Thursday, 27 May 2010

Obasanjo on homosexuality...

In this article in The Guardian newspaper of Tuesday 25 May 2010 are the remarks of Olusegun Obasanjo, twice Nigeria's head of state. For completeness, I have chosen to reproduce the full article here:

An African statesman who shares a political platform with Kofi Annan, Tony Blair and Bob Geldof has condemned homosexuality as an "abomination", dismissing individuals' right to privacy with the riposte: "You want to make love to a horse?

Olusegun Obasanjo, a former president of Nigeria, indicated his support for the sentencing last week of a gay couple in Malawi to 14 years in prison with hard labour, insisting that countries have the right to enforce their own laws.
The remarks, coming at a time of huge sensitivity around gay rights in Africa, have the potential to embarrass Obasanjo's colleagues on the Africa Progress Panel, a respected body that monitors development across the continent. Chaired by Annan, its members include Blair, Geldof, economist Muhammad Yunus and Graca Machel, the women's and children's rights activist and wife of Nelson Mandela.
Annan, the former UN secretary-general, and Obasanjo, a UN special envoy, appeared united on stage yesterday at the launch of the panel's latest report in Johannesburg.
But whereas Annan described last week's imprisonment of Malawians Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza as "very regressive", Obasanjo, a devout Christian, offered a very different view in an interview with the Guardian.
"I believe that God who created man, male and female, is a wise God, is to me a God who doesn't make a mistake," he said. "If he wants sexual relationship between man and man, and between woman and woman, God will not have created them male and female. For me it is an abomination in my part of the world and if anybody practices it then he must be unbiblical, and anything that is unbiblical for me as a Christian is not right."
He continued: "If a country makes it a law then he should be punished according to the law of that country. If a law in my country says we shouldn't shake in public, that of course would be ridiculous, but let's say that is what the law says, until you can get that law repealed, you must not shake in public. If you say you will defy that law and you shake in public, and the law says if you shake in public you go to prison for three months, then you have to go for prison for three months."
Obasanjo, whose human rights record was questioned during his two separate spells as president of Nigeria, denied that consenting adults have a right to privacy in their own homes. "What is the privacy of your home? Why don't you take an animal and say look, the privacy of your home, you want to make love to a horse? Bestiality. You say that is right? No.
"If the privacy of your home means a socially condemnable act, then you have no privacy. You have done what you should not do and if the law says you should be punished for it, whether you do it in public or the privacy of your home, you have breached the law and you must be punished, according to the law."
Immediately after the interview, Obasanjo could be seen discussing the difference of opinion with Annan. Later, on his way out, Annan smiled and told the Guardian: "I'll work on him."
David Smith in Johannesburg
Now tell me, which well-educated, intelligent person living in the 21st century will read what Obasanjo said and not see it for the drivel that it is? Is it a wonder that Nigeria as a country continues to teeter on the brink of chaos and collapse and the quality of life for the citizens has deteriorated from year to year, when since independence from Britain fifty years ago the leaders that the country has been cursed with, (save for current President Jonathan), are of this calibre?
The difference is clear between Obasanjo on the one hand and Kofi Annan on the other, who is a prime example of the cultured, sophisticated, educated African. In my view, Obasanjo's simplistic, puerile arguments and reasoning, are redolent of the drunken banter of a beer parlour in Ajegunle!
I have some difficulty in figuring out what qualities this man possesses that qualify him for membership of this distinguished panel. African countries have for too long been in the grip of greedy reactionaries of which Obasanjo is a good example. He is an embarrassment to me as a Nigerian and I see him as of the ilk of Mugabe!


zino said...

To me Obasanjo is right and it has n0thing to do with whether Nigeria is 50 or not

Anengiyefa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anengiyefa said...

Greetings Zino,

Thanks for your comment. Well, you and Obasanjo and others like you who share the same view obviously have refused to acknowledge scientific findings about homosexuality. You guys plainly need to do some more reading methinks. I generally don't engage in discussions of this kind, since more often than not it feels like banging one's head against a brick wall.

All I will say is that there is so much information available to us in this digital age, that I am dumbfounded that supposedly intelligent people still uphold the nonsense that Obasanjo was spewing. It a bit like people still arguing vehemently in 2010 that the Earth is flat. Its funny really..

THERishouldbeAPY said...

Ahh... yes, the Bible. The Good Book. I wonder if Mr. Obasanjo has ever read the page that says "Thou shalt not steal"?? As in stealing millions of dollars from the Nigerian people and buying up expensive homes around the world and sending your children to school abroad...

I simply *love* how certain individuals choose to use only specific examples from the Bible to bolster their arguments while ignoring how to apply the whole texts to their lives as well.


CodLiverOil said...

So what is Obasanjo saying, anyone who calls themself a Christian and who doesn't espouse his point of view, is an "unbiblical" Christian. Is he implying Kofi Annan, is unbiblical?

This begs the question, is Obasanjo a text book Christian, does he live his life entirely in accordance with the teachings of the bible? I very much doubt it.

In a pluralistic world, where people live different modes of life, one has no right to impose their beliefs on others, when it is between two mutually consenting adults.

I would like to believe Annan represents the positive forward thinking African, Obasanjo is very much a man of his time, and is regressive, not to mention corrupt and riddled with double-standards.

Obasanjo talks of abomination. There are many more abominable things that strike one as soon as one steps foot in Nigeria. Disabled people sitting on the streets begging, children who should be at school, selling "knick knacks" on the street, some are even involved in child-sex. You have child marriage, children being persecuted because of superstition, the sick not receiving proper medical care, people walking to a polluted river to collect drinking water (many even die due to water-borne diseases), whilst others import champagne from overseas. People who can steal tens of millions if not billions of dollars from the government coffers get away scot-free and have the tenacity declare that they are innocent, whilst those who commit small scale theft have their lives ruined. Nigeria is overflowing with abominations against the dignity of man, but no one does or says anything. Yet Obasanjo is making a big thing about same sex relationships, please...

People should see the wood from the trees. When you look at the absurdities and countless abominations that abound in Nigeria, you will see what Obasanjo is saying is nonsense (to put it mildly). The fact that the majority of Nigerians agree with him, accounts for the unenviable condition of the country. (Not because they are against homosexuals, but because they fail to address the wrongs that exist within their society, yet they aspire to be recognised as developed country)

Why is it that Annan, a man who has worked with people all over the world, holds a different point view?

I respect Annan even more.

Anengiyefa said...

@Codliveroil, thanks so much for your comment. I totally agree with everything you said.

Interestingly, I am in the process of writing a post titled "Sexual Pleasure in African Politics", in which I will be addressing many of the issues that you have highlighted.

CodLiverOil said...

Thanks Anengiyefa, I look forward to your post, you think things through in a coherent manner.