The Church of Nigeria has finally issued the communique of its so-called national consultation on human rights. The consultation was held at the end of June. At the time The Lead reported that Archbishop Okoh told the Panafrican News Agency that “Nigeria should not condescend themselves into being a party to such immoral act. If the United Nations make themselves an agent to promote gay marriages, then Nigeria should pull out from such organization.” The communique is signed by The Most. Revd. Nicholas D. Okoh. M.A. LLD, Fss, Mss, Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria.
A sampling from the communique:
Participants were drawn from Brazil, India, Mozambique, South Africa, Southern Sudan, UK, USA, Zambia and the host country Nigeria. The consultation attracted many legal luminaries, (SAN), Judges, Senior academics, Archbishops, Bishops and Clergy, advocacy groups representatives and politicians.
1.0 CONSULTATION OBJECTIVES
The Consultation was held because of the need to:
1.1 Protect the moral health of the Nation in the light of the UN Human Rights Groups approach to promoting vices as rights in Africa.
1.2 Undertake a comprehensive overview of the foundations and ideology of rights as globally understood.
1.3 Identify the role of the Church in shaping the discourse and policies on human rights in Africa.
1.4 Examine the Biblical resources for understanding human rights.
1.5 Examine how human rights are framed, promoted, protected and to some extent, violated within the context of the African culture.
2.7 While we appreciate the global efforts to address the indignity associated with HIV/AIDS, there is need to underscore the fact that there are other ravaging health issues and problems plaguing Africa e.g. leprosy, malaria, sickle cell anemia etc. Governments, Corporate bodies, the Church and individuals should employ similar proactive efforts to deal with such diseases. We regret that certain powerful well funded bodies use the rights issue in relation to HIV/AIDS to undermine the Church’s mission of promoting and protecting godly sexual behaviour in its work with people living with HIV/AIDS and vulnerable groups.
2.12 The Church must stand in the vanguard to resist any attempt to establish local or international platforms to foist societal vices e.g. homosexual behaviour, prostitution, etc as rights on others. These are redeemable conditions, by the power of the Gospel.
Okoh was repeating his July 2010 call for Nigeria to withdraw from the UN. At the time Jim Naughton observed:
1. Rowan Williams, Tom Wright and others would have you believe that while those who oppose the blessing of gay and lesbian relationships, the ordination of LGBT clergy and the consecration of LGBT bishops are deeply concerned about the welfare of these individuals, but are simply uncertain about whether the church is at liberty to include them fully in its sacramental life. But every now and then, the curtain slips back and the true ugliness of the anti-gay forces within the Communion becomes apparent. This is one of those instances, and it makes more obvious than ever that the effect of William’s policies has been a) to underestimate the radical agenda of the anti-gay forces within the Communion and b) to embolden men like Okoh.
2. The Anglican Church of Nigeria receives significant funding from men on the American political right such as Howard Ahmanson and Emmanuel Kampouris . It has found common cause with these individuals in their opposition to homosexuality, but that issue, while central to cementing the alliance, is actually something of a sideshow. The right’s real intention is to use its relationships with African evangelicals to influence U. S. foreign policy. Some African Christian leaders are supportive of the American right’s anti-Muslim agenda due to bitter personal experience. Now, we see an African primate embracing another pet right wing cause, the delegitimization of the United Nations. No sane political analyst would argue that there is any benefit to Nigeria in cutting itself off from the world community in this way, but the benefit to the American right—in having an influential leader in the developing world call the importance of the UN into question is fairly obvious.
Note the modus operandi here: cultivate foreign relationships by wooing influential leaders with gifts; get them to embrace policies that advance your agenda at the expense of their own people; say that those who object those this practice as captives of a colonialist mindset, even as you enact the colonialist playbook.