By Olugbenga Salami
Some Nigerians, including celebrities and human rights activists, have called on the federal government to respect their rights of choice by legalizing the same sex marriage.
The federal government, through a law passed by the National Assembly and assented to by the President had criminalized same sex relationship, stipulating 14 years imprisonment as punishment for anyone found guilty of the offence.
But, many Nigerians have condemned the law describing it as abuse of citizens’ freedom of choice.
They, therefore, called on the government to, as a matter of public interest, repeal the harsh law and replace it with another one that will guarantee the right of citizens who choose to get married to people of their sexes.
Among Nigerians in the forefront of the agitation is Bisi Alimi, a Nigerian celebrity and gay rights activist who is the Founder of Bisi Alimi Foundation, an organisation committed to the acceptance of lesbianism, gay, bisexuality, transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) .
According to a statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja, Alimi insisted that the federal government is violating the rights of citizens by not legalizing the act of same sex relationship.
Alimi, who has continued to demonstrate his determination to ensure the right of same sex relationship by its practitioners, said: “There are proven evidence that many Nigerian celebrities, political figures and youths across socio-economic divides are gay, which has made issues around the practice to continue to dominate discourse across the nation.”
“It has also intensified the agitation for the legalization of the act to ensure the fundamental rights of its practitioners.
“This is particularly so because many of the practitioners go into hiding as soon as they are granted administrative bail when they are arrested for engaging in the act. They don’t go back to answer to the offence because of the harsh punishment it attracts.
“Cases abound of such scenarios. One Kayode Ogunniyi who was granted bail some years ago by a Magistrate Court for alleged same sex relationship jumped bail and absconded because of the heavy penalty of the offence committed.
“Similarly, 57years old Gbola Dasaki of lbadan Street, llupeju, Lagos who was accused of same sex relationship with several other accomplices, absconded after being granted bail by the Police.
“In another case involving other female students, a female student of the Osun State Polytechnic, lree, lyabo Esther Kosebinu in October 2000 disappeared into thin air after being granted Police bail.
“In March 2021, 26 years old Falade lsaac Oluwafemi jumped bail after being arrested along with his male partner at the partner’s private guest house in Ajah area of Lagos State by the Police for untoward display of amorous same sex act.”