The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, has insisted that Nigeria will not succumb to external pressure to legalise same-sex marriage.
The minister was reacting to an accusation by the Christian Association of Nigeria, based on a statement credited to him, where he was alleged to have said Nigeria would accept gay diplomats and their “spouses”, if posted to the country.
In a statement made available to our correspondent on Sunday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said at no time did Ashiru make reference to gay diplomats in any of his statements or interviews.
The statement read, “The attention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been drawn to stories on gay rights issues and Nigeria’s position on the matter.
“At his meeting with the diplomatic community on Friday July 19, the Foreign Affairs Minister, in his statement read to the meeting, where journalists and media executives were present, said foreign countries should not impose their values on Nigeria.
“While Nigeria is not against any country legalising gay marriages, no country should force that on Nigeria. Nigeria and majority of Nigerians are against gay rights and marriages, as they are not part of our customs, religion or law. At no time did the minister make reference to gay diplomats in his statement or interview.”
Commenting on gay rights, Ashiru had said at the meeting with foreign diplomats, “We don’t tell other countries how to live their lives. We don’t impose values on any country. Other countries too should not impose their own values on us. We don’t oppose any country that has put in their constitution the gay rights to allow two men or two women to marry themselves. But for Nigeria and a number of other African countries, it is not part of our culture yet.”