Obama asked Nigeria to delay bill to imprison gays for 14 years, politician claims

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A claim has been made that former US President Barack Obama asked the former President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan to delay an anti-gay bill.

The claim was made by former Senate President David Mark, who said that Obama had asked Jonathan to delay the bill because of the US Presidential election.

He had apparently asked the National Assembly to delay the bill, which was passed and signed into law in 2013.

Obama asked Nigeria to delay bill to imprison gays for 14 years, politician claims

It makes homosexuality punishable with a 14-year prison sentence.

Mark made the claim in his new book ‘Against the Run of Play’.

He writes: “President Jonathan called me that President Obama had sent to him a message of concerns about the bill. That was in 2012 at a time Obama was seeking a second term in office.

“President Jonathan asked what could be done and I told him that not only was I committed to the passage of the bill that was also the position of the National Assembly.

“I said the only thing I could do was delay its passage till after the American presidential election. But I assured him that the same-sex marriage was not something we would legalise in Nigeria.

“We delayed it for a few months after that, but we eventually passed the bill into law and President Jonathan had to assent.”

The bill was signed into law by Jonathan in 2014.

America in 2015 vowed to continue to put pressure on countries like Nigeria which have anti-LGBT legislation in place.

Then US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield stated that America will continue to pressurise Nigeria.

Last month 53 people were facing criminal charges in Nigeria after police claimed they attended a same-sex wedding.