Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Olugbenga Ashiru
By John Shiklam
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the 19 Northern states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have kicked against the posting of gay diplomats to Nigeria, warning that any attempt to do that would be resisted.
The Christian body also called for the sacking of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Olugbenga Ashiru who was reported to have said Nigeria would accept gay diplomats and their “spouses” posted to the country.
Ashiru was reported to have said that Nigeria would accredit foreign diplomats who are married to people of the same sex in spite of Nigeria’s opposition on the issue.
The minister was quoted as saying that “Nigeria is not against any country for legalising gay marriage, but in our country, given our customs and traditions, as well as religious beliefs, marriage as ordained by God is between a man and a woman.
“But if we have diplomats with same sex spouses posted to Nigeria, we have no choice but to accredit them accordingly because they come from countries where such law is in place," he said.
However, the spokesman of CAN in the 19 northern states and the FCT, Mr. Sunday Oibe described the position of the minister as hypocritical and unacceptable. Oibe, in a statement in Kaduna on Friday noted that both Christians and Muslims in Nigerians have all agreed that gay marriage is against their religious and cultural beliefs and therefore is acceptable, maintaining any nation that sends a gay diplomat to Nigeria is violating the laws of the land and it should be resisted.
According to him, for the minister to say that government will accept gay diplomats in Nigeria amounts to accepting gay marriage through the back door, declaring that Christians would mobilise and chase out any gay diplomat sent into the country.
The statement reads in part: “Our attention has been drawn to reports in the media credited to the minister of Foreign Affairs, Olugbenga Ashiru where he said that Nigeria will accept foreign diplomats who are gay.
“To us, this is ridiculous and unacceptable and we are seriously disturbed because for the first time, Nigerian Muslims and Christians have agreed that they don’t subscribe to gay marriage.
“If we have said no to it, why will anybody try to smuggle it through the back door? In Saudi Arabia for example, when Americans go for peace keeping, they don’t go with the Bible because the Saudi authorities will not accept it. As a Christian if you are going to the country with a Bible, they will not accept it because of their culture and religion.
“We Nigerians of all have all said no to the issue of gay marriage because it is a challenge against God. In the Bible, the city of Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed of the same thing. For the minister to say that government will accept gay diplomats in Nigeria amounts to accepting gay marriage through the back door and this is unacceptable.
“If you bring a foreign diplomat to this country and these people come with their dollars and pounds as it were, they will begin to introduce our young people into this evil because of their joblessness.
“We are calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to remove the minister because he is going against the wishes of Nigerians.
“Gay marriage is evil and we will resist any attempt to bring evil into Nigeria. Any country that practice sodomy, God is always angry with that nation. We have so many troubles in our hands already. Let us manage the ones we have; we don’t want any issue of gay.
“The National Assembly has said no, every stakeholder in this country has said no. So for the minister to make that kind of statement, it means he is opposed to the wishes of the Nigerian people and we are calling on the President to remove him from office.
“We want to make it abundantly clear, be it America or Britain or any country that sends a gay diplomat to Nigeria; we will mobilise to chase him out of the country.
“President Jonathan should be put on notice that Christians will mobilised against such moves. We are not going to be intimidated by any country of the world that is practicing evil.
“We are God fearing people. If America and Britain are Godless, that is their business. For us, we have fear of God and we will never entertain evil and they cannot intimidate Nigerians into accepting what is against our religious beliefs and culture.
“If America and Britain have deviated and ran away from God, we in Nigeria don’t want to turn our back against God”.