UK Prime Minister pushes aid to Nigeria despite new anti-gay law

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UK Prime Minister David Cameron pushed aid through to Nigeria despite the country’s recently passed law criminalizing homosexual activity, punishable by up to ten years in prison.

In 2013, Cameron warned Nigeria that the UK would consider no longer sending the African country their full allotment of aid if they went ahead with the anti-gay legislation. However, the Department for International Development (DfID), which is focused on meeting its aid spending goal, did not waver and said that Nigeria would be receiving capital, the Mail Online reported.

A DfID spokesperson reported that not only will Nigeria receive their aid, they would see to it that the planned increase remained intact. Last year Nigeria received 200 million pounds (about $327 million USD) from the UK; this year they are expected to receive £270 million (about $442 million).

“When we meet with Nigerian leaders, we will be clear about those things we agreed on. We have to be clear where we disagree. We will make clear where we stand on those issues,” Cameron said, when speaking about the aid increase to Nigeria in 2013.

The DfID explained that the UK’s aid to Nigeria is used by organizations such as Unicef, who funnel funding to causes such as education, health, and other such developmental necessities. Regardless, the decision to not only send, but increase, aid to Nigeria will certainly spark controversy for human rights organizations.

The European Union has condemned Nigeria for signing the anti-gay law, referred to as the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act.

“The European Union is opposed to discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. It is firmly committed to fundamental human rights and the rule of law in respect of those rights, including freedom of association, conscience and speech and the equality of persons,” said the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, Catherine Ashton, as reported by pmnewsnigeria.

Nigeria’s new anti-gay law not only criminalizes same-sex relationships, it also prohibits participation in any LGBT groups, and activist Dorothy Aken’ova said that this includes HIV/AIDs prevention organizations.

As of this writing, Nigerian police have already arrested 38 gay men and have a wanted list of 168 total.

429Magazine

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