Last week, I posted about the a state in Nigeria imposing harsh sentences for LGBTs. Tom Janus of Queerlandia joked that if it were up to some staunch anti-gay legislators, this new change would be applied to all states.Well this humorous comment has unfortunately come true as the Nigerian Senate has applied all the necessary changes and have passed this bill to the President and they are pushing for him to sign it within the week although he has 30 days to do so. This revised bill is not available for review but supposedly includes most of the details found in the original including the magic 14 year jail time. This is around the same time that the Ugandan Parliament has cleared their own anti-gay bill, the so-called “Christmas present” from Rebecca Kandaga, Speaker of the Ugandan House of Parliament which may impose life in prison for certain homosexual “acts” as well as sentences for people who fail to report homosexuals – presumably if a son comes out to his mother, she could go to jail for failing to report him to the authorities. This bill is awaiting for President Museveni’s signature.
I’m still surprised at how fast this bill has moved considering that so many bills that address REAL problems are still pending for no reason. It was introduced in 2011 and there are bills that deal with education and healthcare reform that have been on the back burner since 2007. I hope Nigerians can see their tax Naira at work. I do wonder if Mr President has enough space on his plate to add this bill since he has been in some Scandal-worthy national drama of his own involving “open letters” between him and the former President of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo on his mismanagement of the country. There are whispers that some are gathering to start impeachment proceedings against him.
Worthy of note is that people are beginning to speak out against this bill besides recognized LGBT activists such as an Anglican bishop in Kaduna, a state in Nigeria, who has said that there are more important issues facing the country that the Senate actually need to address as a priority, issues such as corruption and unemployment.
A friend of mine said that “Africa is dying because love is dying”. Today I’m finding it hard to tell him he is wrong.