Homophobic Nigerian politician claim spiritual challenge after his son comes out as gay

Doyin Okupe, a spokesman to former Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan, says his son’s decision to openly declare himself a homosexual is a spiritual challenge.

“For me, I look beyond the surface or the physical. Here I see a major spiritual challenge…,” Okupe said in a series of Twitter posts.

“But I know as my God liveth, this whole saga will end up in Praise to the Almighty Jehova who I serve day and night.”

In 2014, Goodluck Jonathan, then president, signed the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, which banned gay relationships and entrenched intolerance of sexual minorities in Nigerian society into law. Doyin Okupe would often appear on TV defending the law.

The law caused an international outcry, with condemnation from global human rights organization and western governments. Human Rights Watch called it a “sweeping and dangerous piece of legislation”.

Doyin’s quandary started after his son Bolu, announced his gay status in an Instagram post in which he held an LGBTQ flag behind him.

While Bolu’s sexuality caught some by surprise, his father said he has been aware of it before Bolu published the Instagram post.

“I have been aware of this his new orientation for a while now,” Okupe said. “He (Bolu) knows that as a Christian and a witness for Christ (an evangelist), I am vehemently opposed to homosexuality as it runs contrary to the avowed precepts of my Christian faith.”

Bolu graduated from the University of Manchester, the United Kingdom in 2015, and currently lives and works as a model in Paris.

Nigeria is one of the 68 countries where same-sex marriage is prohibited. Homosexuality is a crime punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment.

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