Pro-lifers and other Catholic entities in Nigeria have joined other Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) that are sharply opposed to the agreement between the European Union and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states which they say paves way for abortion and same-sex marriages.
Signed on Wednesday, November 15, the EU- ACP Agreement requires parties, among other provisions, to support universal access to sexual and reproductive health commodities and healthcare services, “including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes.”
The agreement, the CSOs in Nigeria have said, compels the 47 African countries bound by its terms to legalize population reduction, lesbianism, transgender rights, queer behaviour, gay marriages, abortion, among other cultures that they say go against the Africans’ way of life.
Nigeria announced on Thursday, November 16 that it had not joined African states who signed the ACP-EU agreement, noting that it was still studying its provisions.
In their statement, pro-lifers and others organizations that uphold the dignity of human life in Nigeria have cautioned the government against signing the agreement with the EU.
According to the organizations, the agreement will have the effect of “mortgaging” the values, custom and ways of life in Nigeria.
“The EU has become another imperialist lever for influencing legislation and manipulation of socio-cultural, economic and political events in Nigeria,” they say.
At least 20 organizations in Nigeria alone, including Catholic entities in the West African country which is the most populous on the continent have come out strongly to oppose the agreement.
They include Life Choice International Initiative, the Foundation for African Cultural Heritage (FACH), Project for Human Development (PHD), Global Pro-life Alliance (GPA), Doctors Health Initiative, Happy Home Foundation, Association of Concerned Mothers, Nigerian Life League, and the Islamic Education Trust.
Others are the Islamic Medical Association of Nigeria, the Islamic Platform of Nigeria, Blissful Life for Youth Empowerment, Nigerian Association for Women Advancement, Sympathy Worldwide Organization, Good Parenting and Youth Empowerment Initiative, Foundation for Marriage and Family, and the Centre for Corrections and Human Development.
Catholic entities on the list include the Association of Catholic Medical Practitioners of Nigeria, Catholic Lawyers Association, and the Knights of St. Mulumba.
The entities have expressed their rejection of the agreement which they say seeks to teach African and Nigerian children “how to indulge in safe-sex and safe abortion, how to do masturbation, kissing, hugging” as well as “how to avoid getting pregnant through sterilization”, among other immoral behaviours.
The CSOs say that Nigeria is a sovereign nation and should be free of influence of Western powers.
“We have a right as a sovereign nation to decide for ourselves the kind of laws we can enact for ourselves and for our own good. We should reject anything which compromises our territorial sovereignty,” the organizations said in a collective statement they shared with ACI Africa on Thursday, November 16.
They added, “The EU does not have a right to interfere in the way we run our country or enact our laws. LGTBQ1+, gay marriage, transgender rights, corruption of school pupils with immoral sex are against our culture and tradition and against our religious beliefs. Only marriage contracted between a man and a woman either under Islamic law, Customary law and Marriage Act is recognized as valid in Nigeria.”
They said that Nigeria has already has a national assembly the is tasked with making the laws that conform to the aspiration of the Nigerian people, and added, “The EU lacks the locus standi to make laws for Nigeria or dictate to us the way and manner we should make our laws.”
The organizations have warned the EU against seeking to export their “abrasive” lifestyles to Africa, warning them against disrespecting African cultures, traditions and laws.
“A people without identity are a people without existence,” the CSOs say, and add, “Europe and America are now defined by LGTBQ1+ and marriage between a woman and a woman (lesbianism) and marriage between a man and a man (homosexuality), or, marriage between a man and animal (bestiality).”
“Are these what we want to import into Nigeria?” the say, and add, “Certainly No. We are a different people. We cannot be copying hook line and sinker abrasive foreign lifestyles and imposing them on our people.”
According to the organizations, gay practices and gay marriage are illegal in Nigeria.“An importation of LGTBQ1+ into Nigeria is illegal. The EU should respect our culture, tradition and laws,” they say.
They say that the consensus reached at the various United Nations Conferences, is that the law passed in every developing county including Nigeria must reflect the diverse social, economic and environmental conditions of that country, with full respect for their religious, cultural backgrounds and philosophical convictions. “LGTBQ1+ has no respect for the religious and philosophical convictions of the Nigerian people and therefore cannot be imported into Nigeria,” they say.
According to the CSOs in the west African country, outlawing LGBTQ in Nigeria is not derogation from Nigeria’s international legal obligations as there is no known domestic or international law which obliges the country to refrain from enacting laws against it.
They say that even though some countries have legalized LGBTQ, Nigeria is not obliged “to join in their madness.”