A few days ago, the upper legislative body in Nigeria passed a bill banning same-sex marriage and homosexual behaviors that may be construed as encouraging same in public. While I have nothing against the association between individuals at whatever level as long as it does not endanger or make the lives of others uncomfortable, the issue of gay rights is being blown way above its worth. It is somewhat ironic that people's lives, especially politicians and government officials in some parts of the world have been virtually destroyed because they were thought to be homophobic. One of the hidden motives behind championing gay rights by some politicians, despite their right to do so, is control. Individuals today, are encouraged not to look at themselves or inwards to find solutions to their problems - especially in the western world. People are taught to rely on the latest research studies in order to validate themselves as females, males or something else. Families are not headed by men but by the state. A society where "anything goes" was deliberately created and people are managed in a herd-like atmosphere where individualism is lost in the cauldron of commercialism. We may be talking about people's right to marry their pets in the coming years!

When you look at the array of countries lined up against Nigeria because of the passage of a bill that to all intents and purposes have no bearing on the national emergency we face in other sectors of our national life, you begin to wonder what the real motives of these self righteous countries are. The Canadian and British governments are leading the vanguard against a law passed by a Nigerian legislative body for Nigerians. Britain has gone a step further by declaring some form of sanction against the Nigerian state for banning same-sex marriages in Nigeria. In both Canada and Britain some 100 years ago, were politicians and the government of those countries thinking of homosexual rights? Or can you imagine the United States thinking of gay rights during its independence wars with Britain? Well, Nigeria at this point has political and economic emergencies that threaten the very life of all Nigerians, including homosexuals. Is it not logical to have a safe and self sufficient house before thinking of whether Peter can marry James or Abigail??

The rapper, T.I. (Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr.), while giving his opinion on the gay rights movement was quoted as saying "They're like, ÔÇśIf you have an opinion against us, we're gonna shut you down.' ... That's not American. If you're gay you should have the right to be gay in peace, and if you're against it you should have the right to be against it in peace." The forgoing quotation, to my understanding sums up what should be the general consensus concerning gay rights. Gay rights should never become the hot item it has become on the political landscape, to the extent that a British Prime Minister was threatening to withhold aid to countries that do not give full legal rights to gay people as if the said rights are now imperative for world peace and progress. Forget the fact that most aids have always had strings attached to them and have never really brought us out of the pit of need. Aid from another country with ulterior motives can only stunt the receiving county's ability to stand up on its feet and interact with the donor country on equal footing. But to base aid provision on a sovereign country passing gay right laws is really stretching it a little too far. If for example, there is a 200 bed hospital in some town that is being maintained through aid from Britain ÔÇô it means those sick men; women and children can live or die because we want to protect the rights of gay men and women. This means that the rights of the sick can be shot down while the rights of gays should become a national emergency.

It is a fact that western countries have turned the government of former colonies into puppets. Make no mistake about it; our government is controlled from the powerhouses of Europe and North America. In Nigeria, wikileaks has given us a useful hint as to who really controls the government when key policies regarding the economy; especially as it relates to the oil sector are concerned. Nigeria's policy (if one can call it that) are influenced and sometimes controlled through compromised legislative lobbyists and key government officials. Jonathan admitted as much, without appearing to do so in his infamous David/Goliath allocutus some months back when he said that the masters [western governments] were praising him and his government for the progressive strides so far made while all he ever gets was criticism back home. The question is, who is our president working for and whose approval does he crave the most - your answer is as good as mine. Of course, Obama and his cohorts would praise you to high heavens as long as oil and most profits from it are flying out of the country to international cartels that are mostly located in the Northern hemisphere. The west would "love" us as long as we remain ÔÇśgood boys' that continue to enhance economic rape, pay lip service to corruption, and gloss over political stability and progress with empty rhetoric. For example, the west has consistently insisted that oil subsidy should be removed in Nigeria and they are at it again with the US envoy saying they would support the move if the Nigerian government goes ahead. It is my opinion that western countries prefer us the way we are right now ÔÇô with no direction, fighting amongst ourselves, hobbled by deep-seated corruption (forget EFCC), and living the parody of nationhood. If you think the western world is really against corruption in Nigeria, think again. Where does most of the wealth stolen from the country's collective treasury end up ÔÇô in their banks! While this money does nothing for the poor trader in Ojuelegba, it probably helps in enhancing the lending powers of banks abroad. I have not heard the government of Britain threaten Nigeria because we have failed to legislate adequate security measures to protect lives and property ÔÇô this, despite the death of thousands in recent memory. They have not given Nigeria any ultimatum for putting together a world class educational system, infrastructure, healthcare system or even ameliorate the sordid state of our airports. It took the legislation of gay rights for Britain to bare its fangs and threaten us to tow the line of the master.

For the avoidance of doubt, homosexuality has been found amongst humans for centuries and most societies live with it. While I congratulate gays in all communities for getting their rights recognized in countries that have set such rights as priorities in their national advancement, I do not see how sexual rights for a segment (a small one at that) of the population should be tied to our national progress, advancement or international acceptance at this critical time. Nigeria stands at the threshold of having the highest infant and maternal mortalities in the world while able bodied youths are virtually "killing" themselves in order to get out of the country with the attitude of "anywhere but here". I stand by the rights of these infants, these women and these youths, who alone guarantee the future of Nigeria as a sovereign nation. If we do have gay men and women emerge from this throng after we might have attained nationhood, they would know how to establish their own rules of engagement and carry the country forward. As of now we badly need to build a nation and this far supersedes either homosexuality or heterosexuality.