Posted by Emeka Ugwuonye | 20 January 2014 | 4,853 times
Let me set the record straight: I don’t support same-sex relations. Having made that clear, I urge you to kindly look up the word ‘contrivance’ or ‘contrived’. In case you are not able to, the word means: “Forced, strained, studied, artificial, affected, put-on, phony, pretended, false, feigned, fake, manufactured, unnatural; labored, overdone, elaborate. ANTONYMS natural.”
The same-sex issue in Nigeria is a political contrivance. It was a put-on by the politicians. It was not a real problem for the society. It was just a convenient boogieman or straw man fallacy. Also look up the word ‘boogieman’. In case you are not able, “A bogeyman (also spelled bogieman, or boogeyman) is a mythical creature in many cultures used by adults to frighten children into compliant behaviour. The monster has no specific appearance, and conceptions about it can vary drastically from household to household within the same community; in many cases, he has no set appearance in the mind of an adult or child, but is simply a non-specific embodiment of terror. Parents may tell their children that if they misbehave, the bogeyman will get them. Bogeymen may target a specific mischief – for instance, a bogeyman that punishes children who suck their thumbs – or general misbehaviour, depending on what purpose needs serving. In some cases, the bogeyman is a nickname for the Devil.”
You may also look up the term “straw man”. In case, you are not able, “A straw man, also known in the UK as an Aunt Sally, is a common type of argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position. To ‘attack a straw man’ is to create the illusion of having denied a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet inequivalent proposition (the “straw man”), and to deny it, without ever having actually denied the original position. This technique has been used throughout history in polemical debate, particularly in arguments about highly charged, emotional issues. In those cases the false victory is often loudly or conspicuously celebrated.”
What happened on this law against same sex marriage was that a lazy, corrupt, dysfunctional and failed group of politicians in Nigeria engaged in some scaremongering and came up with this boogieman or straw man fallacy to create a false impression of seriousness in leadership. Note that the same lawmakers could not make a single law to protect young girls from being married off to their members at ages as young as 12 and 13. But here they are drumming up fears in the minds of poor and uninformed masses.
The same politicians that could not do anything serious about kidnapping, terrorism, abuse of human rights, public infrastructure decay, closure of universities for six months, unemployment, corruption, etc, suddenly woke up one morning and told us that our problem was same-sex marriage, even when it was impossible to have such marriages since we already had a law that recognised and only celebrated marriages between man and woman. They created this phony problem and plunged the people into this confusion. And naturally, our people fell for it, in a manner that displayed the effect of miseducation we suffered over the years.
Yes, Nigerians have been badly educated. They were so deliberately misinformed and miseducated as a way to control and subjugate them. Most of the people can no longer tell what is a real problem and what is a boogieman. Indeed, if many of us were capable of serious or deep thinking, it would be understood that what happened is ultimately manna from heaven for the gay community. Despite any hardship they may suffer in the coming years, this move by Nigerian politicians has set in motion a process that would gain for them full recognition. If we are deep thinking enough, we would understand that once America and Britain voice their official position on the issue, Nigerian leaders are too weak and too corrupt to resist Britain and America. Indeed, I can swear that even right now, Nigerian President is already assuring the Americans that he would not enforce this law. And I can also swear that the Americans will not let go until there is a full recognition for the gay community. So, the law in effect is dumb and ineffective.
What the Americans and Europeans would do (they don’t even need to do it: they only have to show that they are thinking about it) is to threaten to deny Nigerian leaders and their families visa for medical treatment and education. Since Nigerian leaders have not provided reliable hospitals for their people and have not provided quality education for their children, they cannot withstanding visa ban from America and Europe. Where will Nigerian leaders hide the money they steal from their country? So, this law against same-sex marriage is so dumb and so unthinking. It is nothing but legislation by false pretense.
•Emeka Ugwuonye, Esquire, lawyer and activist, writes from Maryland, USA.
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