Monday, March 05, 2007

Nigerian Senate VP Mantu

[updated significantly below. And I've heard word that calling or writing the Nigerian government directly is unlikely to do any good. So I've added contact info for the Church of Nigeria, and deleted the embassy numbers.]

Nigerian Deputy Senate President Ibrahim Mantu (see here) was in DC today. I have it on good authority that a letter of protest was delivered to him by Congressman Tom Lantos (D-San Mateo, California, 12th District) regarding the "gay marriage" legislation. No word on the text of Lantos' letter.

Letters to Nigeria by American legislators is nothing new. Another letter was sent to Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo by Congressman Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts, 4th District) on May 2, 2006. The text can be found here. Frank's argument was that as ranking member (and now Chair, I should add) of the Financial Services Committee, he had the power to cut off aid to Nigeria should Obasanjo sign the legislation. I wonder if that threat is still intact.

Make calls of support to Congressmen Lantos and Frank, and encourage your friends to do the same:
Congressman Tom Lantos
2413 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-3531

Congressman Barney Frank
2252 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-5931
Email is good, but a phone call is way better. Tell them that you appreciate their concern for civil rights abroad, and their efforts to encourage Nigeria to avoid making a terrible mistake.

If you're a Republican, get over it and give these folks a call anyway. They're doing God's work with this legislation, and they're doing it right now.

Also, I should add, if and only if you're a member or incipient member of a CANA parish, contact Bishop Martyn Minns:
The Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns
703.273.1300 x140
Truro Church
10520 Main Street
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
If and only if you're a member of a Network parish or diocese, contact Bishop Robert Duncan:
The Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan
Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh
900 Oliver Building
535 Smithfield Street
Pittsburgh, PA, 15222-2467
If you're an Anglican, contact Archbishop Rowan Williams and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori:
The Most Reverend Rowan Williams
The Press Office
Lambeth Palace
London SE1 7JU
Tel: 020 7898 1200
Fax: 020 7261 1765
Press Secretary's email:

The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
815 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10017
Phone: (800) 334-7626
If you're "nothing at all," and you don't know who to write, contact your US Representative or Senator, or the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) -- BE POLITE!:
Archbishop Peter Akinola (

Archbishop Akinola's Communications Director, Canon Akintude Popoola (
What to say:
Tell them all that the "same-sex marriage" legislation before the Nigerian Federal Assembly is undemocratic, it violates the UN's International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and People's Rights, it has been condemned by the US State Department and 16 human rights organizations, it is in violation of the Nigerian Constitution, and it is in violation of Christian and Muslim principles.

Most importantly, stress the urgency of action, and above all, be very, very polite.


R said...


Many, many thanks for holding all our feet to the fire on this one. We simply must rally as much grassroots opposition to this impending legislation as possible. Your faithful witness is so important in this effort.

God's peace and solidarity.

Anonymous said...

Be careful about any threats to cut US aid. The same was tried in Zimbabwe (much poorer nation than Nigeria) and Sudan.

Guess what happened? China rushed in and made up the difference.


Jane Redmont said...

Thanks so much, Matt. See my comment on Richard's blog (I just sent it, it's awaiting moderation and should be up shortly once Richard sees it) with my appreciation to you. I posted info on my blog several days ago (with links to yours) and wrote a very courteous and Christian letter :-) to Abp. Akinola last week. Will follow up on others.

All best, and again, my thanks.


Charlotte said...

Thanks, Matt, for the information. One caveat: I've written (by e-mail) both Archbishop Williams and Archbishop Akinola. No response from either; not even a "message received."

So don't expect any acknowledgments from either of these gentry. Don't think they're listening.

charpressler said...

I have now written a second round of e-mail letters, addressed to Archbishop Akinola, Canon Popoola, and Archbishop Williams. The language was borrowed partly from this blog, and partly from a letter reproduced in another e-place, and the language was fully courteous. Still not so much as an acknowledgment that the letters have been received.

Charlotte said...

I have at last received a response from Canon AkinTunde Popoola. In it, he says that both he and the Archbishop are just too busy to reply for at least a month. It is reproduced below, and speaks volumes about Archbishop Akinola and the Nigerian Church.

-begin quote-

Dear Dr.,


Thanks for your mail below which I just saw today. Forgive the time lag. We
have been very busy lately in the office because of the activities around
the landmark consecration of 20 bishops in one service held here in Abuja
and the subsequent inauguration of 19 dioceses around our vast country.

Your message will be forwarded to the archbishop's desk, though I doubt his
seeing it before the end of the month when he is expected to have completed
his missionary diocese trips and returned to the office.

Every Blessing,

The Rev. Canon Akintunde Popoola.

-end quote-