On Monday March 24, at the Ekurede Urhobo axis in Warri, five homosexual men were seized and stripped naked.
Trouble started when a guy, popularly known as GP invited his gay lover who came from Ovie Palace Road, Effurun…though some reports say he came from Lagos. Anyway, GP received his fair and handsome gay lover who was introduced to him by another gay man called Power; who lives in his Ekurede Urhobo neighbourhood.
One evening, some straight guys visited GP who was in company his gay new-found lover. GP told his straight friends to excuse him and his visitor that they had serious matters to discuss. And they left.
They reported the matter to Ekurede Urhobo Community Chairman, Chief Vincent Okudolor. They claimed the seized valuables were stolen by GP’s friend.
This prompted the interrogation of GP’s friend who had caught them in the act. During the interrogation, the young man could not hide it anymore and spilled the beans about what he saw that night. Because he had returned the valuables he collected to GP before he was apprehended, this became proof that he didn’t steal them.
The chairman who was shocked to hear the truth, sent his boys to get GP and his other gay friends.
Six of them including GP and his Ovie Palace lover were apprehended and taken to the community town hall as others escaped. Five of them were stripped naked and flogged in the presence of a large crowd but GP’s lover bought his way out by paying a huge amount to Ekurede community youths.
The remaining 5 were given an option of paying a fine of N100,000 which included being paraded around the community with a ‘gay’ inscription tag on them, or risk being handed over to the police, charged to court and risk 14 years imprisonment.
I do not want to go into the the evils or sin of homosexuality because as a born-again Christian I trust my stand is clear. Rather, I want to talk about the downside of Nigeria’s anti-gay law.
When the law was passed by President Jonathan, majority of us rejoiced but I was a bit sceptical because I feared for the this law being used as a tool to set up or wrongly accuse innocent people as some form of vendetta from their enemies.
We’ve read the story. The testimony is said to be true but what truly transpired on the day GP’s straight friend allegedly caught then having gay sex, we may never know. What I deduce from this story is that someone was set up. Whether gay or not, someone capitalised on the anti-gay law to say pay me some money to keep my mouth shut or I’ll sing.
Two people; GP and his light-skinned lover were the ones caught in the act. But five men ended up being paraded. What is the proof that these men were gay. If they are, were they caught in the act? So why were the other three stripped naked and flogged? How did these photos leak to the Internet?
All I’m saying is that the fundamental teachings of Christianity is based on love…especially to sinners. This was the reason Christ came in the first place to save us. The bible says:
“For God so LOVED the world, that He sent His only begotten son that whosoever believed in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” – John 3 verse 16
Another portion of the bible says,
“But God demonstrates HIS OWN LOVE FOR US in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5 verse 8 -New International Version (NIV).
This means that the sinner is very special and important to God, which brings me to ask this burning question: After the stripping, flogging and shaming; then what? Does it turn them straight? Does it preserve the soul which Christ took the trouble to exchange his life for? Do we even understand what it means to die in place of another?
This is the time to think wisely my people we are men not animals. We are spirit beings created in the image and likeness of the Supreme Being. Let the Holy Spirit guide us to treat our brothers shortcoming with the wisdom that will save their souls and not destroy it.
I would like to see the anti-gay law modified in a way that would preserve our African culture and beliefs yet protect basic human rights and the rights of the innocent.
I rest my case.