UK Angry with Nigeria’s Gay Bill, Cameron Threatens to Withdraw Aid
David Cameron, British Prime Minister, said that his government might consider cutting off aid to Nigeria over same sex marriage bill passed by the House of Representatives on Thursday after the Senate had passed its own version in November 2011.
Cameron had in October 2011 threatened to cut off aid to countries which ban gay and lesbians.
David Mark, Senate President, however said that the decision of the National Assembly to ban same-sex marriage in the country is irreversible.
But the British Prime Minister said he would take up the issue with President Goodluck Jonathan soon while voicing his government’s strong objection to the passage of the bill.
Cameron, a guest at British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) programme while reacting to a question by a Nigerian resident in London, Bisi said “When we meet with Nigerian politicians and leaders, we will be clear about those things we agreed on. We have to be clear where we disagree. We will make clear where we stand on those issues,” he said.
When asked whether Britain would consider stopping a projected 50 per cent increase in aid to Nigeria or cutting it outright, Cameron said, “Nothing is off the table. We need to have these conversations. We also have some very important objectives with Nigerians, for instance on how to deal with the appalling rates of poverty in Northern Nigeria, which are part of the problems confronting the country.”
Britain and some Western Nation had previously expressed opposition to the bill.
As Cameron spoke, Mark, Nigeria’s Senate President said the bill, which had been approved by both chambers of the National Assembly, would not in anyway infringe on the human rights of Nigerians.
“The law against same-sex marriage is an approval of the wishes of the generality of Nigerians, who are desirous of living within our cultural bounds.
“The law is not designed to infringe on the human rights of Nigerians in any way. Also, wherever you go in our country today, our people are completely in support of the National Assembly, because the practice of same-sex, as you all know, is alien to us,” he said at a dinner hosted in his honour by the Nigerian community in Prague, Czech Republic.