Nigerians have taken to social media to condemn the position of a former presidential spokesman, Doyin Okupe, on his son’s sexuality.
Bolu, Okupe’s son had recently shared a picture of himself wearing rainbow boxers and accompanied by a terse caption reading, “Yes, I am gay”.
But reacting to the development, Okupe had attributed his son’s open declaration of himself as a homosexual to a spiritual challenge.
Okupe, who served under former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, said as an evangelist, he would never accept homosexuality as it is at variance with Christian values.
He had also said he was hopeful that God would intervene, adding that he had been aware of his son’s sexual orientation for some time.
His reaction, however, has continued to elicit mixed reactions, with many Nigerians sharing contrary views on the matter on Twitter.
While some social media users slammed Okupe, arguing that his son has right of choice as an adult, others highlighted the fact that Okupe was part of those who criminalised same-sex relations during Jonathan’s administration.
Twitter user, Dr. Okwuebie (@Okwuebie1), said, “For all who were directly or remotely connected to the initiation of the bill for that Act, those who considered, deliberated and passed it from 1st, 2nd & 3rd readings before it was presented to be signed into law, and yes, you who signed it, we’re waiting for your children…
“They’ll come out of their closet and you’ll be powerless about it. We wait!”
JessicaB (@Jessica12754192) tweeted, “There is a huge generational gap between us and our parents. It is simply an issue of how Doyin Okupe understands his son’s choices. We seek freedom, their generation seeks acceptance; sometimes these things happen to balance generational gaps.”
Sonofabe (@SONOFABE1) wrote, “What goes around comes around. I’m not rejoicing over his shock at this news; I’m just blunt and real. Only if he had been an open communicating father, he would have known about his son before then and he wouldn’t sign a law that would harm his son or others.”
Peregrine (@Townz47) said, “Doyin Okupe’s son came out; these ones want to talk themselves to death. Is it because your brother, cousin, nephew, and best friend haven’t come out yet? If you knew the actual number of gay people around you, your spirit would jump out of your body.”
Doosh (@RealQueenDoosh) tweeted, “When Doyin Okupe was awarded (a) road contract in Benue State, he ran away after receiving payment. But it was not spiritual. Today, his son came out from his closet announcing he’s gay and Mr Okupe is saying it’s a spiritual problem. I’m dying to hear his Yoruba conversation with son.”
Also, a Twitter user with the handle, @lifesaruse, said, “Doyin Okupe was part of the government that criminalised homosexuality. Today, his son comes out as gay. Interesting.”
Adannaya (@adxnnaya) said, “Re: Doyin Okupe’s son. It’s amazing how Nigerian parents always make their children’s sexuality about themselves. It’s always a selfish, woe-is-me rant about how their child being gay has affected them. Crazy.”
Victor Ayenni (@VOrunla) said, “In Nigeria, appealing to the spiritual is a way of evading substantive issues and shutting down conversations on matters that need to be discussed. You were the media aide of a government that slammed 14 years on gays, but you didn’t realise that your son was one of them.”
Otosirieze (@otosirieze) tweeted, “Doyin Okupe’s son just came out as gay. Okupe served in the Jonathan administration that criminalised same-sex relations in Nigeria. Oppressing other people is all ‘politics’ until it hits home. In the next decade, that law will be gone for good.”