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Nigerian Politician, Andy Obuoforibo says he believes in LGBTQ rights

With Nigerian elections only a few months away, the spotlight has been on Nigerian political aspirants. From TV shows like On the Couch to regular twitter engagements, Nigerians are asking questions regarding their aspirants’ stance on the economy, education and among other things, LGBTQ rights.

While some have provided insightful responses to questions on the economy, education and a few policies, the failures have been woeful in the area of LGBTQ rights leaving LGBTQ persons wondering when the ‘saviour’ will come.

In a recent tweet, CEO of LifeBank Nigeria, Temi Giwa-Tubosun shared her displeasure at the fact that not one of the Nigerian politicians believe that LGBTQ people deserve equal protection under the law.

In usual Twitter-like fashion, it didn’t take so long for the tweet to attain virality attracting both pro-LGBT people, anti-LGBT people and Andy Obuoforibo. Andy Obuoforibo is a Nigerian Politician, Writer, Social Commentator and soon to be published novel – Superman: Yellow Son. In response to the tweet by Temi Giwa-Tunbosun, he wrote “I am a Nigerian politician, and I believe LGBTQ people deserve equal protection under our constitution. Hold me to this as I go up the ladder. I also believe that, because LGBTQ Nigerians are a target of special hate, the upholding of their equal rights needs special enforcement.”

As a follow up to that, he adds;

“I realize this position is unpopular enough among enough Nigerians to jeopardize a politician’s electoral prospects, & make even the most socially progressive candidate speak from both sides of their mouth. Not me. It’s a stance I am ready to lose elections for.

Being a politician- a leader of people in terms of policy – is a balance between bowing to the will of the people, and confronting the people when your conscience tells you their will is wrong. In that situation, the people will either change their mind or vote against you.

LGBTQ Nigerians are having their constitutional rights trampled on daily. Unconstitutional laws unlooked by a hostile culture has put them at the mercy of predatory police and mobs to be extorted, assaulted, jailed, and killed.
There can be no talk of this not being a priority.”

His response was vehemently attacked and supported. The attackers going for the usual low-hanging fruits; it’s not natural, it’s against our culture and it’s not a priority for us now. The latter to which he replied saying; ‘Gay rights are also a priority. Your fellow Nigerians are being assaulted, jailed, and killed daily simply for who they choose to love in private, which harms nobody. We must protect our people.’

It is too early to celebrate any perceived victory for LGBTQ people and inclusion in Nigerian politics. However, this is a good start, a good step on this path to repealing laws that put LGBTQ people at risk in Nigeria.

 

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