Monday, July 24, 2006

Religion and politics and Nigeria -- no different from here

On July 8, the Christian Association of Nigeria (or CAN), of which Anglican Archbishop Peter Akinola is president, inaugurated its South-South branch.

At the meeting, deputy speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Chief Austin Opara, declared that the gay marriage legislation so often discussed on this blog would be expedited through the Federal Assembly.

The article, in the Tide Online, a Port Harcourt paper, declared matter-of-factly that "the bill was sponsored by the Christian Association of Nigeria."

We've suspected this all along. While The Tide does not directly quote Bishop Okonkwo (the VP of CAN, who was at the event), it is quite clear that this is a CAN bill: it was sponsored by CAN, possibly written by CAN, and explicitly endorsed by Archbishop Peter Akinola and the Anglican Church of Nigeria.

Chief Opara's brand of pandering is made all the clearer here:
... [Opara] commended the Rivers state governor, Dr Peter Odili for personally attending the occasion and assured of the continuous support of Christians to ensure the success of his administration.
CAN is an integral part of Nigerian electoral politics, especially in the South-South, which has never delivered a successful presidential candidate. It is the most impoverished region in Nigeria, and it's the center of all of Nigeria's oil wealth. Expect the gay marriage bill to be used as electoral fodder as the presidential campaing matures (or "degrades").

UPDATE: At the same event, CAN endorsed a South-South presidency.

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