The Nigeria Union of Teachers has commended President Goodluck Jonathan for signing the anti-gay law.
In an exclusive interview with our correspondent after the union’s solemn assembly on Wednesday in Abuja, the NUT President, Michael Olukoya, urged the president to shun the pressure from the western world.
Jonathan on January 7 assented to the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill 2013 which criminalises homo-sexual partnerships in the country.
On January 14 when it became public that the President had signed the bill into law, the Canadian government openly expressed concern over the law.
The American Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. James Entwistle, on Monday also threatened that his country will cut down its support for HIV/AIDS and anti-malaria programmes in response to the Federal Government’s position.
Olukoya, who could not hide his displeasure with those criticising Jonathan, said every right thinking man should praise him for resisting influence to defile Nigeria.
He said, “Our President has done the right thing. Every country is entitled to its opinion. If they are criticising him for signing the anti-gay law, let them in their own countries legalise polygamy.
“It is in our culture here: we have a man marrying four or five wives. Is it happening in their country?”
Olukoya urged the President and the National Assembly to remain focused and resist persuasion or pressure.
He asked, “What is sensible in a man-to-man marriage or woman to woman marriage? Leave them (Western countries) to their idea. As long as our president has satisfied the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians, whatever they like they can say.
“They are entitled to their opinions. It is against our culture, our spirit and conscience; we will not legalise or encourage that.”
The NUT boss explained that the essence of the prayer session was to seek the favour and direction of God for Nigerian teachers, adding that “If not for God, who knows what the position of NUT will be today.”