President Goodluck Jonathan has made good on his promise to wipe out homosexuality in Nigeria.
A new ban has been passed in Parliament that has now been signed by the President, making it enforceable immediately.
Worldwide outrage has been expressed at the harshness of the legislation and its inherent lack of respect for human rights.
Sentences of up to 14 years are prescribed by the newly minted law. A similar law has also been passed in Uganda.
The law will now not only allow prosecution of all same sex relationships, but also give a green light to public persecution of people who are gay or perceived to be gay. The result could be widespread violence against gays, and the prospect of long term incarceration.
Already a diaspora of sorts is taking place: wealthy or influential Nigerians who are gay, have already left the country or are getting ready to do so.
The stance of the President is not a one man crusade, but woefully reflects a wide sweeping sentiment in all of Subsaharan Africa, and traditional mores. In addition, both the Muslim and Christian Nigerians, who are almost evenly split in their religious beliefs, insist that the legislation in fact reflects their respective religion's tenets.
In Uganda, the picture is even bleaker. The legislation that sailed through Parliament in that country prescribes life terms for those people who are 'repeat offender' of gay crimes. The president of Uganda, however, has not yet signed the law, indicating that he might modify it before it is subscribed, even though both religious groups and certain factions of the government are pressuring him to sign it.
Source : Deutsche Welle/ 1.15.14