One step forward, ten steps back


The past weeks saw prolonged debates and comments on social media about Nigeria’s new anti-gay law. Despite heart rending pro-gay comments with many very common sense and somewhat empirical reasoning approach to the consideration of the law by social media commentators, majority of Nigerians have remained resolute in their beliefs that anti-gay law is the biggest boldest achievement of this current administration. Mr President himself says that it is the will of the people which he must respect. So Nigerians have spoken and acquiesced to bigotry of the highest proportion. There are already accused, if not executed persons whose liberties are now at risk with many Nigerians comfortably calling for their deaths. As civilised people where do we stand or go from here. So its OK now to harm or kill our brothers and sisters for things beyond their control and we can happily go to bed feeling justified being murderers and bigots.

At the other end of the world, India is once again on the news as a result of another allegation of gang rape. Apparently, a village elder ordered about 13 local men to rape a girl who was suspected of making out with someone from another community. The police officer who was investigating the matter has been relieved of his job due to further allegation of lack of compassion and concern for the girl and her family plus interference with the investigation.

The poor girl is reported to be in hospital fighting for her life and her family are by her bed side. Some of the men are also said to have been arrested but it is not clear if the village head is also in the net.

How pitiful and horrific. Nigeria is the next emerging economy and people are encouraged to invest and position themselves for the windfall. India is credited as one of the world’s best thriving economies despite the recession.

My question is why are we as a people so blessed and determined to succeed in life but yet so primitive and backward in most matters of conscience and morality. We keep making ourselves laughing stocks. Someone suggested that if the Bauchi gay men are not stoned to death, they must be thrown into prison with women so that they will straighten them. Now this poor girl’s crime is that she loves someone outside acceptable geographical boundaries. Being gay or loving someone from a different community from the one you come from are not acquired tastes or habits. They are controlled by the forces of nature just like a man is pulled to a woman younger or older than him or a woman is attracted to the same or opposite sex. These are not instincts we can control. Anyone who had never seen someone they do not know anything about but simply liked or love them should raise their hands and be condemned by their own lying hearts.

I am not sure about Indians but what is even more concerning about Nigerians is that we are religious beyond comparison or comprehension but yet so wicked in our attitude to humanity and common sense.  Most often I cannot reconcile our sanctimonious religiosity and our hypocrisy. It’s amazing and I often wonder why as Nigerians, so many Indians are highly educated, intelligent and rich but acting so dangerously primitive. Are we turning our intelligence as curses on ourselves?

What do we call elders who instruct about 13 men to rape a child on a platform to be watched by members of his community because she fell in love with someone from another community, a twisted senile voyeur who cannot rape because of old age and therefor lives out his voyeurism by watching and reminiscing on what he would have done over and over again in his days. He said that if the family could not pay the fines for their daughter’s supposed affair with someone, the young men should go and enjoy themselves by raping her. How does rape of this young lady by some insane animals which can only but give them some level of inexplicable sexual pleasure, replace a monetary fine. Frankly speaking, this guy ought to be locked up for life.

I think that the time has now come for countries like India and Nigeria to decide where they stand on these highly sensitive human rights issues. It will help if they show a bit of common sense when embarrassing their citizens with these issues.

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