the lawmaker said public and private agencies are no longer recruiting qualified and skilled young Nigerians. Rather, they rely heavily on the availability of corps members who are not well remunerated and get discarded with impunity at the end of their service year, without any hope of being gainfully employed.
Available records show that in 2011, seven corpers were killed in the post-election violence that broke out in some parts of the country specifically after the presidential election. Regardless of these glaring problems, the question of whether NYSC has surpassed its usefulness remains controversial.
First and foremost, we must address the raison d’être of the Youth Corps programme, which aims to promote national unity and integration, among other things. Forty eight years after the scheme was established, can we say that this key objective has been achieved? Have we become more integrated than before? Certainly not. 
Another significant objective of the NYSC is to make the members self-reliant. But since employment is hardly available in Nigeria because of the current economic challenges, this goal is scarcely achievable. The majority of industries have closed and the remaining ones are operating at less than 50% capacity.
Though the scheme has in one way or the other benefited Nigerian youths such as exposing them to diverse groups, persons and cultures, promoting inter-ethnic marriages and discipline, it is inundated  with numerous problems that if nothing is done urgently and differently would contribute less to the unity of the nation, especially in these troubled times.
As could possibly be seen by many Nigerians, insecurity appears to threaten the scheme in a way that affects its sustainability. In the light of this, we question the appropriateness of posting corps members to places that are subject to serious security threats. Maybe, the government can examine this issue and allow everyone to serve in their comfort zone.
Any system that creates a disparity between the rich and the poor cannot accomplish its purpose. Even before the security problems, corps members were already influencing where they wished to be posted, especially children and wards of the elites. That alone has thwarted the objective the NYSC was established to achieve. The system itself is very skewed and grafted. Huge amounts of money are sometimes offered to influence postings.
Notwithstanding these shortcomings, we reject the view that the NYSC should be eliminated or scrapped. Rather, there may be a type of restructuring to make it more efficient. New ideas need to be injected into the scheme while the government should review its goals and focus training on self-defence, vocational skills and entrepreneurship. 
Several Nigerians are highly tribalistic and believe in ethnic supremacy, which clearly goes against the objectives of the project and has made it almost worthless today. Hence, we believe that NYSC should become zonal and each geo-political zone should be allowed to accommodate its corps members, sharing them in their areas as they deem best. This would solve a lot of problems since many Nigerians are no longer enthusiastic about serving in specific parts of the country.

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