Concerned Nigerians, opinion leaders, and human rights groups have diverse reactions to the arrest and parade of over one hundred suspected gay men arrested during a wedding reception in Delta State.
The Delta State Command of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) made public on Monday that they had arrested more than a hundred persons on suspicion of being homosexual.
The arrest was made, according to Delta police spokesperson DSP Bright Edafe, after officers received information leading them to the hotel where the wedding ceremony was taking place.
Some of the unnamed males in their twenties and thirties who were suspected of being homosexuals during the parade vehemently denied their sexual orientation.
When questioned by reporters, three of the suspects falsely claimed to be fashion models and designers at a “All White and Award” party.
Two of the suspects had conflicting stories about why they were at the party; one claimed to be a model, the other an ambassador. The third suspect said he was a designer who was showing off an outfit he had made for the occasion.
“I’m a model, and I came to Warri for a fashion show—but on my approach to the event, when I tried to walk onstage to show off my wares, I was attacked by police and then arrested. I pretended to be a woman so that I could walk the runway and sing in a band. Because the hotel was already full, I was unable to get ready there and instead slept in a nearby room instead.
I’m not sure if cross-dressing is illegal or against the law where I live. The gathering was an all-white party, and I’m not gay,” claimed one of the accused.
Although the specific allegations against the men are unknown, they could face up to 14 years in prison if proven guilty of homosexuality in Nigeria.
Some members of the public have praised the arrest, while others have called it a violation of human rights.
The viral video of the march received both widespread support and strong condemnation.
Supporters of the ban argue that homosexuality is incompatible with Nigeria’s traditional values. They say the government is just doing its job by punishing the two individuals for their alleged actions.
They say the police’s action against the males suspected of being gay was vital to maintain social standards and values and to stop the wave of crime that has been sweeping through today’s youth.
Those in favor of it told DAILY POST that it would send a strong message about society’s attitude against immoral behavior in the country and act as a deterrence.
Psychologist Onyeka Ani, who welcomed the arrest of the suspects, asked parents to be vigilant in safeguarding their sons in light of the situation.
He said the suspect needs therapy and a new perspective on life.
“Homosexuality has recently become very popular. Questions were raised after a lesbian wedding in Delta State was allegedly broken up by police. For the reason that I’ve been curious about their ministerial staff. This means they have their own churches, right?
Although I am aware that these folks are not the cause of Nigeria’s economic woes, I nevertheless consider them to be a threat to society. They need to be sent in jail.
How can a man suddenly decide he identifies as a female and start dressed and acting like a woman? It’s very upsetting, and those people definitely need some kind of therapy.
Our culture needs to accept that the days of telling moms to watch their kids more closely so their girls don’t turn to drugs or prostitution are over. The current climate demands that we provide our sons the same opportunities as our daughters.
Men don’t get pregnant, therefore back in the day, moms would let their boys go out and have fun with their pals, but they’d make their daughters remain inside so they wouldn’t have to worry about an unplanned pregnancy.
Today, it appears that young boys are being groomed and recruited by their peers to become homosexuals. A group of lads may appear to be close buddies, but they may actually be involved in some seriously harmful behaviors or activities.
Some homosexuals are actively disseminating gay ideology online through the mediums of skit-making and content creation. Ani said, “Let’s make sure our sons get the same kind of home training and a solid upbringing that’s based on high moral standards.”
Furthermore, journalist Clarence Adebowale called the event “disturbing,” adding that it necessitates prompt spiritual intervention.
According to him, it’s “very disgusting and disturbing” that 100 males in Delta have been arrested on suspicion of being gay. I don’t think counseling is the answer; instead, I believe spiritual healing is required.
It surprises me even more that not everyone is congratulating the cops for bringing this social catastrophe to light. As a result, I’ve come to the conclusion that horrible acts like this portend the end of the world as we know it.
Mrs. Joyce Agozi, an accountant, confirmed that it is reasonable to suspect the men of being homosexuals and arrest them.
That a hundred men in Delta were detained for being homosexual seems unbelievable to me.
Even if males are abundant in the neighborhood, this is precisely why there is a husband shortage. I don’t understand why some males actively choose not to find women attractive.
Could it be that they want to avoid the obligations that come with marriage? Take a look at the sodomized male population. Consider my country’s young people. “Please, no one blame the police for revealing the depth of the decay in our society,” she pleaded.
Festus Motunrayo, another respondent and an attorney, urged the police to behave with integrity in prosecuting the arrested LGBT men.
This same-sex marriage is completely insane. Also, I’m crossing my fingers that the police have solid enough evidence to press charges against the alleged homosexuals. He warned that if they couldn’t prove Sodomy before arresting these men in court, the entire raid and procession would have been for nothing.
Despite the outpouring of sympathy for the police, some are demanding the quick release of the accused gay men, labeling the arrest as a “misplacement of priority” and “hypocrisy” on the part of the Nigeria police.
Amnesty International, a prominent rights organization, condemned the detention but demanded the release of the accused LGBT males immediately.
On Tuesday, the group released a statement via its X Twitter demanding that the government of Nigeria protect the rights of all its residents.
“Amnesty International is calling on the Delta State police command in Nigeria to immediately release the over 100 men, arrested and paraded to the media over allegedly organizing gay marriage and put an immediate end to this witch-hunt,” the post stated.
These arrests violate numerous civil liberties and are biased against people based on their actual or suspected sexual orientation or gender identity.
According to the article, “in a corrupt society, the law prohibiting same-sex relationships is increasingly being used for harassment, extortion, and blackmail of people.” This cannot stand.
It was reported that the males were arrested by the police command in Delta State because they were reportedly plotting a same-sex marriage. It’s incredible that something as harmless as choosing an outfit or doing one’s hair and makeup can be elevated to a criminal conduct.
The public display of the accused gay males was also criticized by another rights group, the Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC), who called it a “abuse of due process and double standards.”
The group admitted that homosexual relationships are illegal in a statement signed by RULAAC executive director Okechukwu Nwanguma and acquired by DAILY POST.
However, it criticized law enforcement for failing to follow standard protocols when dealing with suspects or convicted criminals.
Nwanguma said that people who have been accused of breaking the law should be given the benefit of the doubt until they have been given a fair trial by a court with the authority to decide their case.
He emphasized that suspects should be treated with respect.
Repeated statements have been made that suspects being paraded in front of the media violates their rights to a fair hearing and trial.
The Constitutional right to be presumed innocent is undermined, and human dignity is violated, in this unconstitutional and unprofessional approach to law enforcement.
This translates to an automatic conviction of the accused. We deplore the flagrant violation of the due process rights of the LGBT suspects by parading them to the media, as stated by the group.
Veteran Nollywood actress Georgina Onuoha also spoke out against the detention of the youths.
She pleaded for law enforcement to stop harassing homosexuals and instead investigate the politicians and clergy she accused of causing the nation’s anger and poverty.
Onuoha said, “Don’t bother these guys. They did not commit any acts of violence. They are not to blame for Nigeria’s current state of affairs. Let them have their own way of life.
You who are busy cheating the system, having extramarital affairs with married men and women, spreading false information, etc., are no better than the people you despise.
Many scam artists posing as pastors have poured hateful teachings into your heads, but unless many of you work in the medical area and understand the mechanisms behind sexual orientation, you will continue to live by the teachings of those who detest you.
“I scoff at the ignorance of some Nigerians who think sin can be classified, and that being ‘gay’ is the worst of all of them. You are fooling no one except yourself. Sin is sin in God’s eyes, and many of you regularly engage in the worst kinds of sin.
“I want to ask you, Nigerians, a serious question. If you hurt or kill one of these people, who God made in his image and likeness, do you believe he will hand you a trophy? You’ll get a hero’s welcome for killing someone, right? That God will accept you with open arms, you say?
It’s not Christianity what most of you are doing. You are actively engaging in bigotry and hatred.
“If you think this is ‘western culture’ being imported to Nigeria, you are the most nave person alive.
Leave these people alone so they may deal with their rage and poverty without interference, and demand accountability from your political leaders and clergy.
This is not a defense of their lifestyle choices but a celebration of their humanity. Just let them be.