Speculation is mounting that Nigeria’s Same-sex Marriage Prohibition Bill might be passed, as religious leaders continue to pressure government to take stringent measures against homosexuality.
The recent outburst came from Primate-elect Archbishop Nicholas Okoh of the Anglican Communion, who, on 28 September this year, called for Nigeria’s law makers to prescribe harsher measures “needed to curb key issues seeking to undermine religion.”
Okoh, known for his stern ideologies against homosexuality, which he says are based on the teachings of the word of God, is expected to take over from the controversial Archbishop Peter Akinola next year, and it is feared that he will be more vigorous when dealing with the issue of homosexuality.
Last year, he made his stand on homosexuality clear, when he called on the Episcopal Church of the U.S and the Anglican Church of Canada to “repent and bring their practice [homosexuality] in line with scripture.”
He said this in a joint statement with the Council of African Provinces in Africa, as reaction to the appointment of an openly gay reverend Gene Robinson as Bishop.
In Nigeria, under the Civil Penal Code, homosexuality is criminalised and carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison. Under Shari’a Law, sodomy practices are penalised with a maximum penalty of death.
Despite the damning reality that homosexuals are in danger, religious leaders in that country still feel not enough is being done to curb homosexuality in Nigeria.
While the gay people continue to be arrested, beaten up and harassed in many African countries, Nigeria seems set to get tougher on homosexuality, making life even more difficult for LGBTI people in the country.