Universally, we evolve day after day. Laws change, people adjust and life goes on.
If we were to solve our many social issues in Nigeria, we need to start looking inwards, pulling examples from amongst our own people of today. This could only be achieved by investing in research. To lead the country, one needs to make decision based on the facts arrived at through extensive research of the people.
At Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife campus where I was worked in mid 1990’s was a young man, I’ll call him Yemi. He attracted quite a lot of attention because of his femininity gestures, cross dressing and heavy makeups. He was a transvestite based on my physical assessment of him. Yemi was polite, usually on his own and smiled a lot. To me, he did me no harm, pays for his purchases and have never seen him get in argument with anyone even when pushed aside from a queue which I have witnessed a few times. The day I actually sat together with him in a tiny office within 2 feet away from each other, I was close to tears and just felt ashamed and apologised to him for offence I didn’t commit but did it on behalf of his mindless mates who decided to torment the poor guy.
At the time he was a year 3 law student at the university, his parents had disowned him, and said he was seen as a shame to his family so really didn’t want to talk about his family. The reason he was in my office was to ask for a favour that involved a small loan for food. A day earlier, his mates had burgled his room, stole his stuff and beat him mercilessly that lead him to be taking to the hospital, he was lucky he wasn’t killed. I could see a few cut marks on his face, the cloth he had on was ripped on the chest. I was fascinated about the concept of homosexuality so I asked him more questions. He felt more comfortable cross dressing and only attracted to men. He had plans to hopefully move to the north. Why north I asked? He said people like him seemed to be more tolerated there than the south. Ironic? I did what I could and he left. This is northern Nigeria today
Nigerian policy makers do not need Quran or Bible quotations to understand people like Yemi. All you need to be is human with open mind and a working common brain.
When a few public figures talked as if Nigeria is a size of a little village it just amuses me. Why not conduct an extensive public research in such a way that will get people to talk about their experiences and then make decision based on the outcome? I have heard about ‘commercial homosexuality’ oh well, why are they any different from the common asewo? If you were going to criminalised some people for having same sex relationship for money, why can’t you do the same for the heterosexual prostitutes? They are all over the place in Lagos, VI – Pat’s Bar, Why Not, to mention a few.
When we live in denial and refused to adjust our thinking to the time that we are then we risk facing higher penalty for ignorance.
We do not need to turn every single issue to be another religious and cultural debate.
As you can see, not all Nigerians support the government anti gay law. Laws change, rules change all the time, this is true all around the world. If we don’t reason up or follow a defined logic, then other countries will step in and force us to think the right way, they always do.
This is a light-hearted video, I think it helps to put things in perspective a bit. Aren’t we all human after all? See for yourself LZ Granderson