The Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs Alhaji Tanimu Turaki yesterday gave an insight into how the Federal Executive Council (FEC) rejected international pressure to legalise gay marriage in the country.
Turaki spoke on the controversial issue in Abuja yesterday while hosting staff and friends of his Ministry after breaking yesterday’s Ramadan fast.
The Minister who described Nigerians as a highly religious society said the FEC could not accommodate such an anti-religious practice in a country like Nigeria.
Said he, “When we discussed the issue of gay marriage at the Federal Executive Council, we all said that it was very unnatural. How can we explain this to Nigerians? That a man will go and marry a man and a woman will go and marry a fellow woman. Then we also discussed the aspect of the psychological and mental trauma that the children of such union, whether adopted or not, will have to go through.
“For example when they go to school and they are asked; who are your parents? And they have to answer that their mummy and daddy are both men or are both female. This does not fit into a highly religious society like ours”, Turaki said.
He further said: “There is nowhere in the world where God is worshipped like in Nigeria. Even traditional worshippers take their religion very seriously. We pray a lot and that is why God has not forsaken Nigeria.”
“We have been through situations that saw many countries torn into pieces but whatever happens to Nigeria, the nation would like an elephant, only shake its body and move on” he added.
Turning to his staff in the Ministry, Turaki said, “We may be starting this journey now but I see this Ministry outliving all of us”.
He said he would try in all ways to give the Ministry a transparent and responsible leadership. Said he: “Sometimes, I may push you to achieve targets in the discharge of our duties. It is because I believe there is wisdom in our going that extra mile to discharge the mandate given to us not only by Mr. President but by all Nigerians. So, let us treat ourselves as members of the same family regardless of our positions.”
Responding on behalf of the staff of the Ministry, the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita lauded the great humility displayed by the Minister in inviting the staff to break the fast with him and his family, saying such a gesture was not common among his peers. She pledged the support of the staff to the Minister in ensuring that the Ministry under his leadership becomes the envy of all other Ministries.
At the breaking of fast event was a former Deputy Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Ali Abubakar Jatau, Mr. Joe Kyari Gadzama, (SAN), among others who in their respective speeches described the Minister as hospitable, humble and highly intelligent.