Concerned Nigerians, opinion leaders, and human rights organizations have responded differently to the arrest and parade of approximately 100 suspected gay men who were detained during a wedding reception in Delta State.
According to 460play, the Delta State Command of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) confirmed the arrest of more than 100 allegedly gay males on Monday.
The arrest was made, according to DSP Bright Edafe, a spokesperson for the Delta police, after officers stormed the hotel where the wedding was taking place after receiving a report about it.
Some of the presumed gay males in the parade, whose names were withheld but who all appeared to be in their 20s and early 30s, denied being homosexuals.
When questioned by reporters, three of the suspects claimed that they were fashion designers and models attending an All-White and Award party.
One of the suspects, who was disguised as a woman, claimed to be a model, and another claimed to be an ambassador who had been invited as a guest to the event. The third suspect revealed that he was a fashion designer showing off his clothes at the occasion.
“I am a model. I traveled to Warri for an event where there would be a fashion show. As I was leaving for the event, where I intended to perform on stage for the modeling event, some police officers attacked me and took me to the police station. Because I wanted to appear on stage and was a model, I dressed like a woman. Since the venue was full and I had to stay in a different hotel close by, I did not get dressed there.
Cross-dressing may or may not be illegal in the country, according to the constitution. I’m not gay, and this was a party for only white people,” one of the suspects claimed.
It’s unclear what charges the guys are up against, but homosexuality is a crime punishable by 14 years in prison in Nigeria.
The arrest is being praised by some members of the public, but it is being denounced as a violation of human rights by others.
The social media video of the procession that went viral prompted conflicted views and polarized outrage.
The argument made in favor of the arrest is that homosexuality is against traditional and cultural norms in Nigeria. They claim that the government is only upholding the law and that the two men should be punished for their alleged behavior.
They contend that the police’s action against the alleged gay males was required to protect society standards and values as well as to stop the recent uptick in adolescent crime.
According to advocates who spoke with DAILY POST, it should act as a deterrence and a clear indication of society’s position against immoral behavior in the nation.
Onyeka Ani, a psychologist, encouraged parents to be vigilant in protecting their boy child while applauding the arrest of the accused gay guys.
He claimed that the man’s suspected need for psychiatric care and reorientation.
“Gayness appears to be the newest fashion in our society right now. There were many doubts surrounding the LGBT wedding in Delta State, which the police allegedly interrupted. Since I’ve been curious about their officiating ministers. Does that imply that they have pastors and churches?
“Despite the fact that I am aware that these individuals are not Nigeria’s economic problem, I still consider them to be a threat to society. They ought to be sent in jail.
“How can a male declare that he now wants to be a lady, start donning cosmetics, and start dressed like a woman? People who behave in such a troubling manner need psychological assistance.
“Our society must understand that the day when mothers were expected to raise their girls with greater caution in order to prevent them from spoiling or becoming victims of street vices is long past. Given the current environment, we must make sure that our male children receive an equal amount of care.
“I recall the days when moms would encourage their daughters to stay at home so they wouldn’t make errors and bring unwanted pregnancies into their households, but would give their male children free rein to go out and mix with their friends because males don’t get pregnant.
“These days, it seems that the opposite is true, as young males are recruited and encouraged by their buddies to come out as gay. When you see a bunch of lads, you might assume they are best buddies, but you have no idea that they are involved in serious bad behaviors and activities.
Some of these gays spread gayism on social media under the pretence of producing skits and other entertainment. Therefore, let’s provide our male children with an equal home education and a proper upbringing based on strong moral standards,” Ani continued.
Journalist Clarence Adebowale also called the situation “disturbing” and said it needed immediate spiritual support.
He declared, “It is a very unpleasant and distressing development that 100 alleged gay men have been arrested in Delta. This, in my opinion, requires spiritual intervention rather than psychiatric treatment.
“I am more shocked that some people and groups are criticizing the police officers for exposing this societal mess rather than praising them,” the author said. Therefore, I’ve come to believe that these wicked deeds are a sign that the end of the world is near.
Accountant Joyce Agozi stated that it is possible to arrest the alleged gay males.
“I am horrified that 100 men were detained in Delta for being homosexual.
“This is the precise reason there aren’t enough husbands around, despite the fact that there are men all around the neighborhood. Most of the time, I ponder why males may choose not to find women attractive.
Could it be that they are attempting to avoid marriage-related obligations? Just take a peek at the men who have become sodomites. Just take a look at the youth in my nation. Please don’t criticize the cops for showing how corrupt our society is, she pleaded.
Festus Motunrayo, a lawyer who responded as well, urged the police to take care in prosecuting the LGBT men who had been detained.
“This same-sex marriage is complete lunacy. And before accusing the alleged gay males in court, I hope the police have sufficient proof. Before bringing these individuals to court, they must be able to establish Sodomy since, else, the entire raid and procession would have been pointless.
Others are advocating for the immediate release of the accused gay men despite the outpouring of support for the police, branding the arrest as a “misplacement of priority” and “hypocrisy” on the part of the Nigerian police.
Amnesty International, a well-known rights organization, demanded the immediate release of the alleged gay males while also denouncing the detention.
The organisation urged the Nigerian government to respect the rights of all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation, in a statement sent on Tuesday via their X handle.
Amnesty International demanded that the Delta State police command in Nigeria immediately release the more than 100 men who had been detained and paraded before the media for allegedly organizing homosexual marriage and put an end to the witch hunt.
“The arrests discriminate against people based on their actual or suspected sexual orientation and gender identity.
The law prohibiting same-sex partnerships is increasingly being utilized by law enforcement officials and other members of the public to harass, extort, and blackmail persons in a society where corruption is pervasive. This must change.
The males were allegedly detained by the Delta State police command for allegedly plotting a same-sex union. It is astounding how a simple act like styling one’s hair, sitting in a pair, or dressed a certain way may turn criminal.
Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Center (RULAAC), a different rights organization, also criticized the public display of the alleged gay men, calling it a “abuse of due process and double standards.”
The organization admitted that homosexual relationships are illegal in the statement signed by RULAAC executive director Okechukwu Nwanguma and acquired by DAILY POST.
However, it criticized the police for failing to follow established legal procedures when handling criminal suspects.
Nwanguma claimed that everyone accused of breaking the law has the right to be treated as innocent unless proven guilty after a fair trial in a court with appropriate jurisdiction.
He emphasized the need for suspects to be treated with respect.
The argument that parades of suspects before the media are illegal, unconstitutional, and detrimental to fair hearings and trials has been advanced frequently.
“It is an illegal and ineffective law enforcement technique that offends against human dignity and undermines the right to the presumption of innocence guaranteed by the Constitution.
“In essence, the suspects have been found guilty without a trial. We denounce the abuse of legally prescribed methods for processing criminal suspects, including the parade of LGBT suspects in front of the media, which blatantly violates their right to due process, according to the group.
Veteran Nollywood actress Georgina Onuoha also criticized the police for detaining the young lads.
She urged the police to ignore LGBT individuals and emphasized that they should direct their inquiries on the politicians and preachers accountable for the unrest and poverty wreaking havoc on the nation.
Leave these individuals alone, Onuoha commanded. They didn’t injure, kill, or steal anyone. They are not to blame for Nigeria’s problems or decline. Allow them to go about their lives.
“You who are engaged in fraud, having affairs with married men and women, lying, etc., are no better than these people going about your daily lives.
You will continue to live by the hateful sermons that many con artists posing as pastors have poured into your ears until many of you work in the medical field and comprehend the processes underlying sexual orientation.
“I laugh at the ignorance of some Nigerians who still think that there are different kinds of sin and that being ‘gay’ is the worst of them all. You’re just lying to yourself. Sin is sin in God’s eyes, and many of you commit the greatest kinds of sin.
I want to ask you Nigerians a serious question. Do you believe that if you hurt or murder any of these beings that God made in his image and likeness, he will award you a trophy? If you commit murder, will you be praised for it? And you genuinely believe that God will embrace you?
“The majority of what you do is not Christian. You engage in intolerance and hatred.
“You are the most illiterate of them all if you believe that this is a ‘western culture’ being introduced to Nigeria for whatever purpose.
“Hold your clergy and politicians responsible for the resentment and poverty you are experiencing, and let these people live in peace.
“This is about their humanity, not an endorsement of how they conduct their lives. Leave them alone.