Claim: Oby Ezekwesili said that she will support gay rights if elected President.
The claim that Oby Ezekwesili said that she will support Lesbian and Gay rights if elected President is FALSE.
In December, Obiageli (Oby) Ezekwesili, the presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, ACPN, was at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, London, popularly known as the Chatham House, to explain her plans if elected Nigeria’s President in this year’s presidential election.
Chatham has established a reputation as the go-to place for debates, discussion and analysis of developmental issues.
Many African leaders and influential persons have been there to share their world views. President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has been there. One of Africa’s leading politicians, Bola Tinubu of Nigeria has also been there. It was no surprise, therefore, that Ezekwesili, a former World Bank Vice- President also went there to share her thoughts on her plans for Nigeria.
After the lecture, Ezekwesili, in response to a question, was quoted to have said that she would support lesbian and gay rights if elected President.
The report was published on www.spynigeria.ng on December 5 2018.
The issue of lesbianism and homosexuality is a touchy issue in Nigeria.
One of the laws enacted in Nigeria in 2014 is the same sex marriage (prohibition Act 2014). Section 5 (1) of the Act states that “a person who enters into a same sex marriage contract or civil union commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of 14 years imprisonment.”
It is no surprise, therefore, that the alleged claim generated a lot of controversy.
Verifying the claim
On watching the video of the lecture on Youtube, we found that the controversy arose from the question and answer session at the end of the lecture.
A Nigerian in the audience, Bisi Alimi, an LGBT person, had asked Ezekwesili, whether the inclusive society she was preaching and the social justice she was promising Nigerians would include LGBT people. He added that Ezekwesili was not sympathetic to LGBT people as she had blocked him from his twitter handle in the past over their exchange on the matter.
In her response, Ezekwesili said everybody was entitled to opportunities, no matter their belief.
When the story went viral, she was alarmed, especially knowing what mileage her opponents could seek to gain from such a misadventure.
She quickly responded on her twitter handle. Her first tweet: “Hmmm, so my response to a question at Chatham House has been misconstrued and now totally taken out of context by some folks. @abisialimi asked me a question on the discrimination he suffered as a gay citizen of Nigeria. I responded that as President of Nigeria I shall uphold the basic human rights of every Nigerian which our #Project Rescue Nigeria manifesto does indeed express as equality of opportunity.”
And finally she added: “As a Christian who has a strong scriptural anchor, I don’t subscribe to the gay or lesbian life choice. This was always publicly declared and known by those who follow me including @bisialimi who asked me the question @Chatham House.”
The preamble to the Constitution of Nigeria declared that the purpose of the Constitution is to promote the welfare of all persons in the country on the principles of freedom, equality, and justice.
Chapter Two of the Conclusion also provides that “every citizen shall have equality of rights, obligations and opportunities before the law.
The claim that Ezekwesili will support Lesbian and Gay rights if elected President is false.