Friday, October 1, 2010


It is with great nostalgia that I Rashidi Williams on behalf of the Lesbian,Gay,Bisexual,Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community in Nigeria congratulates Nigeria on 50years of nationhood. The LGBTI community together with all Nigeria this day say a big thank you our founding fathers for the non relentless struggle for independence from our colonial masters - the British.
Today marks the beginning of another phase/journey in the history of our great country. Nigeria remains a great country of good people in the midst of diversity. We remain united in the midst of all our troubles from the civil wars in the 1960s, the Boko Haram insurgence, the Jos Crisis amongst many other national challenge that our country is bedeviled with. Our unity as a nation keeps going from strength to strength. Who do we say the thank you to – the British who by an Act of their Parliament declared us a independent nation this day in 1960 or our hero of independence who fought so that Nigeria may be what she was destined to be .
While this is time that we all must celebrate as a nation and as individual citizens of this great nation, it is also a time when we as a nation and as individuals also engage in reflective thinking as to what each one of us can do to make Nigeria the country of our dreams – a land flowing with milk and honey. I deed there is already milk and honey flowing in all directions. Th question is where is the Leadership that will propel us out as a nation with great potentials even than the so called super power of the world at present.The time has come for Nigeria to arise from its slumber as we move into another era of nationhood.
The time for Nigeria to show unprecedented leadership in the affairs of the Africa and the World is no other time but now. Now is the day of the great challenge of leadership looking straight into the face of every Nigeria and awaiting right opportunity for us grab it and use it(positive leadership) to propel Nigeria forward. It is especially calling on all political office seekers who wants to rulke Nigeria in the next dispensation.
The LGBTI community in Nigeria cannot wait for that time when the culture that values openness and shuns impunity and the violation of fundamental human rights principles and standards. A time when Nigeria can say to all its citizens that equality before the law is for all Nigerians irrespective of status(sexual orientation). A time when the LGBTI will be given the opportunity to showcase to the rest of Nigeria the potential that is in us as individuals and communities. The LGBTI community wishes to state in clearly that Freedom , the respect for human rights and the rule are essentaility to the socio-economic development of our country. Developing Nigeria means building and developing the capacity of each individual citizens to contribute to national development. This cannot be done in fear – fear that our own very lives are at stake in our own country with legislation/laws that discriminates against us as human beings and as Nigerian citizens.We believe that the next political administration/dispensation will do what it takes to ratify the International Human Rights treaties/conventions to which Nigeria is a signatory locally.
As we go into the last quarter of the year and also approach an election year in a festive mood, the LGBTI community in Nigeria calls upon all aspiring political office seekers to conduct their electioneering void of violence but rather concentrate on winning the hearts of Nigeria as to what they will do if the mantle of leading the giant of Africa falls on their shoulders. The LGBTI community supports the one man one vote initiative and urges the Independent National Electoral Commission to repeat the June 1993 history.
Happy 50th Independence Anniversary.
Long Live Nigeria!
Long Live Africa!