I won’t criminalise homosexuality if elected president – Donald Duke

Former Cross River State Governor Donald Duke

Former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, who is aspiring to contest the 2019 presidential election has promised that he will not criminalise homosexuality if elected.

The 56-year-old spoke on a web television programme, On the Couch, with Falz and Laila Johnson-Salami uploaded online over the weekend.

He said he would not have a problem with people in same-sex relationship as long as they do not practise it publicly.

Hear him: “I want to talk about gay rights. I don’t understand it because I’m straight. I don’t understand the feelings, emotions; a gay person would have of their sexuality. I don’t understand it but I will not criminalise them. I will ensure they have the protection of the law.

“But if they want to exhibit their sexuality, that is an affront to the norms of the society, the current norms.”

When Falz asked him what he meant by to “exhibit their sexuality”, he narrated a scenario about arriving at New York and seeing two men kissing.

Responding to Johnson-Salami’s question about having a gay person in his cabinet, Duke said: “His sexuality is private to him, I don’t want to know. It’s not my business. My business is can he perform the assignment that has been assigned to him?”

Homosexuality is illegal in Nigeria.

The maximum punishment in the 12 northern states that have adopted Sharia law is death by stoning. That law applies to all Muslims and to those who have voluntarily consented to application of the Sharia courts.

In southern Nigeria and under the secular criminal laws of northern Nigeria, the maximum punishment for same-sex sexual activity is 14 years’ imprisonment.