President Muhammadu Buhari has clearly informed United States lawmakers that Nigeria cannot shift its anti-gay stance, the presidency said Wednesday.
Speaking at the joint session of U.S. Senate and House Committees on Foreign Affairs Wednesday, Mr. Buhari said sodomy is against Nigeria’s law and abhorrent to its culture.
The president’s special adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, said the president was “pointblank” in declaring Nigeria’s position on the issue of gay marriage and rights.
Mr. Adesina said the matter was not pushed at the session after the president made his point.
“The issue of gay marriage came up here yesterday,” Mr. Adeisna tweeted Wednesday. “PMB was pointblank. Sodomy is against the law in Nigeria, and abhorrent to our culture. Talks shifted to another matter once PMB emphatically stated Nigeria’s stand on same sex marriage. The issue was not pushed,” Mr. Adesina said.
Besides Nigeria’s criminal laws which outlaw gay acts and union, the country in 2014 approved an anti-gay law with stringent penalties for homosexual relationships.
Under the law, gay persons face up to 14 years in prison if convicted.
It is also a crime to have a meeting of homosexuals, or to operate or attend a gay club, society or organization. Public show of same-sex intimate affection is also outlawed. Offenders may be jailed for up to 10 years.
Nigeria has since come under intense pressure from the United States government which opposes the laws.