Home » Nigerian Lawmakers Seek to Ban LGBT Content in Schools 

Nigerian Lawmakers Seek to Ban LGBT Content in Schools 

The resolution was based on a motion that claimed some foreign books were exposing children to inappropriate terms.

by Motoni Olodun

Nigerian lawmakers have called for banning educational materials that contain or promote lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) issues in nursery and primary schools. The House of Representatives passed a resolution on Thursday urging the federal and state governments to prohibit the production, importation, and use of any books or materials that teach or encourage “sexual perversion and immoral behaviors” among children.

The resolution was based on a motion by Sulaiman Abubakar Gumi, a member of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), who claimed that some foreign books introduced in Nigerian schools were exposing innocent children to terms such as “gay” and “eros” that are inappropriate for their age and contrary to the country’s laws and values.

The motion also accused the widely used book “Queen Primer” of subtly introducing LGBT terms to young learners. The book is a popular English textbook for nursery and primary schools in Nigeria and other African countries.

The lawmakers urged the Federal Ministry of Education, the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), and the Education Research Council (ERC) to carefully vet and censor the contents of educational materials used in schools and ensure that they are suitable and free of any LGBT connotations.

They also mandated the House Committee on Basic Education to ensure compliance with the resolution and report back within four weeks.

The move by the lawmakers has sparked mixed reactions from civil society groups, human rights activists, and LGBT advocates in Nigeria and abroad. Some have condemned the resolution as violating the rights to freedom of expression, education, and non-discrimination, while others have supported it to protect Nigeria’s cultural and religious norms.

Nigeria is one of the most hostile countries for LGBT people in Africa, where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by up to 14 years in prison under a 2023 law. The law also bans same-sex marriage, public displays of affection, and membership or support of LGBT groups. According to a 2023 report by Human Rights Watch, LGBT people in Nigeria face widespread discrimination, harassment, violence, extortion, and arbitrary arrests by state and non-state actors.

However, some activists have challenged the anti-LGBT law in court and campaigned for greater awareness and acceptance of sexual and gender diversity in Nigeria. They have also documented cases of human rights violations against LGBT people and provided legal, medical, and psychosocial support to victims.

Despite the challenges, some LGBT Nigerians have expressed hope that things will change for the better. They have also called for more dialogue and education on LGBT issues among policymakers, religious leaders, educators, parents, and children.

Source: Tribune Online


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