Nigeria’s 2019 presidential election is 7 months away and a lot of the attention has been fixed on the younger Presidential aspirants. Taking his place on the growing list of aspirants and making his political debut is newcomer; Mr Fela Durotoye running under the Alliance for New Nigeria, he joined Laila and Falz to discuss his plans for office and things took a hypocritical turn for the worst. The focus on Mr Fela Durotoye and other younger aspirants has been welcomed with hopes of unbiased governance, legislative reform and a reduction in discrimination, injustice and a chance to ultimately usher in a new era for Nigeria. Sadly, Falz and Laila’s On the Couch episode with Fela Durotoye ended up giving a disappointing glimpse into a reoccurring case of discrimination, religious terrorism and injustice for Mr Durotoye’s government.
A huge portion of his interview was dedicated to questions about his stance on gay rights, his stance on homophobia and LGBT discrimination. He was asked about his views on homophobia and if he thought it was rightly criminalized in Nigeria. He then answered by saying his values only gave room for heterosexual relationships and that he respects Nigeria’s anti-gay laws and he wouldn’t change it because they embody his values. He then proceeded to say that if gay people wanted the law changed, they should work to have it changed and he wouldn’t stop them but he didn’t support homosexuality because the bible says not to. To clarify his opinion, Laila asked if he thought it was okay that she would spend 14 years in prison if she was gay and he said that was her choice and that he would never fight the law and he doesn’t have a problem with a gay person going to jail for 14 years and he believes homosexuality is wrong.
Still on the topic of homosexuality, Falz asked if he thinks people who have a certain sexual orientation were being discriminated against and Mr Durotoye said he doesn’t know and doesn’t believe so. Labeling himself as someone who doesn’t understand the concept of discrimination, he claimed to not know that LGBT persons constantly suffer discrimination right after he used his religious values as grounds for discrimination. Falz followed up by asking what he thought about representing different segments of society in his government, an obvious hint at the fact that he seemed to only want biblical representation in his government as reflected in his answers about homophobia. He answered by saying he would like to carry the entire nation along and he wants a 50% female cabinet and possibly a female Vice President. Meaning his idea of society was reduced to a simple knowledge of men vs. women.
In the beginning of his interview, Laila expressed her worries about a motivational speaker being all words and no action and Mr Durotoye explained that his words have yielded results in the past. So she went on to ask what his greatest achievement was and after thinking about it he said his happiness was his greatest achievement. The picture that Mr Durotoye wasn’t the right person for the job hit the canvas right here because his answers seemed to beat around the bush and revealed his lack in experience. Laila went on to ask him what never before seen plan he had for social capitalism and his master plan was reduced to these 3 vague action plans:
1. Fix the government through a culture transformation program called ‘Excellence in Government’ (no idea if this would be a boot camp for politicians or a training program).
2. He wants to fix law enforcement for everyone so justice isn’t just for the rich but also for the poor.
3. He wants to transform the mind of the people with 10 positive values.
So basically better law enforcement and a ton of motivational speaking, he is willing to challenge the law on law enforcement but respects the law when it comes to LGBT discrimination. He went on to say his master plan is all about getting the right people for the job and they would fix the problems, which obviously made it look like he had no idea what his plan for office was.
Watch his full On the Couch interview with Laila and Falz below;
After watching this interview, it became clear that Mr Fela Durotoye was undeniably a huge part of the problem he claims he wants to fix. He believes in marginalizing society based on his personal values and ultimately wants to motivate Nigeria to greatness even though he clearly knows little about true governance and the law. In my opinion Laila and Falz made better presidential aspirants based on their understanding of human rights and the fact that they spent a huge portion of the interview explaining basic questions and they ultimately had stronger perceptions on what needed to be done. Mr Durotoye has given younger presidential aspirants a bad name and he clearly doesn’t have my vote.