Jonathan Declares State of Emergency

By Ahamefula Ogbu

President Goodluck Jonathan has declared State of Emergency in 15 Local Government Areas in four States where there are endemic activities of terror groups.

He also    ordered the closure of Nigerian borders through the Local Governments in Borno, Niger, Yobe and Plateau.

He stated in a nationwide broadcast that the areas were notorious for terrorist attacks while the borders closed are believed to be places through which the terrorist groups pass through to carry out attacks as well as pass through them to hide.

He invoked section 305(1) of the 1999 Constitution to declare the State of emergency in the Local Government Areas, adding that he will send the names of the affected LGs to the National Assembly for necessary action.

The list of the states and Local Government Areas affected are:
(i) Borno State
a) Maidugiri Metropolitan LGA
b) Gamboru Ngala LGA
c) Banki Bama LGA
d) Biu LGA
e) Jere LGA
(ii) Yobe State
a) Damaturu LGA
b) Geidam LGA
c) Potiskum LGA
d) Buniyadi-Gujba LGA
e) Gasua-Bade LGA
(iii) Plateau State
a) Jos North LGA
b) Jos South LGA
c) Barkin-Ladi LGA
d) Riyom LGA
(iv) Niger State
a)      Suleja LGA
Jonathan explained that recent activities of the terror groups have become a collective threat on the safety and corporate existence of the nation which has prompted the drastic action he took,  which according to him,  does not negate the protocols on free movement with neighbouring States.

He noted that what began as sectarian crises in the North East gradually festered and evolved into terrorist activities with dire consequences to national security which while he was still taking measures to check, bloomed into dimensions and affected vital institutions of government, places of worship and the United Nations Building.

“While the search for lasting solutions is on-going, it has become imperative to take some decisive measures necessary to restore normalcy in the country especially within the affected communities.
Consequently, I have in the exercise of the powers conferred on me by the provisions of section 305(1) of the Constitution, declared a state of emergency in the following parts of the federation.

“The details of this proclamation will be transmitted to the National Assembly as soon as they reconvene from their current recess, for their necessary action.
“The Chief of Defence Staff and the Inspector-General of Police have been directed to put appropriate measures in place to ensure the protection of lives and properties of residents in the affected parts of the country. I therefore urge the political leadership in the affected states and Local Government Areas to give maximum cooperation to the law enforcement agencies deployed to their respective communities to ensure that the situation is brought under control within the shortest possible time.

“The Chief of Defence Staff, in collaboration with other Service Chiefs, has also been directed to set up a special force unit within the Armed Forces, with dedicated counter terrorism responsibilities.

“As part of the overall strategy to overcome the current security challenges, I have directed the closure of the land borders contiguous to the affected Local Government Areas so as to control incidences of cross boarder terrorist activities as terrorists have taken advantage of the present situation to strike at targets in Nigeria and retreat beyond the reach of our law enforcement personnel.

“Let me assure our neighbours, especially within the ECOWAS sub-region, of Nigeria’s commitment to its international obligations as provided by the ECOWAS Protocol on Free Movement of Persons. The temporary closure of our borders in the affected areas is only an interim measure designed to address the current security challenges and will be reviewed as soon as normalcy is restored”, Jonathan declared.

He commended the efforts of political and religious leaders who have been working to achieve peaceful conflict resolution of the crises that followed the various attacks and assured them that he would strive to ensure that the situation is arrested.

“Terrorism is a war against all of us. I call on all Nigerians to join hands with government to fight these terrorists”, he said.

Making clarifications on the declaration, the National Security Adviser, General Owoye Azazi said the situation would lead to the creation of Special Forces which will enable training and arming of a special group which he said would be more effective.

He admitted that it will give sweeping powers to those deployed to the affected LGs to search and arrest people suspected to have hands in the activities of the group. They  would be arrested and their properties searched without warrant.
He said the emergency state will last till normalcy returns to the affected areas.
Asked if the group would not move to new areas, he replied that the reasoning was that it would be difficult for them to move into new areas when the awareness of their activities was common place.

He said that democratic structures would still stand while they will monitor areas where there are threats of attacks.

Ojukwu to be Buried March 3rd

The 40-man committee for the burial of Odumegwu-Ojukwu has  fixed  March 3, 2012  as the date for the burial of the late Ikemba of Nnewi.

Sen. Uche Chukwumerije, the Deputy Chairman of the committee, disclosed this at a news conference in Abuja on Saturday.

Ojukwu died on Nov. 26 in London after a protracted illness.

Chukwumerije said the internment ceremonies would commence on Jan. 30, 2012, with the arrival of the remains of Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu from London.

He said the internment activities would last for 12 days, terminating on March 10, 2012.

The Senator said the burial rites and events would be spread across several cities and state capitals across the nation, including Lagos, Enugu, Calabar and others.

He said the internment period would be preceded by a 5-day pre-burial activities, including the traditional communal “search” for a missing member by each of the five South Eastern states.

He said that details of the funeral activities would be announced later.

Chukwumerije said the committee has retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Mr Justice Chukwudifu Oputa, as the chairman and Prof. A.B.C Nwosu, as the Secretary

He listed other members of the burial committee to include Sen. Ben Obi, Chairman of the contacts/outreach sub-committee; Prof. George Obiozor, Documentation/Publications sub-commiittee; and two representatives from each of the five South East states.

Chukwumerije said that eight people were nominated from Ojukwu`s close family members, associates and Nnewi people as well as one nominee from the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).

He added that one person each was also selected to represent the four states that constituted the former Eastern Region; two nominees from APGA and three nominees from Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo as well as two representatives of youth organisations.

 

List of Madalla blast victims released

Below is a list of victims of the Xmas bombing at St. Theresa Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State.

Anthony Okoronkwo, Comrade Dike A. Williams, Emmanuel Dike, Richard Dike, Lillian Dike, Linda Chioma Obiukwu, Uche Q. Obiukwu, Chindinma Cythia Obiukwu, Ifeoma G. Obiukwu, Ann Chinedu Aigbadon, Chiemeri Nwachukwu, Cecilia Ebeku, Oluebube Faustina Pius, Chidera Sylvia Pius, Florence Nwachukwu, Eucharia Ewoh, Joseph Daniel,Inspector Titus Eze, Obasi Jonathan Onyebuchi, Ehiawaguan Peter,    Uche Esiri,    Sgt. Kadiri Danjuma, Unidentified person (5)

Victims at the National Hospital
Paulina Koju, Chukwudi Umeh, Christiana Kadiri, Esther Agbo,    David Agbo,    Hellen Okolo, Mercy Agbo, John Agbo, Obiukwu Uche Stella, Ebuka Abuyi, Celestine Aniowo, Michael Sunday, Lucy Unji,    Chiamaka Obiukwu, Favour  Dike, Chimaobi Dike, Favour Agbo,    Maria Obodugo,Kosisochukwu Egbo, Nzubechukwu Pius, Obodo Linus, Austin Ogbugu, Chuks Ajuwe, Esther Ibu, Blessing Philip, Isaac  Ibu, Kenedilim Aloysius.

Some of those who died in the blast.

Specialists Hospital Gwagwalada
Innocent Okoronkwo (Intensive Unit), Chima Ohazurume, Justina Uche, Chinyere Amaechi, Ifeanyi Emenaba,    Fidelia Onugwu, Chinyere Anthony,     Sadiq Idris, Onyinyi Peace Eneh, Clara Iwuozor, Pauline Okoronkwo, Uche Bonaventure, Uche Michael,  Lawal Abubakar,     Victor James.

General Hospital Suleja
Owen Sylvester, Danlamin Isah (passer-by), Ali Sani (passer-by)

Major Hospital Kwamba
Edeh Christiana

Delight Hospital Suleja
Roseline Okeke, Chisom Eucharia Okoye

Suzan Hospital Suleja
Chukwuebuka Obiakor, Jenifer Obiakor, Chidera Obiakor, Beatrice Otogo.

Daughter of Charity Kubwa
Oliver Ogbona, Remmy Ofoha, Francis Raphael

Diamond Crest Hospital Zuba
Gabriel Christiana, Michael Nwanze, Achunike Okolo, Fvaour,    Ugochukwu, Nzube Pius

State House Clinic Abuja
Uche Thaddeus, Tanko Mpan,    Lucy Wumi,    Unknown

Lucas Hospital Madalla
Dominic Mbeng,     Agnes Justin Wadzani, Samuel Eze, Ugwu Calistus,    Raphael Okoro.

Solace Hospital Suleja
Jane Francis Mmadunacho, Unknown

General Hospital Kubwa
PC  Ibrahim Gaita.

 

Madam Olaocha Abraham Passes to Glory

Madam Olaocha, fondly called Daa by her children and younger relations, was born to the family of Okonkwo Uturu of Uhuala Ofeiyi in the Ohuhu clan of Umuahia in the year 1908. She was the second daughter of Mazi Okonkwo Uturu who had six children, made up of four men and two women. Madam Ola was married to her husband Abraham Igbemelam Nwosu of Umuawa Alaocha also of Ohuhu clan of Umuahia. Father Abraham had two other younger wives, Hannah and Ngaleze along with Madam Ola.

 
In her marriage, madam Olaocha had seven surviving children made up of five men and two women but her first daughter went to be with the Lord in 1971. After the death of her first daughter, Diamond Ugonma Ngachidorom Anozie in 1971, the Lord promised Madam Olaocha that she would never bury any of her children anymore. This has been so since then and we hold onto that promise that longevity will continue be the portion of her children, grand and great grand children in Jesus name, amen.

 
Daa Olaocha was the first wife out of three wives of her husband popularly known as Digbo. She had seven children and six surviving sons and daughters-in-law and seventeen grand in-laws and daughters-in-law and 70 children, grand and great grand children. Generally she was blessed with about 90 members of her family. To God be the glory.
Madam Ola was a great disciplinarian who spoke her mind and would rebuke anyone for any mistake. She was blessed with great health and was never admitted in the hospital any day of her life and at death when her situation changed on a Saturday, her doctor was called and he said let’s observe her and by Monday evening of December 19, 2011 and about 12.00 am, she answered the imminent call of the Master.

 
The life of Madam Olaocha came to prominence in 1951 after she received Christ as her Savior and was baptized in water and with the Holy Spirit. She was the first woman in the village of Umuawa Alaocha in Umuahia to receive Christ and became the pioneer evangelist within her community and beyond. For her faith she suffered in the village, was ostracized and beaten in some occasions. At one of those times, she was asked to participate in taking an oath but she turned it down and the villagers got her beaten and filled her mouth with sand. The greatest thing about her was that all her children, grand and great grand children are believers and committed in the things of the Lord.

 
Madam Olaocha was actively in the ministry of the Assemblies of God Nigeria and was one of the women leaders. She received training from the Assemblies of God seminary at Old Umuahia now Assemblies Divinity School of Nigeria. In the 1960’s when the administration of the Church was handed over to Nigerians, she was appointed one of the Women Ministry leader of the Igboland District, covering from Port Harcourt to Enugu. She held that position until it was taken over by wife of Superintendents.

 
Madam Ola served as a Deaconess for many years, was a Sunday School teacher and taught her class until few years ago and read her Bible until a few months ago. Whenever you met her, her number one question will be “Are you still with us in Faith” and she will encourage you to hold on to Christ.

 
Madam Ola, Daa, Gold, ney Deaconess as she was call by those close to her, lived and served God very well and she came from the family of Okonkwo who also served God well. Among her siblings were two ministers, late Rev. Albert E. Okonkwo and the only surviving brother Rev. Elijah Okonkwo. Her first son Ndudim Abraham served in Many capacities in the Church and General Counsel of Assemblies of God. He was one time National Men’s director for many years and also a member of the Board of Directors AG Advanced School of Theology Ewu. Her second son Rev. Abraham H. Chikwendu, one time Coordinator of the AG TV program Nigeria, member Board of Directors AGDSN. A minister, Church planter now President of Nigeria Assemblies of God Fellowship USA and Pastor of People’s Pentecostal Assembly Brockton, Massachusetts.

 

In 1969 Madam Ola had a revelation through dream while she was away at Ekeja in Obowo as she escaped to this place because of the Nigeria Biafra war with her first son and Ndudim and his family. In that dream she said the Lord set up opportunities and materials of wealth along a path including her first grandson David Ndudim now an attorney and asked her to choose one from the items displayed, and she immediately ran and carried David and every other material and opportunity fell behind her.

 
This is the short story of our mother, grand and great grand Ma, a legend, champion of Christ. She was a faithful mother, great woman of God, friend of ministers of the Gospel.
Madam Olaocha Abraham was honored by the Umuahia District of the Assemblies of God for pioneering effort in evangelism in the District. She also received a meritorious award from the General Counsel of Assemblies of God Nigeria for her pioneering effort in the ministry of Assemblies of God. Today Daa has forgotten the past, she has reached out for the prize of high calling which the Lord offers through Christ to all who made in Jesus name, amen. Daa made it
As we celebrate her life, we express our gratitude to all people who devoted their time, effort and resources and to take care of her in life and death. May the Lord reward your diligence and grant favor in all you do in Jesus name, amen.

 

Rev. Hart Chikwendu Abraham

For and on behalf of Abraham Family

Ojukwu Burial – APGA Sets UP 14 Member Committee

TO ensure its full participation in the burial of the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, National Working Committee (NWC) of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) yesterday constituted a 14-member committee for the burial.

The committee headed by Mr. Alfred Nwosu, is to liaise with both the Ikemba’s family and the National Burial Committee in the discharge of its assignments.

In a statement by the party’s National Director of Publicity, Mr. Ifeanacho Oguejiofor, “the committee is to liaise with Ojukwu’s family and the National Burial Committee in order to have a well-organised, remarkable and befitting burial for the party’s late National Leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu”.

According to him, other members of the committee include Barrister Ifeanyi Mbaeri, who will serve as its secretary as well as Hon. Jolly Ngbor, Evangelist Chinyere Okeke, Alhaji Ibrahim Garuba, Mr. Tondo Joseph, Comrade Ferguson Okpara and Barrister Morgan Anyalechi.

Equally included among the committee members are the APGA state chairmen in the five south east states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo states.

Inaugural meeting of the committee has been slated for January 3rd next year in Enugu, with Oguejiofor urging all members of the party to “close ranks to build on the sound ideals, principles and fundamentals Ojukwu stood for and died for as well”.

It should be recalled that Ikemba died at the prestigious Royal Berckshire Hospital in London after protracted ill-health occasioned by stroke which lasted for no less than nine months.

The Human Capital Difference – Bart Nnaji

It is natural that there are sometimes differences between the government and the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) in the approach to the resolution of national issues, but the strategic objective has always been the same: the development of our dear nation and the improvement of the living standards of all its people.

Like NUEE, the Goodluck Jonathan administration believes passionately in the development of human capital for national growth. In the words of the South Commission Report on how emerging nations of the world could leapfrog developmentally, man is both the means and the end of development. The Report must be right. The difference between developed nations and developing ones is fundamentally the difference in human capital development.

To illustrate, countries and territories like South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan have no mineral deposits, but they are today well developed because they have developed their human capital. Conversely, countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo which have immense natural resources are still not yet developed because the human capital has not been harnessed properly.

In recognition of the critical place of human capital development in national growth, the Federal Ministry of Power decided, no sooner than I was appointed its minister in July, to restore the structured training programme of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) which had been abandoned since 1989. It is also in recognition of the centrality of human capital development in the march of civilisation that the Federal Ministry of Power has decided to transform the National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) into the foremost institute of its kind in Africa and even beyond. A similar institute in India, established in 1965, has trained 1,000,075 electric power professionals from all over the world, including Nigeria.

It awards highly regarded bachelor’s and master’s degrees in different fields of the power sector. So, if India could be a centre of excellence in power training, why not Nigeria? In the not too distant future, NAPTIN will go far beyond conducting short term training courses for only the PHCN staff to providing comprehensive capacity development programmes for all categories of power professionals.

The Jonathan administration is irrevocably committed to the welfare of power sector employees. Within one month of its coming into being in May 2010, it presented to the National Assembly a supplementary budget with a provision of N57 billion for the payment of monetised benefits of PHCN workers which were denied them for seven whole years. At least 99 per cent of PHCN employees have since received their entitlements.

Despite the growing economic challenges facing the nation, President Jonathan has graciously approved the regularisation of the appointments of some 11,000 so-called casual workers of the PHCN with retroactive effect. In the same manner, the president in May 2011 approved a 50% increase in the PHCN staff salary with effect from next month.

He went further to provide a N9 billion grant to the PHCN to enable it to pay for the first three months of the huge increase which ballooned the PHCN monthly wage bill from over N7 billion to over N11 billion. The new wage bill consumes almost the entire monthly PHCN revenue. To sustain the new bill, both the management and staff of each successor company as well as those of the PHCN corporate headquarters need to work harder than ever before; the revenue profile has to improve considerably and soon.

Let it be noted that it is not enough to increase the revenue profile. There are leakages in the system that must be blocked. Among these are issues of over-invoicing as well as reports of PHCN employees cooperating with electricity consumers to defraud the nation of huge revenues through meter by-passing and other sharp practices. Negative practices impede social and economic development everywhere.

Therefore, they cannot be condoned, all the more so by a government determined to transform the country. As far back as early last year, the government directed allministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to conduct biometric verification of all public servants, including ministers. In places where the verification has taken place, the result has been quite revealing, as up to 30% of the workers were found to be non-existent. Put succinctly, biometric data gathering has proved to be a veritable vehicle for the promotion of integrity, accountability, honesty, transparency, good governance and other values which every country cherishes. Biometric data capturing is also important in creating appropriate data bases and in staff planning.

It is in the interest of all that the federal government decided that the private sector should become the main driver of the electric power sector through, among other things, the dilution of the federal government’s stake in the 17 generation and distribution successor companies of the PHCN. The argument in some quarters that these firms be allowed to compete with independent power producers and distributors is, with due respect, not realistic enough.

Nigeria Airways, owned by the federal government, could not compete on either local or international routes with private airlines. It died a natural death. Neither state-owned NITEL nor MTEL could compete with private telephone networks, leading to a situation where the workers have been owed salaries and allowances for three whole years. May this never be the lot of PHCN workers. It is improper to advocate that the nation take once again the very trajectory which led to the collapse of state-owned enterprises and inflicted untold misery on their employees. A paradigm shift is needed in some quarters.

—Prof Nnaji is the minister of Power

Appeal Court Sacks Andy Uba

Appeal Court sacks Andy Uba
•Orders fresh election
•Cancels more results in Ekwunife’s constutuency
From PETRUS OBI, Enugu
Friday December 23, 2011


Photo: Sun News Publishing

More Stories on This Section
The Court of Appeal in Enugu yesterday nullified the election of Senator Andy Uba representing Anambra South Senatorial Zone. However, contrary to the prayers sought by Hon Chuma Nzeribe of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) that who insituted the case that he be declared winner of the said election, and ordered fresh election to be conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) within 90 days.

In a unanimous judgment delivered by a five-man panel of justices led by Justice H. N. Ogunmumiju, the court also ordered INEC to immediately withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Uba with immediate effect.
The court could not however, give reasons for the judgment as it promised to do so at a later date.

The APGA candidate in the April National Assembly election for the senatorial zone, Nzeribe, had alleged irregularities in the said election and had asked the National Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal to declare him (Nzeribe) the winner of the said election, having scored majority of the lawful votes cast. But the Appeal Court obviously disagreed with him.

It would be recalled that the lower tribunal, after hearing the case, dismissed Nzeribe’s petition as lacking merit.
Dissatisfied by the ruling, the APGA candidate headed for the appellate court to challenge the lower court’s verdict.
In a separate judgment, the same appellate panel also reaffirmed the nullification of the election of Hon. Uche Ekwunife, also of APGA to the House of Representatives, ordering fresh election in Aniocha Local Government Area.

Yesterday’s verdict further invalidates the election held in five more communities in Ekwunife’s constituency. Notable among the communities where election was nullified is Agulu, home town of Governor Peter Obi with these latest cancellations, there are now 12 wards in the constituency where election has been cancelled. However, Ekwunife’s supporters are optimistic, insisting that even without the wards where fresh election have been ordered,there candidate is still leadiing in the total number of votes garnered.

Incidentally, Ekwunife’s most prominent opponent in the battle for the stool is said to be the brother of the Rivers State First Lady.

Unizik Immortalizes Ojukwu

Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka,Anambra State has taken the lead in immortalizing the late Biafran warlord, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu by naming its students’ hostel after him.

The Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Boniface Egboka, said the second wing of the huge edifice would henceforth be known as Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Hostel.

First wing of the hostel was named after President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and was commissioned on November 19, 2011, at the convocation of the institution by the president’s representative and Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i.
Egboka stated that nothing done to immortalize the late foremost Igbo leader and Ikemba Nnewi would be too much.

“The naming of the second wing of this huge edifice after our dearly beloved Ojukwu is a clear manifestation of the university’s resolve to make the late Igbo leader a happy man even in his grave.”

He noted that the news of Ojukwu’s death on November 26, 2011 in a London hospital at the age of 78 had saddened many minds across the university community.
He added that the immortalization of his name in Unizik, would bring joy to the institution.

Umuada Igbo Step Out with a Bang

The newly formed Boston branch of Umuada-Igbo of Nigeria stepped out in style on Friday December 16 with a blockbuster Christmas party. The event which was attended by a galaxy of beautiful Igbo women took place at the Peoples Club Hall in Hyde Park. Stay tuned to this page for more new and photos of the event.

Same-sex Bill Opens Door for Asylum Seekers

Several persons seeking compromise means of travelling and settling in parts of Europe and United States of America may have had a travel-made-easy process, as their claim to being gay could brighten their chances of seeking asylum in such countries.

Following the recent passage of the Same-Sex Prohibition Bill by the Senate, where a jail sentence of 14 years is prescribed for any offender, several Nigerians desperate to obtain entry visas to occidental countries, now claim persecution and discrimination on account of being homosexuals.

The United Kingdom and America have opposed the passage of the anti-gay bill in Nigeria, with the UK threatening to withhold aids to Nigeria if gay rights were not restored. The American President Barrack Obama has charged the US ambassadors to fight for the protection of gay rights, across board.

The strategy of hanging on to this window of curious opportunity is already playing out as a Nigerian student studying in the UK, who was facing deportation threat, recently claimed that he would be persecuted and even jailed in Nigeria if he was deported, because he is gay.

The student, Hope Nwachukwu, studying at Warwick University in the UK has claimed that he faces being whipped and jailed for up to 14 years in Nigeria after he was threatened with deportation by British authorities.

The 34 year-old asylum seeker, convinced fellow students to hold a candlelit vigil in Coventry to escape the wrath of the authorities and drive home his quest to remain in the UK.

Nwachukwu was apparently taking advantage of the recently passed bill by the Senate which stipulates a 14-year jail term for a person who enters the contract of marriage with a member of the same sex.

According to the Senate, a person – or group of persons – who witnesses, abets and aids the solemnisation of a gay marriage may receive up to 10 years imprisonment or a fine of N5,000. The bill is, at present, with the House of Representatives for endorsement.

Coventry Telegraph reported that for Nwachukwu’s sake, students at Warwick University staged a talk and a candlelit vigil on the piazza outside the student union building to highlight his case.
He came to Britain in 2009 and began working in a warehouse with fake ID but was found out and kept in a detention centre for six months.

However, his supporters said UK’s Home Office views his case with suspicion because he has not been in a relationship since arriving in the UK.

Elsewhere at the Nigerian House in London, a demonstration was organised by Nigerians who wanted the Senate to reverse its earlier decision to ban same-sex marriage. But opposition against the practice has continued to mount as it is largely considered as a taboo and an act described as “grossly ungodly”.

The demonstration called “kiss-in” is organised by Nigerian gays in the Diaspora Against Anti-Same-Sex Laws. The group’s Nigerian Coordinator, Yemisi Ilesanmi, said: “Outside the embassy, Nigerian LGBTI people and our allies will hold hands, hug and kiss as a gesture of defiance against the proposed ban on same-sex marriage and in solidarity with our Nigerian LGBTI brothers and sisters. Come and join us to kiss goodbye to this bill and the sodomy laws. International solidarity knows no borders.

“The new Nigerian bill aims to further criminalise same-sex relationships. Already, consensual same-sex conduct between adults is a criminal offence carrying up to 14 years imprisonment and in some parts of the country there is the death penalty under Sharia law.
“Lawmakers are fast tracking the bill. The bill has already passed its second reading,” she added.

Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights lobby, the Peter Tatchell Foundation, will attend the kiss-in.

“This proposed new law violates the equality and non-discrimination guarantees of Article 42 of the Nigerian Constitution and Articles 2 and 3 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, which Nigeria has signed and pledged to uphold,” Tatchell said..

But hard as the gay are fighting to kick against the coming law, most Nigerians from all walks of life and class have continued to commend the courage of the Senate in knocking a long nail in the coffin of gay practice in Nigeria.

Over the weekend, President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, declared that the Senate did Nigeria proud by passing the bill against same-sex marriage. Indeed, the Senate had dared the Western nations to withhold their financial aids, if it will be given in exchange for the desecration of the cultural values of Nigerians. Pastor Oritsejafor described the move to legitimise same-sex marriage as “an aberration and an abomination and it is evil like this that is shutting the heavens on us as a nation, because really something is not right with us as a nation”.

Another clergyman, Rt Rev Peter Adebiyi, the Anglican Bishop of the Lagos West Diocese, who has been virulent in his opposition of same-sex marriage especially in the church, has remained opposed to the practice and explained that homosexuality is a hindrance to the work of God among mankind.