Ads Top

REUBEN ABATI: THE NEW POSTER BOY?

One of the books I read with relish when I was in the secondary school was the Bottled Leopard written by Chukwuemeka Ike. One of the themes was culture shock when the protagonist, Nwachukwu who called himself Chuk, was sent by his father who was based in the United States to go back to Africa to learn more about his culture as he was of mixed race and saw himself more as an American.

He had an encounter with a stern prefect fondly referred to as ‘Hammer’ because of his no-nonsense attitude. The latter invited him to his cubicle and attempted to have carnal knowledge of him. He reported it to the school authorities who then stripped him off his prefect ship.

I could perfectly relate to this since I attended Kings College in Lagos where some gays whom we called faggots or fags for short were accepted as one family by the majority of the straight students. Nobody was discriminated from playing football or cricket which were the two most popular sports on account of their sexual orientation. You only had to be a bit careful when telling them to accompany you to go to the Queens College Inter House Sports as was the usual practice among KC boys as your genuine intentions could be misconstrued.

Fast forward to last year when I worked with a national newspaper as a journalist on the online beat. I stumbled on the story of the death of Akinnifesi Olumide Olubunmi in an obscure blog. I checked the websites of our competitors and saw it wasn’t there and so I rushed to the news editor to seek his permission to quickly upload it. He gave me a cruel look which I interpreted to mean ‘Are you nuts? How dare you!’

I was angry because no one had any right to take another person’s life irrespective of his or her sexual orientation. President Muhammadu Buhari got me angrier when he consoled the victims of the Orlando club shootout and neglected to give a single mention to his fellow departed citizen who was butchered to death in nearby Ondo State.

The activism streak in me was revived and I volunteered with a prominent LGBT organisation in Lagos and vowed to use my writing and advocacy skills to stop the violence against the sexual minorities.

However with the passage of time, I began to get uncomfortable as it was clear that my then ‘allies’ were not satisfied with my altruistic motives to put a stop to the violence that they suffered. There was subtle pressure on me to buy into the ‘equality’ agenda which I objected to on religious grounds. As a practicing Roman-Catholic, I am totally against gay marriage and make no apologies for it. Why couldn’t my religious views be respected while we worked in harmony to prevent another needless death? I was also criticized for trying to sell the idea of a conversion therapy as my interactions with some ex gays revealed that the nature argument was completely fallacious. I was bashed and called a homophobe for drawing attention to the fact that my fellow Christians were facing bitter persecutions for merely expressing their anti-gay views openly especially on social media. Some lost their jobs, became destitute and kicked out of school all because they spoke the truth. It was crystal clear that the ever expanding LGBT acronym was a subtle plot to coerce the rest of the world to buy into their ideology with brutal sanctions for dissidents whether or religious or grounds of common sense.

I was surprised when renowned columnist and former spokesman of Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Reuben Abati was invited as the keynote speaker at a symposium organised between The Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERS) and Y Naija which was held last year. His former principal signed the same-sex marriage bill into law in 2014 so his invitation was rather surprising.

As expected he faced a lot of criticism especially from Bisi Alimi, the nation’s first openly gay man who was a founding member of TIERS before he went on exile to the UK.

When the dust settled, Abati made it clear that his views were liberal and he respected the fundamental human rights of all irrespective of sexual orientation. He went on to make known the plight that these people suffered from extremists who always made them a target of their ruthlessness. He opined that there was no structure on ground to protect these people from harm and took a surreptitious swipe at the same-sex marriage prohibition law which his erstwhile boss signed into law and made an appeal for an evolution in the thinking of Nigerians so that the interests of these minorities could be better accommodated.

Abati’s summation didn’t hit me by surprise. I wasn’t disappointed because he let us down by being Jonathan’s lap dog and refusing to throw in the towel when his image teetered to the nadir, it was because the LGBT globally has as its core agenda the portrayal of an initial victim image while buying time to emerge into full-fledged bullies.

Abati failed to mention that the Senate under David Mark’s leadership gave room for some of the sexual minorities to air their views in its hallowed chambers on the same sex marriage issue. He omitted to tell the world the hypocrisy of the west when it came to the granting of asylum of some of the members of the community.

Favour, I won’t mention his surname here spent a year in Wales and was still deported back to the country for not convincing them that he was ‘gay’ enough. Many African LGBT members are being deported on a daily basis. Not a single condemnation on this hypocritical act! He failed to mention the silent indoctrination of minors through cartoons in their ‘catch them young mission.’

There was palpable silence on the fact that this agenda is fast constituting a great threat to free speech which is also an inalienable right of man. This threat is not just something faraway in countries where the asinine act is legal, its presence is real here. The former coach of the Super Falcons, Eucharia Uche revealed that she was combating lesbianism in the camp which was a clog in the wheel of the team’s progress and all hell was let loose with homophobic slurs cast at the poor woman. I remember when I went for a Toastmasters speech delivery on the family and I started by saying that the family is made up of a man, a woman and their children. A Caucasian stopped me and reprimanded me for being insensitive to the reality of the existence of the ‘LGBT family.’ Some Nigerian members of the audience then nodded their heads in total agreement and all I could think of was the colonial mentality hit song which remains a favourite of mine from the stables of Abami Eda. Nothing was said of the threat to the Sovereignty of supposed independent nations with the threats spewed out by Obama and Cameron.

I have maintained for over a decade that Nigeria and Africa’s biggest malady is imperialism and not the façade of corruption that has a gargantuan western liberal imprimatur. Until we unite with the common good in mind and get this continent ridden of neo-colonialism, the independence struggle of our heroes past would be reduced to something worse than a cruel joke.

Africa was battered with the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, then the scramble and partitioning of the continent in faraway Berlin followed, colonialism took roots and now we are bugged down with imperialism.

For how long?

 

TONY ADEMILUYI


No comments:

Shybellmedia. Powered by Blogger.